446.190. 1. In all of the counties of this state in which, at any time heretofore, the official records and records affecting the title to real estate therein, shall have been, by fire, war or other catastrophe, lost, destroyed, or injured so as to have become illegible, and whenever, hereafter, such records of any county, or the city of St. Louis, shall have been so lost, destroyed, or injured, it shall be the duty of the circuit judges of the circuit court of such county, in conjunction with the commissioners of the county commission of such county, or if in the city of St. Louis the duty of the circuit judges thereof, to examine into the state of such records; and in the event that they find any abstracts, copies, minutes, or extracts therefrom, existing after such loss, destruction or injury, and that said abstracts, copies, minutes or extracts were fairly made, before such loss, destruction, or injury by any person, persons or corporation, in the ordinary and usual course of business, and that said abstracts, copies, minutes or extracts contain a material and substantial part of said records so lost, destroyed or injured as aforesaid, the said judges shall certify the facts in regard to the loss, destruction or injury of such records, and in regard to such abstracts, copies, minutes or extracts therefrom, as such facts may be found by them; and if they are of the opinion that such abstracts, minutes, copies and extracts tend to show a connected chain of title to the lands in such county or city, they shall file such certificate, finding or opinion with the clerk of the circuit court thereof, which certificate shall be signed by said judges and have impressed thereon the seal of the county commission of such county, or if in the city of St. Louis, the seal of the circuit court thereof; and thereupon, said abstracts, minutes, copies and extracts, or authenticated copies thereof, shall be admissible as prima facie evidence in all courts and places in this state, and in all courts held within this state, and in all inquiries, wherein the facts shown by such abstracts, minutes, copies, or extracts may be pertinent.
2. And it shall be the duty of the owner, owners, keeper or custodian of such abstracts, minutes, copies or extracts, to furnish to all persons or corporations so requesting, upon being paid or tendered the charges and fees herein provided for, certified copies of the same, or any part thereof. Said certificate to be made by such owner, owners, keeper, or custodian, shall state that the paper or instrument to which it is appended or attached contains a true and correct copy of the entries set out in said abstracts, minutes, copies, or extracts, designating the same by the name of the compiler or maker thereof, when possible, to which the said filed certificate of the said circuit judge, or judges, and county commissioners relate; said certificates shall be signed by the maker thereof and sworn to by him before some officer who is authorized by the laws of this state to take and certify acknowledgments to instruments for the conveyance of real estate.
3. And it shall be the duty of the owner, owners, keeper, or custodian of such abstracts, minutes, copies or extracts, upon being paid or tendered the fees and charges herein provided for, to produce the same in court, and the courts of this state, and the courts held within this state may compel the production of the same in court, by subpoena duces tecum, as in other cases.
4. In all cases in which any abstracts, minutes, copies and extracts, or copies thereof, which are made admissible in evidence under the provisions of sections 446.190 to 446.220, shall be required to be used in evidence, all deeds, conveyances, or other instruments appearing thereby to have been executed by any person or corporation, or in which they appear to have joined, shall be presumed to have been duly witnessed, executed and acknowledged, unless the contrary appear therein; and all sales under powers of attorney, judgments, decrees or other legal proceedings, shall be presumed to be regular and correct, unless the contrary appear, and any person or corporation alleging any defect or irregularity in any such conveyance, sale, judgment or decree, or other legal proceeding, shall be held bound to prove the same; provided, that nothing contained in this section shall be construed to impair the effect of said injured, lost or destroyed records as notice.
(RSMo 1939 § 1949, A.L. 1978 H.B. 1634)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 1785; 1919 § 5472; 1909 § 6415
Missouri General Assembly