Chapter 2729: LOST AND DESTROYED RECORDS

2729.01 Restoration of probate court records.

When the records, dockets, journals, and files, or any part thereof, of any probate court have been lost or destroyed by fire, riot, or civil commotion, the probate court of its own motion, or upon the application of any party interested therein, may order the restoration of the record of every lost or destroyed will, and probate thereof, from the original or a certified copy of such will and probate, and the restoration of all lost or destroyed administration dockets, guardian dockets, trustee dockets, journals of such court, records of bonds, and dockets of assignments and trustees under the insolvent laws of the state.

Upon the application of a party interested, and on notice to parties interested therein, the court may order the restoration of any other record of any proceeding or document required to be recorded or filed, except a will and probate thereof. For that purpose, if a complete copy of such record cannot be obtained, the substance and effect thereof, material to the preservation of the rights of the parties affected thereby, may be ordered substituted for the lost or destroyed record. The court may issue a citation to any party to appear before it, produce any document or paper in his possession, and give evidence relating to such lost record.

Cite as R.C. § 2729.01

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2729.02 Commissioner to take testimony - rules.

To enable the probate court to make restoration of lost or destroyed records as provided in section 2729.01 of the Revised Code, the probate judge may make such rules and regulations governing the proceedings for taking testimony and ascertaining the facts with reference to their restoration as he deems necessary.

If such records are lost by fire, riot, or civil commotion, such judge may appoint a commissioner to take testimony and report it with his findings thereon, in matters of their restoration. All such evidence shall be taken before such commissioner unless, upon the application of the parties, a reference is ordered to a special master commissioner, in which case the costs of reference shall be paid by the parties.

Cite as R.C. § 2729.02

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2729.03 Salary and term of commissioner.

A commissioner appointed as provided in section 2729.02 of the Revised Code shall be paid a salary of twenty-five hundred dollars per annum and hold office for one year from the day of appointment.

Cite as R.C. § 2729.03

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2729.04 Restoration costs.

The costs of restoring the records of the probate court shall be paid out of the county treasury upon the order of the probate judge.

Cite as R.C. § 2729.04

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2729.05 Deed is prima-facie evidence of record of sale by order of court.

When real estate has been sold by a sheriff, executor, administrator, guardian, assignee, receiver, trustee, master commissioner, special master, or other person appointed or authorized by the court, and the record of the action in which such sale was made, or the papers or accounts filed by an executor, or his successor, of a will authorizing a sale of real estate, is lost or destroyed by fire, riot, or civil commotion, the deed for such property made by such sheriff, executor, administrator, guardian, assignee, receiver, trustee, master commissioner, special master, or other person appointed or authorized by the court is prima-facie evidence of the legality and regularity of such sale, and of the correctness of the proceedings in the action or proceeding by which the property was sold.

Cite as R.C. § 2729.05

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2729.06 County auditor's deed.

The deeds made by the county auditor of lands sold at delinquent or forfeited tax sales are not prima-facie evidence of title in the purchaser of such lands, nor is there any presumption in favor of such tax deeds or sales when the records of the sale and the proceedings upon which it was based have been lost or destroyed by fire, riot, or civil commotion.

Cite as R.C. § 2729.06

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2729.07 Restoration of will or title to real estate.

When the record of a deed or other instrument conveying title to real estate, authorized or required to be recorded, or a will and the probate thereof, is lost or destroyed by fire, riot, or civil commotion, and the original of such deed or other instrument, or will and the probate thereof, or a certified copy thereof, cannot be found, any person claiming title to such real estate or any interest under such will may bring an action in the court of common pleas of the county in which the loss occurred to establish the fact of the existence, contents, and record of such deed or other instrument, or will and probate thereof, prior to such loss or destruction, and the decree in the case shall be entered in the office where the original record existed.

