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Recorder's Office

Gail L. Alley

Scott Campbell
Chief Deputy

  • Paul Allard, Deputy
  • Barb Maxey, Deputy
  • Brenda Poplin, Deputy and
  • Renee Gleim, Deputy

602 Seventh Street - Room 110
Portsmouth, Oh 45662

Phone: 740.355.8304
Other: 740.355.8355

The County Recorder is the keeper and protector of the most vital records in the County; therefore, it is the most valuable library. One may say... what's the use, why keep records? An unknown writer once observed that "a nation which neglects and disregards the records of its past, is soon a nation that has no future to which it may look forward."

The office of the County Recorder is extremely important in the legal structure of our society. The right to own property under our system of government, is a part of the freedoms we enjoy. Without property ownership rights, all our other freedoms would soon collapse. The Recorder's records are the guardian of this precious right.

In order to own and protect land, and the right to improve or dispose of land, man early in history created a recording system.

In Ohio, the Recorder, as an elected public official, not only holds trust of the people, but is charged by law with the exacting duty of keeping the record books required by law, to be kept. The Recorder and Deputies must have knowledge of more than forty different legal instruments that are recorded or filed in their care. These records are vital to every person in the County - each property owner, every business and to the State and Federal governments.

Particular stress is placed by law on the faithful and correct performance of the duties of the Recorder. Fees collected are paid into the County General Fund, through the Auditor's Office to the County Treasurer at the close of each month. Three days are allowed by law to complete this accounting.

Records kept in the Recorder's Office include deeds of all types, which in part are:

  • Quit Claim
  • Warranty
  • Sheriff's
  • Auditor's Forfeited Land
  • Certificate for Transfer from Court
  • Executor and Executrix Deeds

Other records kept are:

  • Mortgages
  • Land and Coal Contracts
  • Power of Attorney
  • Leases of all types
  • Armed Service Discharge
  • Soldier's Grave registrations
  • Releases
  • Partial Releases
  • Liens such as:
    • Mechanics Liens,
    • Federal,
    • State,
    • Unemployment Compensation,
    • Workman's Industrial Tax Liens,
    • Personal Property Tax,
    • Aid for Aged Liens and
    • 12 other kinds of Liens
  • Cancellation or assignment of mortgages or leases
  • Articles of Agreement
  • Fence Partitions
  • Certificates of Merger of Corporations
  • Amendments to Article of Corporation
  • Limited Partnership Associations
  • Notice of Accounts Receivable
  • Easements
  • Rights of Way
  • Partnership Record
  • Plats of Allotments
  • Subdivisions

  • Various legal papers for which the Recorder is responsible are filed in the Recorder's Office, they include:

    • Security Agreements
    • Financing Statements
    • Recognizance Bonds from Common Pleas and County Court

    Each legal instrument recorded or filed is carefully indexed and cross indexed for ease of location and ready reference, as well as microfilmed for security purposes.

    A new state of the art computer system was installed in the Scioto County Recorder's Office on June 28, 1996.

    In Ohio it is the County Recorder who has the important and indispensable task of keeping the vital records pertaining to ownership in real estate (land) and to all encumbrances or liens upon it. Without the work of the County Recorder in recording, safekeeping and organizing all documents in a competent and logical manner, it would be nearly impossible to purchase land and be assured of a clear title or to lend money with land as security.

    The practice of recording real estate documents is based on law in England, which traveled to the New World with the colonists. Public land registrars were appointed in colonial America to keep accurate records. A system of registration was necessary to prove the rights of persons who first made claims to property.

    In 1787, the Northwest Territory was formed, encompassing all lands north and west of the Ohio River. A Recorder's office was established in each County. Ohio became a state in 1803 and although the state constitution did not provide for a Recorder's office, the first state legislature mandated that a Recorder be appointed in each county by the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas. In 1829, the Recorder's office became an elective position and in 1936, the term was established at four years.

    Today the County Recorder keeps and maintains accurate land records that are current, legible and easily accessible. An important aspect of the Recorder's work is to index each document so it may be readily located. Accurate indexing makes it possible for persons searching land records to find the documents necessary to establish a "chain of title" (history of ownership) and ensures that any debt or encumbrances against the property are evident. These invaluable records are utilized by the general public, attorneys, historians, genealogists and land title examiners.

