race-notice adj[race from the notion of two parties rushing to the courthouse in order to be the first to record a claim or interest on the same property]
: of, relating to, or being a recording act which stipulates that an unrecorded deed, mortgage, or lien shall not be valid against a recorded one unless the recording party (as a subsequent purchaser from the same seller) had notice of the interest or claim of the other party when recording compare notice , pure race NOTE: If one party purchases a property and records the deed, a subsequent purchaser is normally held to know about it — to have “constructive notice” of it — as a matter of law since it is a matter of public record. Under a race-notice statute, however, a subsequent purchaser cannot have constructive notice of an unrecorded deed, and so the recorded deed has priority unless the purchaser actually knew about — had “actual notice” of — the unrecorded deed.
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.