Any person having or claiming an interest in such real estate or being in possession thereof, as well as the parties to such lost deed or other instrument or their privies, and all persons interested under such will, may be made parties defendant in such suit. Service of summons shall be made in the same manner as in other suits concerning real estate.

Cite as R.C. § 2729.07

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2729.08 Costs of proceedings.

The costs of the proceedings mentioned in section 2729.07 of the Revised Code shall be the same as are provided by law for like services in civil cases, and shall be paid out of the county treasury on the order of the court.

Cite as R.C. § 2729.08

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2729.09 Restoration of road records.

When an application is filed in the court of common pleas by the board of county commissioners, showing that the records of specified roads of the county were lost or destroyed by fire, riot, or civil commotion and that copies thereof or of some of them are in existence, and praying that the verity of such copies as are produced be ascertained and declared by the court, said court shall require notice to be given by publication for six weeks upon such days, not less than once a week, and in such newspapers as it directs, of the filing and prayer of such application, that it will stand for hearing upon some day fixed by the court, and requiring all persons interested to appear on such day and show cause why the application should not be granted. The court shall cause a copy of such publication to be served at each occupied house on premises abutting on such roads, upon any person dwelling therein, and on the owner of each lot or tract of land abutting on the roads, or his agent, if he is found in the county, at least one week before the day fixed for such hearing.

Cite as R.C. § 2729.09

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2729.10 Proceedings for restoration of road records.

Upon the day fixed therefor, and upon such days thereafter as the court of common pleas directs by entry on its journal, the court shall proceed to hear and determine whether the papers produced before it pursuant to an application by a board of county commissioners under section 2729.09 of the Revised Code, or any of them, are accurate or substantial copies of the lost or destroyed records, fairly and honestly made. In considering the accuracy of such copies, the court shall hear any evidence which in its judgment clarifies the matter without regard to the ordinary rules of evidence. As often as the court finds any of such papers to be accurate or substantial copies of such records, the court shall enter such finding upon its journal and direct transcripts of such copies to be made by such persons as it selects. As often as any of such transcripts are completed to the satisfaction of the court, an entry of that fact must be made upon its journal. Thereupon the clerk of the court of common pleas shall certify on such transcript that it has been approved by the court, and deliver it to the board. Transcripts so certified prima facie have the same effect as the original from which the copies were made.

Cite as R.C. § 2729.10

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2729.11 Costs of transcripts.

The costs of making the transcripts mentioned in section 2729.10 of the Revised Code shall be fixed and allowed by the court of common pleas. Other costs under sections 2729.11 to 2729.13 , inclusive, of the Revised Code shall be the same as fixed by law for similar services, and all costs for restoring lost road records shall be paid by the county, except as provided in section 2729.12 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 2729.11

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2729.12 Proceedings when copies in existence.

If at any time after the filing of an application as provided in section 2729.09 of the Revised Code, and before the final determination thereof, it appears to the court of common pleas that any person has in his possession or under his control papers purporting to be copies of a lost road record, or the originals from which they were made, and such person refuses to produce them to the court, the court shall issue a rule requiring such person to show cause why he does not produce such papers and enforce it by proceedings for contempt as in other cases. If the production of such papers is ordered by the court, the party ordered to produce them shall pay all the costs under this section.

Cite as R.C. § 2729.12

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2729.13 County roads.

As to every county road the records of which have been lost or destroyed, and which records are not reproduced under section 2729.09 to 2729.12 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, the center of the road as fenced on April 12, 1884, is prima facie the true center, and the width of such road is prima facie sixty feet.

Cite as R.C. § 2729.13

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2729.14 Replacement of lost records.

When the record, or any part thereof, of the proceedings, judgment, or decree in an action or other proceeding of a court in this state, in which a final judgment has been rendered, is lost or destroyed by fire, riot, or civil commotion, upon the application of a party interested therein, such court may grant an order authorizing such record or part thereof to be supplied or replaced:

(A) By a certified copy of such original record, or part thereof, when it can be obtained;

(B) By a certified copy of the record in the supreme court of such original record of any action or proceeding removed to that court which remains recorded therein;

(C) By the original pleadings, entries, papers, and files in such action or proceeding, when they can be obtained;

(D) By an agreement in writing signed by all the parties to such action or proceeding, or by their representatives or attorneys, that a substituted copy of such original record is substantially correct.

