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  1. #1
    5308 is offline Junior Member
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    Aug 2007
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    Validity of unrecorded Grant deed

    What is the name of your state? CA

    Simple question (but a long story). Is a grant deed valid in California if it has not been recorded at the county recorder? The original has been lost - but I have a copy of it. Can the copy be recorded under extenuating circumstances?

    Long story is - neighbor wanted an easement thru my property and originally agreed to pay for the easement by granting me a portion of his land (the land was to be transferred via a lot line adjustment). I was allowed to immediately move the fence, occupy and improve the land. I built a large greenhouse on the property. 3+ years later he decided he was entitled to the easement for free and filed a lawsuit against me for trespassing. The suit was settled according to the original terms, except that I had to pay for and hire a surveyor to complete the lot line adjustment.
    Since the settlement, the neighbor has been most disagreeable and uncooperative. I had to go back to court just to get him to sign the application papers to begin the lot line adjustment. After approx. a year of hassling my surveyor and the title company, having his "representatives" repeatedly review the application and deed, to make sure every i was dotted and every t crossed, and with each review they requested a single correction at a time. This took months with each "review". Finally there was not a single thing left to dispute and he signed the grant deed to transfer the land to me.

    His original grant deed was then turned into the county along with the final maps for approval. The deeds (his, along with one I had signed) were then to be picked up via courier and delivered to the title company who would then record them at the county recorder. The county gave approval and the go ahead to record, but somehow, his original notarized deed "disappeared" somewhere between the county and the title company. The surveyor, title company and county planner all have a copy of the deeds but not his original. No one is able to locate his original and no one taking responsibility for its disappearance. Now the neighbor will not respond to requests to provide a new notarized deed for recording. Is the copy valid or is it back to court again if he doesn't provide another one? This was a court enforced settlement - would a motion to enforce be the appropriate route?

    Thanks for your help!
  2. #2
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2000
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    Catatonic State
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    81,918
    Quote Originally Posted by 5308 View Post
    What is the name of your state? CA

    Simple question (but a long story). Is a grant deed valid in California if it has not been recorded at the county recorder? The original has been lost - but I have a copy of it. Can the copy be recorded under extenuating circumstances?

    Long story is - neighbor wanted an easement thru my property and originally agreed to pay for the easement by granting me a portion of his land (the land was to be transferred via a lot line adjustment). I was allowed to immediately move the fence, occupy and improve the land. I built a large greenhouse on the property. 3+ years later he decided he was entitled to the easement for free and filed a lawsuit against me for trespassing. The suit was settled according to the original terms, except that I had to pay for and hire a surveyor to complete the lot line adjustment.
    Since the settlement, the neighbor has been most disagreeable and uncooperative. I had to go back to court just to get him to sign the application papers to begin the lot line adjustment. After approx. a year of hassling my surveyor and the title company, having his "representatives" repeatedly review the application and deed, to make sure every i was dotted and every t crossed, and with each review they requested a single correction at a time. This took months with each "review". Finally there was not a single thing left to dispute and he signed the grant deed to transfer the land to me.

    His original grant deed was then turned into the county along with the final maps for approval. The deeds (his, along with one I had signed) were then to be picked up via courier and delivered to the title company who would then record them at the county recorder. The county gave approval and the go ahead to record, but somehow, his original notarized deed "disappeared" somewhere between the county and the title company. The surveyor, title company and county planner all have a copy of the deeds but not his original. No one is able to locate his original and no one taking responsibility for its disappearance. Now the neighbor will not respond to requests to provide a new notarized deed for recording. Is the copy valid or is it back to court again if he doesn't provide another one? This was a court enforced settlement - would a motion to enforce be the appropriate route?

    Thanks for your help!
    **A: I only read your first sentence and the answer is yes.

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