Official records are stored in indexes in a database. The Database covers all official records from January 3, 1978 to the present. We have images online from August 12, 1981 (Book 1012) and will have all records from January 3, 1978 imaged in the near future. Official Records filed prior to January 3, 1978 are indexed and stored on microfilm at the clerk's office and will be made available online in the near future.
Official Records are stored with an Index which shows the type of document filed (called "Instrument Type" or “Document Type”), the people or companies who are the parties involved in the document, the legal description of the property involved and the date the instrument was recorded. When you perform a search on this system, you will first be shown the Index, then you can get the Data Sheet and image of the document for viewing.
The Clerk of Circuit Court is designated by Florida Statutes to be the official records keeper for the county. Official records are documents relating to land records, persons or legal actions which are maintained by the clerk in what are called official records books and pages, set forth in the order in which they were received. Florida statutes, section 28.222 states that the Clerk shall file the following documents:
a) Deeds, leases, bills of sale, agreements, mortgages, notices or claims of lien, notices of levy, tax warrants, tax executions, and other instruments relating to the ownership, transfer, or encumbrance of or claims against real or personal property or any interest in it; extensions, assignments, releases, cancellations, or satisfactions of mortgages and liens; and powers of attorney relating to any of the instruments.
(b) Notices of lis pendens, including notices of an action pending in a United States court having jurisdiction in this state.
(c) Judgments, including certified copies of judgments, entered by any court of this state or by a United States court having jurisdiction in this state and assignments, releases, and satisfactions of the judgments.
(d) That portion of a certificate of discharge, separation, or service which indicates the character of discharge, separation, or service of any citizen of this state with respect to the military, air, or naval forces of the United States. Each certificate shall be recorded without cost to the veteran, but the clerk shall receive from the board of county commissioners or other governing body of the county the service charge prescribed by law for the recording.
(e) Notices of liens for taxes payable to the United States and other liens in favor of the United States, and certificates discharging, partially discharging, or releasing the liens, in accordance with the laws of the United States.
(f) Certified copies of petitions, with schedules omitted, commencing proceedings under the Bankruptcy Act of the United States, decrees of adjudication in the proceedings, and orders approving the bonds of trustees appointed in the proceedings.
(g) Certified copies of death certificates authorized for issuance by the Department of Health which exclude the information that is confidential under s. 382.008, and certified copies of death certificates issued by another state whether or not they exclude the information described as confidential in s. 382.008.
(h) Any other instruments required or authorized by law to be recorded.
The original documents are microfilmed and scanned then returned to the party who submitted it for filing. To have a means of retrieving the thousands of documents that are recorded each week in Manatee County, an Index of the documents was created. The Index stores the date the document was recorded, the names of the parties, legal description of the property, Book and Page where the document is recorded and information on taxes and fees paid when the document was recorded. The Index is set up to allow various searches to review the history of title to a piece of property, the history of documents and legal cases involving a person or company.