Cite as R.C. § 2729.14

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2729.15 Restoring lost or destroyed records of judgments.

When the record or any part thereof of the proceedings, judgment, or decree in an action or other proceeding of a court in this state in which the final judgment has been rendered, is lost or destroyed by fire, riot, or civil commotion, and such loss cannot be supplied or replaced as provided in section 2729.14 of the Revised Code, any person interested therein may make a written application to the court to which such record belongs, setting forth its substance, which shall be verified in the manner provided for the verification of pleadings in a civil action. Thereupon summons shall issue and actual service or service by publication shall be made upon all persons interested in or affected by such original judgment or final entry, in the manner provided by law for the commencement of civil actions, except that parties may waive the issuing or service of summons and enter their appearance to such application.

Cite as R.C. § 2729.15

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2729.16 Hearing of application.

On the hearing of a written application mentioned in section 2729.15 of the Revised Code, without further pleadings, if the court finds that the record of the proceedings, judgment, or decree was lost or destroyed and that it can by the evidence produced find the substance or effect thereof material to the preservation of the rights of the parties thereto, it shall make an order allowing a record. Such record shall recite the substance and effect of the lost or destroyed record, or part thereof, shall be recorded in the court, and shall have the same effect as the original record, so far as concerns the rights of the parties making the application, persons served with summons, persons entering their appearance, or persons claiming under them by a title acquired subsequently to the filing of the application.

Cite as R.C. § 2729.16

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2729.17 Evidence on hearing.

Upon the hearing of a written application as provided in section 2729.16 of the Revised Code, the court may admit in evidence any complete or partial abstract of the record mentioned in section 2729.15 of the Revised Code, docket entries, or indexes, and other written evidence of the contents or effect of such records, and published reports concerning the actions or proceeding mentioned in section 2729.15 of the Revised Code, when the court is of opinion that such abstracts, writings, and publications were fairly and honestly made before the loss of such records occurred.

Cite as R.C. § 2729.17

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2729.18 Limitation of time.

When a lost or destroyed judgment or order is one to which either party has a right to appeal on questions of law, the time intervening between the filing of the application mentioned in section 2729.15 of the Revised Code and the final order of the court on the application shall be excluded in computing the time within which such appeal may be taken.

Cite as R.C. § 2729.18

Effective Date: 03-17-1987

2729.19 Costs of restoring lost records.

The costs to be taxed upon an application to restore lost or destroyed records mentioned in section 2729.14 of the Revised Code shall be the same as provided for like services in civil actions. Where the record is lost or destroyed by fire, riot, civil commotion, or other cause, the cost of replacing and restoring it, as provided in sections 2729.14 to 2729.16 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, shall be paid out of the county treasury on the order of the court.

Cite as R.C. § 2729.19

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2729.20 Order for restoration.

When the original papers and records mentioned in section 2729.14 of the Revised Code have been saved from destruction, riot, civil commotion, or other cause and the appearance dockets have been destroyed, and when such saved records should be recopied, the court of common pleas may order its clerk to restore such original papers upon the appearance docket, and may order the recopying of the records, the replacing of the appearance docket, indexes thereto, and such matters as it deems necessary. The costs thereof shall be the same as are provided for like service in civil actions, and shall be paid out of the county treasury, on the order of the court.

Cite as R.C. § 2729.20

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

2729.21 Remedies cumulative.

Remedies and rules of evidence provided by sections 2729.07 to 2729.20 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, are cumulative to those otherwise provided by law.

Cite as R.C. § 2729.21

Effective Date: 10-01-1953