Thursday, July 10, 2014
Northampton County Civil Division Needs Help
In the Civil Division, there's something called a "daily" sheet. That's where you look for judgments that staff have yet to enter into the system. There's usually a lag of a few days. You need to look at the "daily" before recording a deed or mortgage because there might be a recent judgment against the owner that would become a lien the second you record.
Civil Division employees are very diligent about noting judgments the day they are filed. But they've been so overwhelmed, they don't have the opportunity to go through everything, especially court orders that include judgments.
So I could record a Deed from A to B, not knowing that a judgment was entered against A that very day because it does not appear on the "daily" sheet. I can't be held responsible for that error because there's no negligence. But the County can. Let's say it fails to note a $1,000,000 judgment against A, who then conveys to B. When B is sued for the judgment, he can argue that the County failed to index the judgment and has to pay.
Executive John Brown claims he wants to make offices more efficient without reducing services. He is making the Civil Division less efficient, through no fault of its own. He is reducing the services that office offers to the public. He is exposing the County to liability. He is also damaging morale in that office.
Instead of spending $76,500 for useless propaganda from a barely literate PR person, he needs to make more hires in the Civil Division. The daily stream of citizens going in there daily for passports will appreciate Brown and the County much more if the staff can actually wait on them.