Record/Indexing copy

The Record Room is the repository for copies of all legal documents which have been recorded within the County since its creation in 1637. The public has access rights to these documents and are permitted to make searches. The records are available for public inspection between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. By law, staff cannot conduct a title search, although upon request, the staff will familiarize the public with the indexing method and demonstrate how to use the books and computers.


Cancellation of Mortgage
A method whereby a mortgagee acknowledges that a mortgage commitment has been paid in full and the County Clerk is authorized to cancel of record. Cancellation endorsement is submitted on the original recorded document.

Federal Tax Lien
A notice of debt attached to property for UNPAID federal taxes – most often the IRS.


Preparation to Record
Since December 1988, the recording and indexing of all documents has been computerized which has simplified the indexing process and significantly reduced the turnaround time for recording, copying, and returning documents to senders. Electronic images have been available since May 2001. When a document is received, key information is entered into the computer. It is then assigned a reference number, a book and page number, and automatically indexed by proper name. Documents are then microfilmed and copied. The copies are placed in reference books while the originals are sent back to the appropriate parties.

Map Room
Maps of Essex County’s 22 municipalities are filed here along with minor and major subdivisions of property within the County. Paper copies may be obtained for a fee.



A document which transfers title to property from one to another. Deeds, easements, and orders from the Court are recorded and returned.

Equity Loan

A loan contract made against the equity in owner’s property; in effect, this is a second mortgage on a home.

Federal Lien

An encumbrance on property placed by the government for some debt or obligation. Federal liens, releases and discharges are recorded and filed.

Honorable Discharge

A formal final judgment and declaration by the government that an individual has left military service in a status of honor.

Institutional Lien

An encumbrance filed by an institution as security for a debt or obligation incurred by a client.


Original and translucent maps of minor and major subdivisions within municipalities of the County are filed.


A written contract by which one person binds the whole or part of their property in favor of another. Mortgages, tax sales, modification agreements, postponement of mortgages, redemption of tax sales, discharge of mortgage and assignments are recorded and returned; mortgage cancellations are cancelled and returned.

Notice of Settlement

A document recorded prior to closing of title to notify prospective purchasers of an impending sale and/or a mortgage commitment. A notice expires 45 days after filing.