Connecticut Title Insurance Company Files Lawsuit Against South Burlington City Clerk’s Office
On Friday, November 13, the Connecticut Attorneys Title Insurance Company (CATIC) filed a complaint in the Chittenden County, Civil Division, of the Vermont Superior Court against eight Vermont municipalities and their elected or appointed City or Town Clerks. The complaint alleges that due to COVID-19 restrictions put in place by the various municipal clerk’s offices, these municipal clerks are not fulfilling their statutory mandate to allow title researchers to inspect land records during “customary business hours.” They allege restrictive practices such as: reduced hours of operation; reduced hours to conduct searches; reduced access to physical portions of the clerk’s office including the vault where records and indexes are stored, has had an adverse effect on their ability to perform research in a timely fashion.
This complaint comes on the heels of the latest spike in COVID-19 cases and the Governor’s executive order requiring municipal governments to reinstitute, to the maximum extent possible, work from home procedures and the discouragement of in-person meetings whenever possible. As a result, effective Monday, November 16, South Burlington City Hall again closed its doors to the public. However, consistent with its practice over the spring and summer, the South Burlington City Clerk’s office has remained open to title researchers by appointment from 9-12 and 1-4 daily. The Clerk’s office staff has also made remote research options available by submitting inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.