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Volume 2 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 89

Opinions of Counsel index

Subdivision maps (filing of) - Real Property Law, § 334:

This section does not require a subdivider to file copies of a subdivision map in the other offices named in the section (i.e., city, town, or village clerk, and county tax map department) before such map is filed with the county clerk. The filings required under the section may be accomplished in any order.

Our opinion has been requested concerning section 334 of the Real Property Law and the filing of subdivision maps by developers. As a means of policing the filing requirements of this section, it has been suggested that a county clerk not accept a map for filing until it is shown that a copy has been filed in the county tax map office. It is suggested that the language of section 334 does not appear to be clear on this point, and the question is whether section 334 requires a subdivider to file copies of a subdivision map in the other offices named in that section (i.e., city, town or village clerk, and county tax map department) before such map is filed with the county clerk.

Through the years, this law has been amended repeatedly, in some instances resulting in awkward language. The requirement of filing a subdivision map with a county tax map department was added in 1942 (L.1942, c.556) at the request of the Broome County board of supervisors. At that time Broome County was the only county with a county tax map department. Today, this provision becomes applicable to other counties which have established county tax map departments.

Our research discloses that apparently there has been no judicial interpretation of the matter. It is noted that other statutes contain specific language directing a county clerk not to accept an instrument for filing under certain circumstances (see, Real Property Law, § 333). Such language is not contained in section 334, and therefore it would appear that the filings required under section 334 may be accomplished in any order. However, this would not preclude a county clerk, when accepting a map for filing, from voluntarily advising a subdivider of his additional filing responsibilities under the law.

December 29, 1972

Updated: