Van De Kamp, 030984 CAAGO, AGO 82-1209

Docket Nº:AGO 82-1209
Case Date:March 09, 1984
JOHN K. VAN DE KAMP Attorney General
RONALD M. WEISKOPF Deputy Attorney General
AGO 82-1209
No. 82-1209
California Attorney General Opinion
Office of the Attorney General State of California
March 9, 1984
         THE HONORABLE DARRELL W. LARSEN, County Counsel, Sutter County, has requested our opinion on the following question:          Has the 1982 amendment to section 27201 of the Government Code (Stats. 1982, ch. 285) obviated the need for a county recorder to see that a document complies with the requirements of Government Code sections 27280-27296 before the document is recorded?          CONCLUSION          The 1982 amendment to section 27201 of the Government Code has not obviated the need for a document to comply with the requirements of Government Code sections 27280-27296 or for a county recorder to see that a document does before recording it.          ANALYSIS          Section 27322 of the Government Code provides that a county recorder shall record all instruments, papers and notices the recording of which is permitted by law. Various other sections of that code set forth certain requirements that must be met before particular documents and instruments may be recorded. By way of example and in abbreviated paraphrase, section 27280.5 provides that the names of parties required to be indexed in any instrument for recording "shall be legibly signed, typed or printed therein before acceptance by the county recorder"; section 27281 provides that deeds or grants to governmental agencies "shall not be accepted for recordation without the consent of the grantee evidenced by its certificate . . . of acceptance attached to or printed on the deed or grant"; section 27287 provides that with certain exception, "before an instrument can be recorded, its execution shall be acknowledged by the person executing it"; section 27288.1 provides that the documents described therein shall contain certain information "in addition to such information as may be required by law pertaining to it" and "[n]o such document shall be recorded or indexed unless it contains [it]"; section 27290 provides that an instrument that is proved and certified "may be recorded . . . only if the original [is and remains on hand] for public inspection"; and section 27293 provides that "the recorder shall not accept [an] instrument for record" that is executed or certified in whole or in part in a language other than English.1 (63 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 905, 909 (1980); see also, § 27321.5 which provides that "before acceptance for recording, . . . [e]very deed or instrument executed to convey fee title to real property shall have noted across the bottom of the first page thereof the name and address to which future tax statements may be mailed.") Meeting these requirements -- of the legibility of names (§ 27280.5), of evidence of the consent of a grantee (§ 27281), of an acknowledgement of execution (§ 27287), of the certain required information of § 27288, of the presence of an original (§ 27290), of the English language (§ 27293) and of the mailing for tax statements (§ 27321.5)—has always been considered to be sine qua non to a county recorder recording the particularly-affected documents. (Cf. 65 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 321, 324 (1982).)          In 1982 though, the Legislature amended section 27201 of the Government Code to have it provide as follows:
         "The recorder shall, upon payment of proper fees and taxes, accept for recordation any instrument, paper, or notice which is authorized or required by law to be recorded, if such instrument, paper, or notice contains sufficient information to be indexed as provided by statute and is photographically reproducible. The County

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