Connecticut Regulatory Update

Connecticut Regulatory Update

Our September 30, 2009 Compliance Memorandum discussed Connecticut House Bill 5535, which enacted the Connecticut Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act (the “Act”).  The Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies were recently amended to implement the Act, effective April 1, 2013.

CONNECTICUT REGULATIONS 7-35ee-1 to 7-35ee-10

 

 

“Delivery agent” means a party who has entered into an agreement with a participating town clerk to deliver an electronic document from a submitter to a participating town clerk and return the recorded document to the submitter.

 

 

“Document” means information that is:

  • Inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium that is retrievable in perceivable form; and
  • Eligible to be recorded in the land records maintained by the town clerk.

 

“Electronic” means relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, or electromagnetic capabilities or similar capabilities.

 

 

“Electronic document” means a document that is received by the town clerk in an electronic form.

 

 

“Electronic document delivery system” means an automated system for the secure transmission of an electronic document between a submitter and a participating town clerk.

 

 

“Electronic recording” means the delivery and return of an electronic document, using an electronic document delivery system, for the purpose of recording that document on the land records, using a land records management system.

 

 

“Electronic signature” means an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with a document and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the document.

 

 

“Land records management system” means a system for recording and indexing documents on the land records, accessing and maintaining the land records, and producing microfilm security copies.

 

 

“Land records management system vendor” means a party who provides a land records management system.

 

 

“Participating town clerk” means a town clerk who has elected to accept electronic documents for recording.

 

 

“Recording information means the information added to a document at the time the document is recorded, such as the date and time of receipt of the document for record, the name and municipality of the recording officer, and the book and page of the document or other suitable indication of its location approved by the Public Records Administrator.

 

 

Electronic documents must conform to the following electronic recording models:

  • Model 1, which utilizes scanned ink-signed documents, transmitted without Extensible Markup Language (“XML”) indexing data;
  • Model 2, which utilizes scanned ink-signed documents or documents that have been created electronically and contain an electronic signature, transmitted with XML indexing data; or
  • Model 3, which utilizes documents that have been created electronically and contain an electronic signature, transmitted with embedded XML indexing data.

 

Documents containing electronic signatures or electronic notarizations must conform to all applicable standards established by the Secretary of State and to all applicable sections of the Connecticut General Statutes.  A participating town clerk will only be required to accept electronic documents containing electronic signatures or electronic notarizations that the clerk has the technology to support.  A participating town clerk will not be responsible for authenticating electronic signatures or electronic notarizations.

 

 

A participating town clerk must provide notice of confirmation or rejection of recording through the electronic document delivery system.  A notice of confirmation must include recording information for the electronic document accepted for recording and must identify the electronic document accepted for recording.  A notice of rejection must include a brief explanation of the reason or reasons for rejections and must identify the electronic document rejected for recording.  If the participating town clerk complies with the notice requirements, the failure of a submitter to receive actual notice of confirmation or rejection of a recording will not affect the validity of the confirmation or rejection.

 

 

A participating town clerk may contact a submitter regarding an electronic document submitted for recording prior to sending a notice of confirmation or rejection.  The delivery agent must ensure that the submitter includes telephone or email contact information with each such submission.  A participating town clerk will receive electronic documents and enter the time of receipt in accordance with Connecticut recordation law.

 

 

The participating town clerk, the delivery agent, and the land records management system vendor will implement and maintain procedures to ensure the security of the electronic document delivery system and the land records management system, including the authenticity and integrity of the electronic documents and of the public record maintained by the participating town clerk.  A participating town clerk will provide a secure method for accepting electronic documents through the electronic document delivery system and for recording and maintaining documents in the land records management system.  Security standards implemented by a participating town clerk will accommodate electronic signatures and electronic notarizations of electronic documents in a manner that complies with the Act.

 

 

A delivery agent must implement and maintain security procedures for all electronic transmissions to a participating town clerk through the electronic document delivery system and will be responsible for maintaining the security for the electronic document delivery system within the office of the delivery agent.

 

 

Electronic document delivery systems and land records management systems will protect against system and security failures and, in addition, will provide backup, disaster recovery, and audit trail mechanisms.  The delivery agent or land records management system vendor must provide audit trail information to the participating town clerk upon request.

 

 

Electronic document delivery systems and land records management systems must not permit any unauthorized party to modify, manipulate, insert, or delete information, without detection, in electronic documents or in the public record maintained by the participating town clerk.  If a breach of security is detected by the participating town clerk, delivery agent, or land records management system vendor, the clerk, agent, or vendor must notify the other 2 parties immediately.  The clerk, agent, and vendor will work cooperatively to take remedial action and to resolve any issues related to a breach.

 

 

The delivery agent and participating town clerk will enter into an agreement specifying the terms and conditions of participation in the town clerk’s electronic recording program.  The provisions of the agreement must be consistent with Connecticut law and regulations, including the Act.  At a minimum, the agreement must address the following items:

  • Accepted electronic recording models;
  • Accepted document types;
  • Defined technical application for data formats, electronic document formats, electronic transmissions, and security;
  • Indexing fields required for each document code;
  • Electronic signature and electronic notarization requirements;
  • Payment options for recording fees and applicable taxes;
  • Hours during which electronic submissions will be accepted and processing schedules that affect order of acceptance;
  • Electronic document acceptance and rejection requirements and procedures;
  • Responsibility of the delivery agent to review the qualifications of each potential submitter and to approve the potential submitter prior to granting access to the electronic document delivery system; and
  • Responsibility of the delivery agent to enter into an agreement with each approved submitter, in which the submitter agrees to submit electronic documents for recording in accordance with applicable state laws and regulations and to maintain security of the electronic document delivery system within the office of the submitter.

 

A participating town clerk may include in the agreement other procedures and requirements consistent with Connecticut law and regulations, including the Act, in order to implement fully an electronic recording program.  A participating town clerk must:

  • Establish procedures for electronic recording in the municipality;
  • Post the procedures in the town clerk’s office, on the municipality’s website, if available, and through the electronic document delivery system; and
  • Make a copy of the procedures available on request.

 

The procedures must cover, at a minimum, the items required to be in the agreement described above.