Land Records

What are Land Records?

Land records refer to those record series that may involve real estate. These include documents traditionally recorded in Deeds Books and Plat Cabinets, such as Deeds, Deed of Trust, Authorities to Cancel, Plats, Name Change Orders, and many other documents. The Land Records Division also dockets and indexes judgments and files certain Uniform Commercial Code transactions that are a lien on real estate.

How do I Search Land Records?

On the Chancery Clerk page, click on Online Searches and then select How to Search Land Records.

Are land records open to the public?

Yes, land records are available for public inspection from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Does the Clerk's Office have blank forms for land records related to documents?

No.

How do I obtain copies?

Fee for copies made by the public is $.25 per page. The fee for copies made by our staff is $.50 per page. There is an additional fee for certifying a copy of a document.

Requests for copies sent by mail must be accompanied by check or money order covering the cost of the copies and a stamped self-addressed envelope. The request should reasonably identify the document to be copied. Checks should be made payable to the Madison County Chancery Clerk.

What are the requirements that must be met for a document to be recorded?

There are different requirements depending on the type of document, so they cannot be listed here.

It is the responsibility of the person offering the document for recording to make sure (1) that the document is original, (2) that it is signed and that the signatures are properly acknowledged before a notary public, (3) that the document is a complete writing and contains the required information, (4) that is accompanied by the proper fees, and (5) that is accompanied by a stamped self-addressed envelope so that it can be returned to the party offering it for recordation.

The clerk's staff cannot give legal advice. Those seeking to record a document in the Clerk's office are encouraged to obtain the advice of a professional.

When is my document recorded?

Documents are recorded at the time we receive them. They are available for viewing by the public the next day.

What does the Clerk's Office accept in payment of recording fees?

The Clerk's office accepts (1) cash, (2) checks and money orders made payable to Madison County Chancery Clerk, and (3) credit or debit cards (Visa/MasterCard only).

What if a check for recording fees is not correct?

If a check for recording fees is short the document will be returned with a request for the proper filing fee.

If the check for recording is over by $1 to $25, the document will be recorded and the excess deposited into the Chancery Clerk's Office Fee Account. Refunds are mailed at the end of each month.

If the check is more than $25 over the correct amount, the document will be returned for proper recording fees.

Court Records

What are Court Records?

Court records are a series of case filings subject, but not limited to divorce, child custody, property divisions, adoptions, estates, land issues, commitments, and appeals.

Are court records open to the public?

Yes, court records are available for public inspections from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Does the Clerk's Office have blank forms for filing?

No. All persons needing legal assistance must consult an attorney or proceed ProSe.

How do I obtain copies?

Requests for copies sent by mail must be accompanied by a check or money order covering the cost of the copies and a stamped self-addressed envelope. The request should reasonably identify the document to be copied. Checks should be made payable to the Madison County Chancery Clerk.

Fee for copies made by the public is $.25 per page. The fee for copies made by our staff is $.50 per page. There is an additional $1.00 per certified copy of all documents.

What are the requirements that must be met for a document to be recorded?

Original signatures are required on all documents.

The Clerk's Office staff cannot give legal advice. Those seeking to record a document in the Clerk's Office are encouraged to obtain the advice of a professional.

When is my document recorded?

Documents are recorded at the time they are received into the office.

What does the Clerk's Office accept in payment of recording fees?

The Clerk's office accepts (1) cash, (2) checks and money orders made payable to Madison County Chancery Clerk, and (3) credit or debit cards (Visa or MasterCard only).

What if a check for recording fees is not correct?

If the proper fee is not received, we will hold the documents until proper payment is received.

Purchasing Real Property

Our office strongly recommends that a title search be done before real estate is purchased. A search of records in the Chancery Clerk's Office will determine any outstanding mortgages, taxes, or other liens and whether or not the seller has legal title to the property. Any attorney or title company can do a title search and prepare your deed. It is illegal for the Chancery Clerk's Office to search these records or prepare your deed.

Before recording your deed it must contain the following:

  • Signature of seller(s) notarized
  • Legal description with indexing instructions
  • Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the sellers, buyers, and deed preparer

If you purchase and occupy property before January 1st, you are eligible to apply for Homestead Exemption in the Tax Assessor's office - filing period January 1st through April 1st. Filing for Homestead Exemption reduces your taxes tremendously. If you are eligible, please be sure and take advantage of this savings.

Property taxes must be paid each year. Statements are mailed from the Tax Collector's Office by December for that year's taxes. Be sure the Tax Collector and Tax Assessor have your current mailing address.

If your property taxes are not paid by the last Friday before the last Monday in August, then it is auctioned off to the highest bidder which is called a Tax Sale, or if no bids are received, then it is stricken off to the State. It then becomes the duty of the Chancery Clerk to collect all delinquent years' taxes before the current years' taxes can be paid. No installments on delinquent taxes are accepted. We presently accept only cash, money orders, certified bank checks, lawyer trust account checks, and corporate checks from title and title insurance companies. We also accept payment by Visa or MasterCard. NO PERSONAL CHECKS are ACCEPTED in the redemption of back taxes.

Individuals have two years from the date of the tax sale to redeem their property. If not redeemed before the two years are up, then it matures to the State or if an individual purchased it at the Tax Sale, it matures to that individual who becomes entitled to a Tax Deed, which means you no longer own the property.