March Title Tidbit by Lance Pomerantz – Land Title Law
Lance Pomerantz discussed the docketing and recording of judgments and orders affecting real property in New York. He gave a brief overview of a very complex topic, including the basic case law and statutory rules. Since judgments affecting real estate are binding on future owners of the property, regardless of whether they are on notice of the judgment, it is particularly important to search the land records and the court dockets as thoroughly as possible. Judgments affecting real property can occur in many different settings, which may influence the manner of docketing and/or recording available for the judgment. While most of the statutory mechanisms for docketing and/or recording these judgments are voluntary, judgments emanating from domestic relations matters are required by statute to be recorded in the land records. Special attention should be given to judgments that not only affect title to property, but also award damages. This type of judgment will be automatically docketed as a money judgment only and, unless separately docketed as a judgment affecting realty, might be overlooked after expiration of the lien period.