Policy on Legal Advice
The County Clerk and Recorder’s Office and the County Assessor’s Office continually receive requests, both in person and by
telephone/fax, from citizens for information and assistance and the range of inquiries is very broad. A goal of each office
is to provide as much public information to the citizens as can be authorized, including information to the procedural aspects
of the offices, however, staff cannot provide legal advice to citizens. Only persons licensed to practice law may give legal
A common area of inquiry involves properly changing the names on the ownership records for real property. By statute, a county
assessor determines the ownership of real property from the records of the county clerk and recorder. In practice, a copy
of every deed or other written instrument which affects or modifies the ownership of real property, is sent from the Clerk
and Recorder’s Office after it has been recorded, to the Assessor’s Office. After review by the staff, appropriate changes
are made to the real property ownership records maintained by the Assessor’s Office.
There are a variety of deeds and other instruments that can affect or cause a change in ownership of real property. These
include, but are not limited to:
- Warranty Deed Special Warranty Deed Quit Claim Deed
- Bargain and Sale Deed Court Order Installment Land Contract
- Personal Representative's Deed
Most of these instruments are available as "form" documents; however, a standard "form" document does not have to be used.
The specific type of instrument which may be needed will vary based on the current status of the ownership of the real property
and the intended status of the ownership of the real property following the transaction/event. Advising a citizen that a deed
or other written instrument is necessary to change the record of ownership is not giving legal advice. Advising a person on
the type of instrument which should be used, or advising a person how to complete a "form" document, may constitute the practice
of law and providing such advice could lead to personal liability of the employee.
Instead, the staff employee should advise the customer to discuss the subject with her/his attorney, or refer the customer
to the public library where she/he can review the Colorado Revised Statutes. Also, your staff could advise the customer of the Legal Aid Society (303-837-1321) and the Metropolitan Lawyer Referral
Service (303-831-8000) as potential source to provide legal assistance or a referral to an attorney.