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by law) before the judge of any court of record, or the mayor of any city, within the said dominion of Canada; but no such acknowledgment or proof shall be valid unless the officer taking the same knows or has satisfactory evidence that the person making it is the individual described in and who executed the instrument. And there must be subjoined or attached to the certificate of proof or acknowledgment, if taken before a judge of a court of record, a certificate under the name and official seal of the clerk of the court, that there is such a court; that the judge before whom the proof or acknowledgment is taken is a judge thereof; that such court has a seal; that he is the clerk thereof; that he is well

acquainted with the handwriting of such judge, and verily believes his signature genuine. If the proof or acknowledgment be taken before the mayor of any city, it shall be certified by him under his seal of office. And such proof or acknowledgment taken pursuant to the foregoing provisions shall be as valid and effectual as if taken before a justice of the supreme court of this state.

L. 1872, Chap. 692 - An act to amend section three of chapter nineteen

of laws of 1821, to perpetuate certain testimony respecting the title of the Poultney estate in this state.

Amendment. SECTION 1. Section three of chapter nineteen of laws of eighteen hundred and twenty-one, is hereby amended so as to read as follows:

When copies of the depositions to be received in evidence; not to affect existing suits. § 3. And be it further enacted, that copies of the depositions so as aforesaid taken and filed, when certified by the register of the court of chancery and having the seal of the court thereto affixed, shall and may at all times hereafter, and in all courts as well of law as of equity in this state, be received and read as prima facie evidence of the facts in the said depositions set forth in all suits which may be depending in the same courts and in which the title of the said Poultney estate may be the point in issue, or in which the title, by reason of any matter incidental to the point in issue, may be drawn into question, or between any and all persons claiming to hold lands within this state under conveyances from the Poultney estate. This act shall not affect any suit or proceeding now pending.

L. 1875, Chap. 136 – An act to authorize the appointment of commis

sioners to take the proof and acknowledgment of deeds and other instruments, and to administer oaths in foreign states and countries, and for other purposes, and to repeal chapter three hundred and eight of the laws of 1858, and the acts amendatory thereof, together with so much of chapter two hundred and seventy of the laws of 1850, entitled "An act to authorize the appointment of commissioners to take the proof and acknowledgment of deeds and other instruments and to administer oaths in other states and territories,” and the acts amendatory thereof, as authorizes the appointment by the governor of this state of commissioners to take the proof and acknowledgment of deeds and other instruments and to administer oaths in the Dominion of Canada.

Governor to appoint commissioners; powers; certificate of commissioner, effect of. SECTION 1. The governor is hereby authorized to appoint and commission one or more, and not exceeding five commissioners in each city in any foreign state or country, where, in his discretion such appointment may be necessary, who shall continue in office for four years, and who shall have authority to take the acknowledgment or proof of the execution of any deed or written instrument, to be recorded or read in evidence in this state, (except bills of exchange, promissory notes, and last wills and testaments), and also to administer an oath or affirmation to any person or persons who may desire to take the same and to certify to the taking of such oath or affirmation; and also to certify the existence of any patent, record or other document remaining of record in any public office or official custody in such foreign state or country, and the correctness of a copy of any such patent, record or other document. The certificate of any one of such commissioners under his official seal and subscribed by him, in regard to the acknowledgment or proof of the executions of any such deed or written instrument, or the taking of such oath or affirmation, or the existence of such patent, record or document, or the correctness of any copy thereof when authenticated by the secretary of state as hereinafter mentioned, shall authorize the recording or reading in evidence of such deed or written instrument, oath or affidavit, copy of patent, record or document.

Certificate of secretary of state. S 2. Before any such deed or other instrument, oath or affidavit, patent, record or document, shall be entitled to be used, recorded or read in evidence, in addition to the preceding requisites, there shall be subjoined or affixed to the certificate signed and sealed by such commissioner, as aforesaid, a certificate, under the hand and official seal of the secretary of state, of this state, certifying that such commissioner was duly authorized to take such proof or acknowledgment, or to administer such oath or affirmation, or to certify the existence and correctness of a copy of such patent, record or document, at the time his certificate thereto bears date, and that the secretary is acquainted with the handwriting of such commissioner, or has compared the signature to such certificate with the signature of such commissioner deposited in his office, and has also compared the impression of the seal affixed to such certificate with the impression of the seal of such commissioner deposited in his office, and that he believes the signature and the impression of the seal of the said certificate to be genuine.

Oath of commissioner ; seal. S 3. Every commissioner appointed by virtue of this act, before performing any duty or exercising any power in virtue of his appointment, shall take and subscribe an oath or affirmation before a person authorized to administer such oath or affirmation in such foreign state or country by the laws of this state, or before a judge or clerk of one of the courts of record of the foreign state or country in which such commissioner shall reside, well and faithfully to execute and perform all the duties of such commissioner under and by virtue of the laws of the state of New York; and shall also cause to be prepared an official seal, on which shall be designated his name and the words “commissioner of deeds for the state of New York,” with the name of the city and foreign state or country for which he shall be appointed, and shall cause a distinct impression of such seal, taken upon wax or some other substance capable of receiving and retaining a clear impression, together with his signature, in his own proper writing, and the oath or affirmation above in this section mentioned, duly certified by the person before whom it may have been taken, to be filed in the office of the secretary of this state.

