Q. I received a notice from Local Records Office stating I could send them $89 for a complete property profile and copy of the only document that identifies me as a property owner. What is this?

A. To my knowledge, these “notices” sent by “Local Records Office” have been going around for a few years now. There is no affiliation between “Local Records Office” and the Clerk of the Court who is responsible for keeping the official records. The notice tells recipients that they can receive a copy of their property deed and a “complete property profile” by sending $89 to an address in Tallahassee. These notices include a coupon that people can detach and mail back with their checks, noting the $89 “service fee.” This may not be against the law, but I believe it is certainly misleading because there is no need to pay such a high price to get a public record.

Nobody needs to pay $89 to receive a copy of their deed. Deeds and other official records are now easily obtained online or at our courthouse from my office. Hard copies cost $1 per page and certified documents cost an additional $2. Uncertified copies can be downloaded and printed free in Franklin County by using the Public Records Search under Quick Links at www.franklinclerk.com.

If you have any questions or comments about this column, please forward them to Marcia Johnson, Clerk of the Court, 33 Market Street, Suite 203, Apalachicola, FL 32320, or by email to mmjohnson@franklin.clerk.com Visit the Clerk’s website at www.franklinclerk.com.