Daniel’s Law, a New Jersey law intended to protect public officials from privacy invasion, was enacted in response to the tragic death of Daniel Anderl, the son of Judge Esther Salas and Mark Anderl. The law prohibits disclosure of the residential addresses of certain persons covered by the law (“Covered Persons”) on websites controlled by state, county, and local government agencies.
In an unprecedented move, Gloucester County, New Jersey, has removed all online access to county land records starting from April 1, 2023, citing the implementation of Daniel’s Law. These land records are needed to perform title searches as part of most real estate transactions.
This decision will have significant implications for individuals and businesses relying on remote access to these records for various purposes. It is anticipated that other counties in New Jersey may follow suit, further limiting remote accessibility to recorded land records.
Daniel’s Law establishes guidelines and regulations for accessing land records, and it does allow for the in-person inspection of these records by registered Title Searchers and others. That means that boots-on-the-ground Title Searchers can still perform title searches in this county, and real estate transactions can continue as usual, just without online access.
And this brings up another matter—what about the general public? Do you think they would like their privacy protected as well? If so, could we see a demand for discontinued online access of recorded land records?
Many Title Searchers around the USA perform title searches online (many are even performed overseas using online resources), so if many more counties adopt this change, it could be a major shift in how title searches are done. For years the industry has been going more online, more remote, but does what Gloucester county is doing signal a transition back to a less technological time? Do you see this as a step in the right direction, or the wrong direction? Many professional Title Searchers would argue that using registered local Title Searchers who have to make a trip to the county courthouse to search the public land records will make for more reliable, and more professional searches (not to mention the privacy protections afforded by removing online access to land records)—what do you think?
Either way, Real Title Services has you covered—we have boots-on-the-ground searchers in over 3,000 counties nationwide.
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