Last year, Nicolle Zuehlke was elected to the position of County Recorder, a position she was already serving in, having been appointed to fill a vacancy following the mid-term retirement of former County Recorder, Linda Neilsen. It’s a position Zuehlke said she is honored and privileged to serve in.
Zuehlke grew up and attended high school in Browerville, Minn. She attended St. Cloud Business College and attained both business management and accounting degrees. She moved to the Grand Rapids area in 1997 when she was hired at the Chamber of Commerce, and started working for Itasca County in 2000 in the Auditor/Treasurer’s Office. She then transferred to the Recorder’s Office in 2008 when she was hired as the Chief Deputy Recorder.
In October 2016, she took over as the Interim County Recorder and was then elected into her current position last November.
According to Zuehlke, the recorder’s office is responsible for two different functions: Real estate and vital records.
“The primary responsibility of the County Recorder is to accept and maintain a permanent public repository of real estate records,” she explained. “Types of documents in the repository include deeds, mortgages, contracts for deed, mortgage satisfactions, foreclosure records, probate documents, and easements.”
In Minnesota, Zuehlke continued, there are two systems of public real estate records, Abstract and Torrens.
“Abstract is a system of recording evidence of real estate title,” she explained. This includes the history of real estate transactions, indexed by legal description and name, that includes transfers of ownership and any rights (i.e.; mortgages, contracts, liens) that persons other than the owner might have in the land.
Torrens, on the other hand, is a system of registration of land titles by District Court order resulting in the creation of a certificate of title. All subsequent transactions affecting the property are noted upon the certificate. The certificate of title is conclusive as to the state of title.
Recordable documents are accepted, reviewed, receipted, indexed, scanned and returned by the recorder’s office, Zuehlke explained.
Besides being responsible for Real Estate Records, the office also handles Vital Records.
“The Vital Records Office is responsible for processing requests related to the issuance of Vital Records (birth, death and marriage certificates and marriage licenses), and recording of Notary Public Commissions and Credentials of Ordination,” she said.
Zuehlke said staff “have a commitment to process document requests and create archival, historical records in compliance with statutory laws and the highest possible degree of accuracy.”
“It is both a privilege and an honor to serve the citizens of Itasca County as the Recorder/Registrar,” said Zuehlke of her position. “I have worked most of my life working for the public and enjoy being able to help others. I am passionate about my work and believe in working hard each day and leading the office by example.”
Zuehlke said it is her goal to “work hard for the citizens of Itasca County to assure important and historical records and documents continue to be well preserved and current real estate records continue to be promptly and accurately recorded.”
“I have a great staff that works hard and goes the extra mile to help customers in whether it be a real estate issue as in finding an easement or helping with amending a birth certificate or a genealogy question,” Zuehlke said. “We take pride in helping others in a professional and courteous manner.”
To contact the County Recorder’s Office, call 218-327-2856.