Vacancies. $ 4. As often as the term of office of any commissioner appointed by virtue of this act shall expire, or the office shall become vacant by the death, resignation, or removal from the city for which he was appointed of such commissioner, the governor shall have power to fill the office by new appointment, and the person so appointed shall, upon complying with the provisions of the third section of this act, hold his office by the tenure, and shall possess the powers specified in the first section of this act.

Pay for certificate of secretary of state. S 5. The secretary of state shall be entitled to demand and receive the sum of twenty-five cents for every certificate by him given in pursuance of the third section of this act.

Secretary of state to forward instructions. $ 6. It shall be the duty of the secretary of state to forward instructions and forms, in accordance with the laws of this state, together with a copy of this act, to each person who shall be appointed a commissioner under and by virtue of this act.

Fees of commissioners. 87. The fees of such commissioners for services under this act shall be as follows: In Great Britain and Ireland, for administering each oath and certifying the same, one shilling sterling; in France, one franc and twenty-five centimes. In Great Britain and Ireland for taking each acknowledgment or proof of any deed or other written instrument to be recorded or read in evidence, and for certifying the existence or correctness of a copy of any patent, record, or other document, four shillings sterling; in France five francs, and in all other foreign states or countries, the same compensation as is allowed the commissioners in France.

Certified copies of foreign records. 8 8. A copy of any patent, record, or other document, remaining of record in any public office of any foreign state or country, when certified according to the form in use in such foreign state or country, and also certified according to the first and second sections of this act, may be read in evidence in any of the courts of this state.

Presumption as to certificate. S 9. The certificate of any one of said commissioners, annexed to a paper purporting to be certified as in the last section provided, shall be presumptive evidence that it has been certified according to the form in use in such foreign state or country.

Existing commissioners. 10. All the official acts of the commissioners heretofore appointed by the governor under chapter three hundred and eight of the laws of eighteen hundred and fifty-eight, entitled "An act to authorize the appointment of commissioners to take the

proof and acknowledgment of deeds and other instruments, and to administer oaths in Great Britain and France," and the acts amendatory thereof, are hereby legalized, ratified and confirmed, notwithstanding any excess in the number of commissioners appointed in said countries under said acts beyond the number authorized by law; and the said commissioners so appointed, and now in office, shall continue to hold their respective offices during a term of four years from the date of their commissions, and no longer; but nothing herein contained shall be deemed or taken to affect the rights of any party to any suit or proceeding commenced prior to the passage of this act. [Section 11 repeals L. 1858, ch. 308, and its amendatory acts, and so much of L. 1850, ch. 270,

as related to the Dominion of Canada, and continues :) and, hereafter, all appointments of such commissioners in foreign states and countries shall be made under and pursuant to this act; but nothing herein contained shall affect the rights of commissioners heretofore appointed pursuant to said chapter three hundred and eight, laws of eighteen hundred and fifty-eight, and the acts amendatory thereof, or under said chapter two hundred and seventy, laws of eighteen hundred and fifty, and the acts amendatory thereof; and such commissioners so appointed shall remain in office and continue to exercise the powers and perform the duties conferred upon them under said acts during the term of four years, from the date of their respective appointments, and no longer.

L. 1876, Chap. 58-An act further to amend chapter two hundred and seventy of the laws of eighteen hundred and fifty, entitled “An act to authorize the appointment of commissioners to take the proof and acknowledgment of deeds and other instruments, and to administer oaths in other states and territories.

[Sections 1-3 amend L. 1850, ch. 270.]

Fees. & 4. The fees of such commissioners shall in no case exceed four times the amount allowed by the laws of the state or territory in which such commissioner resides, for like services within such state or territory by an officer thereof, provided, however, that in no case shall such fees for taking the proof or acknow!edgment of a deed or other instrument or the administering of an oath or affirmation, exceed the sum of one dollar.

L. 1879, Chap. 249-An act in relation to the acknowledgment by mar

ried women of deeds and other written instruments. Acknowledgment may be made by married women same as if sole. SECTION 1. The acknowledgment by married women or the proof of the execution by married women of deeds or other written instruments may be made, taken and certified in the same manner as if they were sole; and all acts and parts of acts which require from them any other or different acknowledgments, proofs or certificates thereof are hereby repealed. [Thus amended by L. 1880, ch. 300.]

L. 1880, Chap. 530-An act to provide for the bringing of actions for

relief in certain cases where agreements, contracts and instruments in writing have been recorded.