    In some countries, certain property is registered under the Torrens Act. This "registered land" has boundaries certified to be correct and the title is guaranteed by a state insurance fund. Torrenized land records are the responsibility of the County Recorder.

    Documents Filed or Recorded in the Recorder's Office include:

    • Deeds
    • Warranty Deeds
    • Survivorship Deeds
    • Quit Claim Deeds
    • Sheriff's Deeds
    • Certificates of Transfer
    • Affidavits
    • Easements
    • Leases
    • Certificates of Title to Registered Land (Torrens Land)
    • Mortgages
    • Mortgage Releases
    • Assignments
    • Assumptions
    • Subordinations
    • Encumbrances
    • Waivers of Priority
    • Land Contracts
    • Plats (Drawings showing location of lots and boundaries, usually of subdivided land)
    • Condominiums (Drawings of property where there is individual ownership of portions of a building and joint ownership of common elements)
    • Annexations or Petitions
    • State Centerline Surveys
    • Street Name Changes
    • Vacating of Streets And Alleys
    • Bills of Sale
    • Corporation Mergers
    • Name Changes
    • Cancellations
    • Military Service Discharges
    • Partnerships
    • Powers of Attorney
    • Trusts
    • Miscellaneous Records
    • Zoning Resolutions
    • Maps & Amendments
    • Financing Statements (filed under provisions in the Uniform Commercial Code)
    • Liens
    • Mechanic's Liens and Notices of Commencements
    • Federal Tax Liens
    • Personal Tax Liens
    • Recognizance
    • Bond Liens
    • Corrupt Activity and Medicaid Fraud Liens
    • Bureau of Employment
    • Unemployment Compensation
    • Workers' Compensation Liens


    • makes a complete, accurate and permanent record of every document pertaining to the conveyance and encumbrance of land within the County.

    • maintains permanent land records, retains them in archival form, and makes them constantly accessible to the public.

    • enforces more than 1,000 sections of state law in the Ohio Revised Code pertaining to the duties of the Recorder's office.

    • takes great care to ensure that every document received is accurately filed, recorded and indexed.

    • serves on the County's Records Commission, which authorizes the retention of county records and determines when or how these government records may be disposed.

    • serves on the County's Automatic Data Processing Board * to authorize any purchase, lease, or contract for data processing equipment for County offices.

    • serves as secretary and chief administrator of the County's Microfilming Board * to authorize any purchase, lease or contract for microfilming equipment in county offices and to oversee the operation of the County's microfilming center and services.

    • collects fees for documents filed in the Recorder's office and pays these monies into the County's general fund.

    • maintains an accurate record of all monies appropriated to the Recorder's office for its operation. Performs all accounting functions necessary to the operation of the Recorder's office including preparation of annual budgets and reports, vouchers, purchase orders, etc. Maintains all payroll records, sick and vacation leave records and other records pertaining to the Recorder's staff.

    • files annually an ethics report, inventory of office equipment, affirmative action report, depository agreements for funds and every other report as required by law.

    • notifies boards of County Commissioners and township trustees annually of their duty to file zoning resolutions, maps and amendments.

    *Optional boards established by the County Commissioners in accordance with state law.

    The Ohio Recorders' Association was founded in 1927 and remains a vital organization to the present day. Membership is made up of Ohio's eighty-eight (88) County Recorders and their deputy recorders.

    The objective of the Ohio Recorders' Association is to educate its members so that Recorders and their employees may better serve the citizens of their counties. To this end, the association sponsors continuing education seminars on topics such as current legislation, office procedures, personnel management and constituent issues.

    The Association encourages the development of legislation to enhance the work and efficiency of Recorders' offices and to respond to modern technological changes. Association meetings provide the opportunity for Recorders to exchange ideas, review statewide recording procedures, and promote legislation in the best interest of the citizens of Ohio.

    The County Recorders' of Ohio process numerous documents pertaining to land transactions every year. Recorders' offices throughout the state recorded approximately 568,000 deeds and 884,000 mortgages in 1994, and collected approximately $44,000,000 in fees which were paid into the general funds of the counties that year.



    Property Fraud Alert

    UPDATED 7.21.15
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