Lost Deeds


In the case of Gardiner v Gardiner (1976) Vol 110 I.L.T.R. 21 Mr Justice Butler, the Land Judge, referred to the decision of Madden J. in In re Gallagher Vol 45 I.L.T.R. 269 and of Kingsmill Moore J. in Nally v Nally & Ors (1953) I.R. 19, and other cases, and stated that it was clear that it is the practice to receive in evidence and to act upon a copy of an original document which is shown to have been lost.

In order to avoid the necessity of bringing merely formal applications before the Court, he directed that the Registrar of Titles [now the Property Registration Authority] should effect registration in any case where evidence on affidavit is produced which exhibits and identifies a copy of the lost deed and which clearly shows:

  • that the original deed was duly executed
  • that the parties to the deed subsequently acted on it according to its tenor
  • that it has been lost or destroyed.

Unless it is also clearly shown that stamp duty was duly paid on the original deed, stamp duty must be paid on the copy tendered as if it were an original. Settling Officers may now act on foot of such copies as if same were original deeds.

In all cases where the copy deed does not conform to the requirements specified by Butler J, the matter is to be referred to the Divisional Manager.

Property Registration Authority

1st December 2009

Updated 19 May 2015