On appeal from a judgment of the Essex County Circuit Court.
For the appellant, Harry Phillipson.
For the respondent, Philip J. Schotland, Thomas M. Kane and Joseph A. Ward.
The opinion of the court was delivered by
DONGES, J. This appeal is from a judgment of nonsuit entered in the Essex County Circuit Court on order of Judge Joseph L. Smith. The plaintiff, who is a member of the bar and a Master in Chancery, has been employed by the City of Newark since 1933 as a "title searcher," working in connection with the foreclosure of tax sale certificates held by the city. Between October 30th, 1936, and December 15th, 1936, plaintiff claims to have taken, as Master in Chancery, acknowledgments of Anthony F. Minisi, Director of Revenue and Finance of said city, on tax sale certificates. On October 18th, 1939, approximately three years later, plaintiff first made demand upon the city for payment for taking these acknowledgments, and upon the demand being refused, the present suit was instituted.
Appellant claims that under the statute he is entitled to a fee of $1 for each acknowledgment. He relies upon the following statutory provisions:
R.S. 54:5-46, "The officer holding the sale shall deliver to the purchaser a certificate of sale under his hand and seal, acknowledged by him as a conveyance of land * * *."
R.S. 54:5-38, "All fees and expenses [of the selling officer] shall form part of the tax lien and be paid by the purchaser at the tax sale."
R.S. 46:14-6, "The officers of this State authorized to take acknowledgments or proofs in this State under authority of this section are the chancellor; a justice of the supreme court; a judge of the court of common pleas of any county; a master in chancery; an attorney-at-law; a notary public; a commissioner of deeds appointed for any county; a clerk of the court of common pleas of any county; a deputy county clerk; a surrogate or deputy surrogate of any county; and a register of deeds and mortgages of any county."
He claims that under Pamph. L. 1920, ch. 214, § 2, it is provided:
"That masters in chancery, notaries public, and commissioners of deeds shall receive for their services, for taking acknowledgments and affidavits, the following fees: For taking
proof of a deed, one dollar; For taking an acknowledgment of a deed, ...