Public Records Act

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PLS7393
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Public Records Act

Postby PLS7393 » Mon May 18, 2020 9:19 am

Is it normal for the County Recorder throughout California to not send a free pdf copy of a filed record of survey to the surveyor who prepared and filed it, especially if a copy is requested?

Santa Clara County has a hard line that the County Surveyor could get fired (as I've been informed multiple times) if they send out any maps at a surveyors request. They have maps available through the Planning Dept., but with Covid they aren't updating the maps, causing months delay for me to send a filed map to my client and close the project. We pay $83 to file the map and all we get is a card with the recording information. Best part is my last filed map, the Recorder's Office couldn't even get the correct page number on the card sent to the CS, so I bought extra maps from an offsite agency until I found their mistake. I can send an extra $10 for a file copy when submitting the final mylar, but it, and I feel it is the principle, when the $83 is extortion as it is.

Doesn't the Public Records Act instruct public agencies to allow for free records? (It isn't even free when we have to pay $83 to file a RS)
Has anyone been successful to educate and actually win over a county? Has the State Board ever been requested to assist and do some public outreach to these Public Agencies, similar to them education on Monument Preservation?
Keith Nofield, Professional Land Surveying
PLS 7393

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LS_8750
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Re: Public Records Act

Postby LS_8750 » Mon May 18, 2020 10:35 am

I've found Santa Clara County Surveyor's Office a solid entity.
They have all maps on line, except those brand new ones .....

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Re: Public Records Act

Postby PLS7393 » Mon May 18, 2020 10:50 am

LS_8750 wrote:I've found Santa Clara County Surveyor's Office a solid entity.
They have all maps on line, except those brand new ones .....


Did I ever say they weren't solid? Over 30 years of filing maps in SC County I haven't had many issues with the various CS's (four to be exact), but rather the Recorder's Office is making the rules about charging for maps recently filed. If you read the Subject, it isn't about the CS.
Keith Nofield, Professional Land Surveying
PLS 7393

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Jim Frame
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Re: Public Records Act

Postby Jim Frame » Mon May 18, 2020 11:43 am

Doesn't the Public Records Act instruct public agencies to allow for free records?


No. The act requires that, upon formal request -- a phone call doesn't count -- the agency must provide the requested records (if not protected by one of the exceptions) at the cost of reproduction.

Yolo County doesn't send a complimentary copy of a filed ROS. They won't even send filing information unless you provide a SASE. But at least they don't charge $83 to file, it's only $16 for the first sheet and $6.50 for each additional sheet.
Jim Frame
Frame Surveying & Mapping
609 A Street
Davis, CA 95616
[url]framesurveying.com[/url]

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Ian Wilson
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Re: Public Records Act

Postby Ian Wilson » Tue May 19, 2020 5:46 am

Jim:

Is Yolo County not charging the $75 SB2 fee?

In Alameda County, the cost of filing a Record of Survey is actually $8 for the first sheet and $2 for each additional sheet, not $83. The Alameda County Recorder does charge the $75 SB2 fee, which goes to the State Fund, not the county.
Ian Wilson, P.L.S. (CA / NV / CO)
Alameda County Surveyor

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Re: Public Records Act

Postby PLS7393 » Tue May 19, 2020 7:03 am

Ian Wilson wrote:Jim:

Is Yolo County not charging the $75 SB2 fee?


It is my understanding from previous threads that not all counties are collecting the $75 fee for Affordable Housing.
These counties read the statute as it was truly intended, and RS maps do not affect real property transactions, thus should be exempt from the fee.
This fee has nothing to do with the Public Records Act.
Keith Nofield, Professional Land Surveying
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Ian Wilson
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Re: Public Records Act

Postby Ian Wilson » Tue May 19, 2020 8:55 am

In August of last year, the AG opined that Records of Survey were included in the SB2 document list and should be charged the fee.

And, it had everything to do with the question I asked Jim Frame.

Opinion attached.
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Ian Wilson, P.L.S. (CA / NV / CO)
Alameda County Surveyor

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Re: Public Records Act

Postby PLS7393 » Tue May 19, 2020 9:10 am

Ian Wilson wrote:In August of last year, the AG opined that Records of Survey were included in the SB2 document list and should be charged the fee.


Yes we know what the AG Opinion was, and many still believe it is not appropriate. Kudos to Yolo County for seeing this fee is not required.
The AG Opinion is just that, another opinion.
Keith Nofield, Professional Land Surveying
PLS 7393

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hellsangle
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Re: Public Records Act

Postby hellsangle » Tue May 19, 2020 12:59 pm

Unfortunately the Attorney General's opinion is obviously partisan! See footnote #21. He isn't going to address it! So the opinion is worthless!

If Sonoma, Alameda, Yolo, et al Counties are violating the law . . . they would have been issued a cease and desist order. They are following the "letter of the law". (See attached highlighted AGO)

Above the Recorder's Statement, on every Record of Survey, the following note is applied.
"EXEMPTION NOTE:
Exempt from SB2 fee per 273881(a)(2)(D)"


The unlawful County Recorder then writes "N/A" on this boxed note.

When the recording fee is submitted I write two checks. One for $75 with memo "With Reservation of Rights"; and another - the recording fee. It would be nice to take the Recorder to Small Claims Court and get these "taxes" back.

It takes more time . . . but I've written my client of these fees in hopes that the constituents will raise cane with the Recorder - to no avail. They just pay it.

Oh well.

Yep . . . Crazy Phil again.
Surveyor to Recorder
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Jim Frame
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Re: Public Records Act

Postby Jim Frame » Tue May 19, 2020 6:19 pm

Is Yolo County not charging the $75 SB2 fee?


Correct, Yolo doesn't charge that fee for Records of Survey.
Jim Frame
Frame Surveying & Mapping
609 A Street
Davis, CA 95616
[url]framesurveying.com[/url]

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mpallamary
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Re: Public Records Act

Postby mpallamary » Wed May 20, 2020 7:35 am

There is not any consistency regarding the $75 fee. Here in San Diego, I have seen it waived by filling out the exemption form in one certain way. it would be absolutely incredible and of immense value to the surveying community if CLSA took some action on this (like they used to in the old days). At a minimum, there should be a poll as to what county's do. The first time I read the AG opinion, I found it confusing and contradictory.

I have attached San Diego's form. Look at the last exemption. I have personally recorded documents and the recording clerks I have dealt with been very cooperative.

Does your county have one of these forms?
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Scott
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Re: Public Records Act

Postby Scott » Thu May 21, 2020 9:21 am

Mike,

What do you put in box 9?
Scott DeLaMare
LS 8078

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Re: Public Records Act

Postby mpallamary » Thu May 21, 2020 9:45 am

The last time I stated the correction was a change to a previously recorded document and there was no change in ownership associated with the correction.


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