New Mexico and Rhode Island Legislative Update

The New Mexico legislature recently amended its laws to provide for the filing of duplicate documents.  The Rhode Island legislature has enacted the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act (“Act”).  All the legislation discussed here is effective July 1, 2019.

NEW MEXICO HOUSE BILL 293

Where an original instrument of writing is unavailable for filing and recording, a duplicate of it will be accepted for filing and recording if a valid affidavit is presented. The affidavit must:

  • Provide the name, phone number and mailing address of the affiant;
  • Provide information regarding the execution of the instrument, consideration paid, delivery or other information establishing that the original instrument, if it were available, would be entitled to be recorded;
  • Specify the reason the duplicate is filed and recorded in place of the original instrument;
  • Include a statement that the duplicate is a true and correct copy of the original instrument; and
  • Be acknowledged and made under oath confirming that the statements set forth in the affidavit are true and correct and of the personal knowledge of the affiant.

RHODE ISLAND SENATE BILL 2145 and HOUSE BILL 7080

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

“Electronic document” means a document that is received by the recorder of deeds in an electronic form.

“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.

If a law requires, as a condition for recording, that a document be an original, be on paper or another tangible medium, or be in writing, the requirement is satisfied by an electronic document satisfying these provisions.  If a law requires, as a condition for recording, that a document be signed, the requirement is satisfied by an electronic signature.

A requirement that a document or a signature associated with a document be notarized, acknowledged, verified, witnessed, or made under oath is satisfied if the electronic signature of the person authorized to perform that act, and all other information required to be included, is attached to or logically associated with the document or signature.  A physical or electronic image of a stamp, impression, or seal need not accompany an electronic signature. 

A recorder of deeds may receive, index, store, archive, and transmit electronic documents and provide for access to, and for search and retrieval of, documents and information by electronic means.  A recorder who accepts electronic documents must continue to accept paper documents and may convert into electronic form information recorded before the recorder began to record electronic documents.

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Diane Jenkins

Attorney

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