How long have you served as register of deeds?
I was elected by the citizens of Coffee County in August 2014, and again in August 2018. I have had the pleasure to serve the people for five years.
What are your duties and responsibilities?
The register’s office is like a library containing on file all the records of ownership of properties in our county as warranty deeds or quitclaim deeds along with many different other legal documents, such as subdivision plats and restrictions, mortgage liens recorded as deeds of trusts, releases, POAs (power of attorney) and military discharges, also known as DD-214s.
Some records are required by law or allowed by law to be filed or recorded per Tennessee statute codes. The records provide public notice of property ownership, liens and other transactions that affect the public interest.
What are some of your favorite things about your job?
I truly enjoy putting pieces of puzzles together for people looking for deeds or documents of many years ago. Our office has records from 1836.
It is very rewarding to find the needle in the hay stack. It is rewarding to the staff and I to know we are contributing to all the information being shared daily that assists in the transferring of properties in our county. Every call with a request is important to a citizen or property owner in our county, and we love going the extra mile to get the answers. From day one, I have worked with the State of Tennessee to promote the digitalizing of our records.
Taking our records from books and microfilm to digital makes our county records available to attorneys, surveyors, bankers, title searchers and others at their desk, expediting the files they are working on for citizens across our county. It is very exciting in our office every day.
What are the biggest challenges?
A challenge we have is to inform a customer at the counter that we cannot prepare a document, alter a document or give advice on preparing a document. Due to liability to our county, we cannot wear the hat of giving legal advice. We record completed notarized documents per state statute requirements and the guidelines presented by the State of Tennessee.
The register of deeds and the deputies on staff in the office take and subscribe to the constitutional oath and the oath of office known as the fidelity oath, as well as give bond as required. When statutes and guidelines prevent you from doing as someone has requested and you have to inform them most folks truly understand.
Anything else you’d like to add?
We would like to take this opportunity to reach out to let our citizens know that their register’s office offers fraud alert. Fraud alert will alert you if a document has been recorded in our office in your name. Everyone can register on our website at www.coffeecountyregisteofdeeds.com, under fraud alert.
We are very proud to offer this service. It does give you assurance that you will know if something is being recorded in your name. We also have a pricing calculator on the website that is very useful to someone needing to know the costs of the documents they need to record.
I am so very proud to announce that all deeds are now digital – from 1836 to current time. They can be viewed on www.titlesearcher.com.
We accomplished this with very little cost to our county. We invite all to come by and tour the office and meet our great team: Chief Deputy Casey Jacobs Rhoton, and Deputies Susie McEacharn, Annette Oakley and Mary Shelton.