Safeguarding Privacy through Summary Real Estate Disposition Judgments (SREDJ)
Statutory change regarding Summary Real Estate Disposition Judgment
Recently there was a small but consequential change to Minnesota’s divorce laws as they relate to the real estate which the spouses owned during the marriage and which is dispossessed as part of the divorce. As of May 20, 2023, Section 518.191 subdivisions 1 and 3 were amended as follows¹:
The import of this change is that a Summary Real Estate Disposition Judgment (SREDJ), Minnesota Uniform Conveyancing Blanks Form 80.1.2² , must be prepared and submitted to the court. Once signed by the court the SREDJ, or a certified copy of the SREDJ, must be recorded in place of the original Divorce Judgment in the office of any county recorder or registrar of titles in which any parcel of real estate described within the SREDJ is located, with the same effect as the recording of the full Divorce Judgment would have had.
Knight Barry Title worked with our friends with the Minnesota Land Title Association (MLTA), on this change because we’ve seen an uptick in the recording of full copies of Divorce Judgments in the local county land records, resulting in private information being in the public domain. Let’s take a step back and consider what’s included in a Divorce Judgment. Divorced Parties’ names – YES. Children’s names – YES. Addresses – YES. Date of Birth – YES. Employer – YES. Income – YES. If and when the Divorce Judgment is recorded in the county land records then all of this Non-Public Personal Information (NPI) and Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is available in a permanent and immutable fashion, available to be seen by anyone who walks into the land records office. Simply stated, recording a full copy of the Divorce Judgment with the county recorder or registrar of titles puts NPI and PII within the public records, thus putting confidential information at risk.
Preparing and recording the SREDJ with the county recorder/registrar of titles keeps confidential information confidential and provides public notice that the real estate has transferred pursuant to the divorce. A win-win.
For more information or to discuss the content of this article please contact:
Minnesota State Manager with the Knight Barry Title Group
General Counsel with the Knight Barry Title Group