Douglas County Register of Deeds Makes History; The Office is the First to E-Record in Nebraska
Last Updated on Monday, 23 May 2011 14:24
The following information was distributed on Nov. 2, 2009:
Omaha, NE--If you asked Diane Battiato what word in the nation's IT dictionary caused her the most mental anguish in recent years, she would reply, with little hesitation, "e-recording." Battiato, who is the Douglas County, NE, register of deeds, came into office more than five years ago. One of her goals, she says, was to move the office forward, technologically. E-recording was near the top of her to-do list, but seemingly, unattainable. E-recording, formally known as electronic recording, is the process of submitting, receiving and processing documents for recording via the Internet. E-recording can be done by individuals, or companies.
"Not being able to e-record was unfathomable. Hundreds of counties around the nation were e-recording, but not a single county in Nebraska," Battiato says. "After a while, e-recording became the brass ring for me. I wanted it for our users, for Nebraska. It simply did not make sense that we weren't using this amazing piece of technology."
According to Battiato, previous attempts to get the e-record ball rolling had failed. She believes that, in large part, the Nebraska counties were hesitant to e-record because of uncertainty regarding the legality of e-recording in the state, even though UETA (Uniform Electronic Transmission Acts) had been passed by the legislature in 2000.
Nonetheless, Battiato decided to launch her own campaign to e-record. What followed were months of communication between the secretary of state's office and her office. Then, after a seemingly endless flow of e-mails, letters, and phone calls, and a flurry of last-minute clarifications, Battiato received word from the secretary of state.
"I received an official opinion, in June. In short, Secretary of State John Gale gave us the green light to move forward. He expressed complete confidence in what we wanted to do, and thus eliminated any legal uncertainty surrounding the issue."
Battiato moved quickly; she knew that interest was high among her users to e-record. In early August, she held an e-recording kickoff to which more than 100 supporters came; they represented more than 40 business, organizations and government offices. Simplifile, her initial e-recording vendor, demonstrated the service and registered attendees for training.
Then, in late August, Battiato made history. Her office became the first office in Nebraska to e-record. The office now has close to 80 submitters, and has recorded nearly 1400 documents. In late October the office had its first "more-than-100-documents-recorded" day. "We were elated," Battiato says. "Everything went smoothly, for the most part. Now, we're looking forward to a 200-document day because we know that we can handle it."
In the meantime, Battiato expects more companies and counties to jump on the e-record bandwagon. "Why not? It's a great service that's long overdue, and it's clearly a 'win-win' for submitters, us and the state of Nebraska."