2014 Oklahoma Statutes
Title 19. Counties and County Officers
§19-267. Sham legal process.

19 OK Stat § 19-267 (2014) What's This?

A. The county clerk may refuse to file any instrument presented for filing if the clerk believes that the instrument constitutes sham legal process, as defined by Section 1533 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

B. 1. Any person aggrieved by the refusal of a county clerk to file an instrument may petition the district court for a writ of mandamus to compel the county clerk to record the instrument.

2. At the time of refusal, the person aggrieved shall file a notice of refusal with the county clerk for the purpose of preserving priority of filing in the event the person prevails in any action so commenced, if the person wishes to preserve priority of filing. The refusal notice shall be submitted on a form provided by the county clerk, but must be filled out by the aggrieved party. A copy of the instrument that the clerk refused to file must be attached to the notice of refusal. The county clerk shall stamp the date of refusal on the notice of refusal.

3. The refusal notice shall be in the following form:

STATE OF OKLAHOMA

__________ COUNTY

NOTICE OF REFUSAL

The Office of County Clerk of __________ County, Oklahoma, has on __________ (date) refused to file a document designated ___________ (title of document or brief description of document). The document constitutes a claim or lien on the following property: ______________ _______________________________________________ (Description of property. In case of real property, description must be the legal description for the property.) A copy of the refused document must be attached to this notice of refusal or the clerk cannot accept it for filing.

Signed:_____________Signed: ________________________

County Clerk Aggrieved party or attorney

for aggrieved party

_______County, Oklahoma

Address:__________________

__________________________

4. The action for mandamus must be filed with the district court within twenty (20) days after the notice of refusal is filed with the county clerk. If the writ of mandamus is granted, the court clerk shall refund the fee for filing the action. Notice of the pendency of a mandamus action filed pursuant to this section shall be filed in accordance with Section 2004.2 of Title 12 of the Oklahoma Statutes. A file-stamped copy of the notice of the pendency of the action, identifying the case and the court in which the action is pending and the legal description of the land affected by the action shall be filed with the county clerk. If the court determines that the instrument is not sham legal process or is not for the purpose of slandering title, the court shall order the county clerk to record the instrument. The court order shall include a notation of the book and page number of the index in which the notice of refusal is located and a statement that abstractors shall not show the pages on which the attachment to the notice of refusal is located in any abstract. For any instrument which the court orders to be filed pursuant to this subsection, the date of filing shall be retroactive to the date the notice of refusal was filed.

5. If the court determines that the instrument is sham legal process, the court shall issue an order that abstractors shall not show the pages of the index on which the attachment to the notice of refusal is located in any abstract.

C. If a county clerk files an instrument that is sham legal process or refuses to file an instrument because the clerk believes the instrument is sham legal process, the clerk shall be immune from liability for such action in any civil suit.

D. A clerk shall post a sign, in letters at least one (1) inch in height, that is clearly visible to the general public in or near the clerk's office stating that it is a felony to intentionally or knowingly file or attempt to file sham legal process with the clerk. Failure of the clerk to post such a sign shall not create a defense to any criminal or civil action based on sham legal process.

Added by Laws 1997, c. 405, § 3, emerg. eff. June 13, 1997.

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