Legal English – Peter’s Pills – Lesson 76 – File a deed vs Record a deed

Legal English for Notaries - By Federnotizie

File a deed vs Record a deed



In Legal English, “file” and “record” deeds are terms often used in the context of public registers, but they have distinct meanings and implications. Do you know the difference?

To File:

  • When a document is “filed” (depositato), it means it has been officially submitted (presentato) to a relevant authority or office. Filing is the act of delivering legal documents to the appropriate entity, such as a court or government agency, where they are then entered into the system for processing (per essere elaborati);
  • Example: A Notary files deeds by submitting the necessary documents to, let’s say (diciamo; ad esempio), the Companies Register. Once filed, the document is with the competent authority, but may not yet have been processed to make it publicly available.

To Record:

  • Recording goes a step further. When a document is “recorded” (registrato), it is entered into a public register or database, making it accessible for public inspection. Recording typically involves (comporta in genere) indexing the document in a manner that allows it to be easily retrieved (recuperato) and referenced (consultato);
  • Example: A deed to a property is recorded at the Land Register. This recording provides public notice of the ownership and any encumbrances (eventuali gravami) on the property, making the information available to anyone researching the property’s history.

Key Differences:

  • Purpose: Filing is about submitting, whereas (mentre) recording is about public accessibility and notice;
  • Visibility: Filed documents are in the hands of the entity where they have been filed; recorded documents are part of public records and may be inspected.

Thank you very much, and see you next time for more Peter’s Pills to improve your legal English.

See more about Registering land or property with His Majesty’s Land Registry in the UK here: “Registering land or property with HM Land Registry“.

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