In Minnesota, there are two recording systems – the traditional abstract recording system, and the Torrens system. In the Torrens property recording system, there is a county official called an Examiner of Titles who is an attorney appointed by the judges of the district court in that particular county.
If the property is Torrens, the property has a Certificate of Title that contains the name of the owner, the legal description and a list of the encumbrances, liens and other interests that affect the property. These encumbrances, liens and other interests are usually reflected as recitals or memorials on the Certificate of Title. Some of the recitals or memorials on the Certificate may have expired, may no longer affect the property or may contain a mistake. One possible way to have the recitals or memorials corrected or removed from the Certificate is to obtain an Examiner’s Directive.
Examiner’s Directives Explained
An Examiner’s Directive is a document that requires the Registrar of Titles to perform some act such as making a correction on the Certificate of Title. Examiner’s Directives are usually covered by statute such as issuing a new Certificate of Title such as correcting the name of the owner of the property or deleting interests that have terminated by their own terms. Usually, it is the party in title or their attorney that would need to request an Examiner’s Directive rather than a title company.
More complicated matters affecting the Certificate of Title are usually handled by a district court action called a Proceedings Subsequent to Initial Registration. A couple of examples would be obtaining a new Certificate of Title following a mortgage foreclosure by advertisement or having the property’s boundaries judicially determined.
Items for which an Examiner’s Directive will be required can vary from county to county depending on the statutory interpretation of the Examiner of Titles for that particular county.