County sets e-filing foundation
- By Brian Robinson
- Dec 18, 2001
California's Riverside County put itself at the front of the pack when it
recently began electronically recording and filing tax liens.
It's the precursor to a likely push to similarly enable a range of document
types in the county, as well as the lead example for a possible expansion
of electronic recording throughout the state.
"We've always wanted to do electronic documentation, but first we had
to lay the foundation," said Vince Haley, the county's information technology
manager. "We have a relatively new system that was installed in July of
1999 that took us straight from microfiche and film to online indexing of
records. And now [that] we have a good handle on how that works, we thought
it would be a good time to go to electronic recording itself."
However, under California law, not many documents can yet be recorded
electronically. "The floodgates are expected to open soon," Haley said,
because of legislation moving through the California State Assembly, but
so far tax liens are among the few types of documents that can be handled
The electronic filing of liens has proven to be a good example of what
is possible. After the system went live, 6,923 paperless liens were filed
from Oct. 11 to Oct. 30. The county's property system usually generates
a much smaller numbers of liens monthly, although there are heavy filing
periods during October and May.
In the past, cases of paper documents were sent from the treasurer's
office to the recorder's office, with a lot of duplication of effort and
data entry. The new system, which uses Ingeo Systems Inc.'s ePrepare electronic
recording system, required an average of 44 seconds to record and process
The county is interested in seeing if it can extend the system to work
with other county and state organizations. Because liens are filed among
these organizations all of the time, having the ability to electronically
record and file liens outside of Riverside County would be particularly
valuable, Haley said.
Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be
reached at email@example.com.
Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.