Action to have certain contracts declared void and expunged of record. SECTION 1. When any agreement, contract or instrument in writing, relating to real estate, other than those required by law to be recorded, shall have been recorded, or shall be hereafter recorded in the office of the clerk or register of any county in this state, any owner of such real estate, or of an undivided part thereof, or of any interest therein, who claims that agreement, contract or instrument in writing is invalid or void, or that the same cannot be enforced as against him, either in whole or in part, may bring and maintain, in any court of competent jurisdiction, an action for the purpose of having such agreement, contract or instrument in writing declared void, or invalid, or for the purpose of being relieved therefrom and to have the same cancelled or discharged of record, as to said real estate or his undivided part thereof or interest therein, either wholly or as to such portion of such agreement, contract or instrument in writing as may be void or invalid, or which cannot be enforced as against him.

L. 1883, Chap. 233-An act to provide for an additional number of com

missioners to take the acknowledgment or proof of deeds and other written instruments in other states and territories and in foreign states and countries.

Additional commissioners to be appointed. SECTION 1. The governor is hereby authorized to appoint five commissioners to take the acknowledgment or proof of deeds and other written instruments in each city in any foreign state or country, and each city or county in the several states and territories, and in the District of Columbia, of the United States, in addition to the number now authorized by law to be appointed.

L. 1887, Chap. 718 - An act to provide for the recording and indexing

of conveyances and instruments relating to land in the city of New York, according to limited areas.

After Dec. 31, 1887, conveyances to be recorded and indexed under this act. SECTION 1. Every conveyance of real estate situate in the city and county of New York, duly executed and acknowledged after the thirty-first day of December, eighteen hundred and eighty-seven, shall be recorded and indexed in the office of the register of deeds in and for said city and county, pursuant to the provisions of this act, and every such conveyance not so recorded shall be void as against any subsequent purchaser in good faith and for a valuable consideration of the same real estate, or any portion thereof, whose conveyance shall be first duly recorded.

Map showing blocks to be made, certified, etc.; how numbered; known as land register map. $ 2. There shall be prepared, under the direction of the mayor and register of said city a map of the whole city on which shall be shown all blocks of land whose exterior boundaries are fixed and established by lawful streets, avenues, boulevards or roadways, or water fronts where blocks extend to water boundaries. The word “block," as used in this act, designates a plot or parcel of land, such as is commonly so designated in the city of New York, wholly embraced within the continuous lines of streets, or streets and water front taken together, where water forms one of the boundaries of a block. The blocks on said map shall be numbered consecutively, beginning with number one at some block in the lower part of the city near the battery, and proceeding north ward in the numbering with such regular order as may be found convenient, so that each block shall bear a separate number. A duplicate of such map shall also be prepared under the direction of said register and when such map is completed, the same and the duplicate thereof shall be certified by the mayor, under his hand and the seal of said city of New York, and shall be designated and known as the land register map of the city and county of New York. One of said maps shall be deposited and kept in the office of the register of the city and county of New York, and the other shall be deposited and kept in the office of the clerk of said city and county; and such maps shall thereupon be, and the same are hereby declared to be, public records.

Blocks not to be changed; additional blocks, and maps thereof. 8 3. No change shall be hereafter made in the area or numbers of any of the blocks as laid down on said map; but the mayor and register of the said city for the time being may hereafter, from time to time, as public convenience may require, cause other maps of a like form and character to be made, certified and filed as provided in section two of this act, of lands not embraced in the map provided for in that section, whenever, in his judgment, a sufficient additional area of land shall have been legally laid out into blocks by the public authorities. But the blocks on such subsequent map shall be numbered consecutively from the highest number upon the last preceding map. All such new maps shall be deemed public records.

Duplicate record books to be made for each block; how marked, numbered, etc. § 4. The said mayor and register shall cause to be furnished for the register of said county duplicate sets of books of suitable size and character. One of such sets of books shall be devoted to the recording of conveyances, the other to the recording of mortgages and other liens in each block. Each volume shall be marked and numbered in a conspicuous manner on the back thereof, showing the purpose to which it is devoted, and giving also a block number corresponding with a block number on the map aforesaid. Each book shall also be marked on the first page on the inside in like manner, and shall also contain a diagram of the block, as shown on said map, corresponding with the same block number. And thereafter each book shall be used only for recording conveyances or mortgages or other liens within the area of the block the number of which corresponds with the number of that book. Each book shall be provided with a nominal index, substantially as such indexes are now kept, and the same shall be bound up with and form a part of the book to which such index relates.

How conveyances to be executed for recording ; effect of failure to so execute; nominal index. S 5. In order to entitle any instrument, duly executed and acknowledged after December thirty-first, eighteen hundred and eighty-seven, affecting real estate or chattels real in the city and county of New York to be recorded (except as in the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth sections of this act provided), there shall be plainly written in the body of the instrument the block number or block numbers, as the case may be, where the land is situated; and if the said instrument shall be otherwise executed as now required by law for the recording of instruments, the register shall record the same in the book or books of conveyances or mortgages, or other liens, as the case may be, corresponding with the block number or numbers stated in the instruments offered for record.

When so recorded the same shall be deemed to be a recorded instrument for all purposes, as now provided by law for recording of conveyances in the register's office in the city and county of New York, as to all lands affected by such instrument

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