Constitutional Corner: Land Records Management System

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faye_mitchellBy Clerk of Circuit Court

FAYE MITCHELL

Have you ever asked, “Where can I get a copy of my deed or deed of trust?”, or “Where may I lodge my Military DD-214?”, or “Does the City have wills for Norfolk County or the City of South Norfolk that date back to the 1700’s?”  The answers are quite simple; visit the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, Deed and Recording Department. This department is the repository of large numbers of public records dating back to the mid 1600’s.  One of the Clerk’s primary duties in land records management is retaining all deeds, deeds of trust, and other land related records to ensure adequate public access.

The Deed and Recording Department is unique in its preservation of indexes and images.  Many of these historical documents were originally retained in hard bound books and were in original handwriting.  Technology has enhanced the process and now all documents must comply with Code of Virginia guidelines and are no longer handwritten. To accommodate the enhanced technology and the virtual environment, the department was transformed in 2004 to reflect a more modern approach.  There are 18 terminals with a corresponding printer for public retrieval.  Access to the printer is based on a prepaid access code.

Over the years the land documents have been back-scanned using funding through the State Technology Trust Fund implemented by the General Assembly. Although this data is available in the automated land records management system, the original documents remain catalogued in our record room.  The following is an overview of the scanned data:

  • Deed Indexing and Imaging Data – 1637 – Current
  • Will Indexing and Imaging Data – 1755 – Current
  • Plat Indexing and Imaging Data – 1879 – Current
  • Judgment Indexing and Imaging Data  1987 – Current
  • Financing Statement Indexing Data – 1998 – Current
  • South Norfolk grantee/grantor images
  • Assumed Names (Fictitious Trade Names)

Whether hard copy or computerized copy, all of the City’s land and land related records are safely protected and available.  The Clerk’s Office invites you to visit Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

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