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July 29, 2019

Defend Your Notary Section

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 2:24 am

It seems so routine. You check/correct the Venue, check the identification, watch them sign, administer the oath, stamp and emboss; and lastly add your signature. They swore or acknowledged to what they signed – but SO DID YOU. Did you read what you are being asked to sign?

You are the boss
Don’t let anyone tell you what they want or need in the notary section, especially if it varies from your jurisdictions’ standard. I’ve seen absurd directives admonishing me to not make any changes to any preprinted text. Well, that applies to the body of the document; “they” have no authority over the notary section. Only you do. Sure, you want to please your employer; but it’s more important to “please” the Judge; so you are not questioned in court about what you did.

OPP – Other Peoples Problems
She took title in her maiden name. We understand that she now only has ID with her married name; but we still need you to notarize her former name – directly in the notary section. They have it a bit backwards. I can accept an original marriage document to prove her new name; but not the reverse. That marriage document shows a legal change of name; the former name is no longer her legal name.

Sworn to before me by Mickey Mouse rightful heir to the Dizzy estate. The attorney who wrote that would love to have my “office” as a “public official” add to the claim of Mr. Mouse. Time to redact that absurd addition. More common is the addition of a title or office. Sworn to before me by Minnie Mouse CEO of Mouse Enterprises. As told to me by the NY County Clerk “you notarize just the name as on the ID”. But there is a minor exception. When Minnie signs over the wording with her title and the little word “as” is added: “by Minnie Mouse as CEO…..” that’s OK.

Who did you Notarize
Often the Jurat does not include a name. Just “Sworn to before me on….”. Their signature is usually illegible, so I ask them to neatly print their name under their signature. In a related issue, often with corporate documents; is the issue of proper “ownership authority”. If their name does not appear in the document by what right are they asking me to notarize their affidavit of photocopy? In such cases I ask them to print under their signature their “authority to have” – such as Clark Kent, Managing Partner of Superman Inc.

Who Swears To
Answer: Both the affiant and the notary. As a sworn public official you are an officer of the court issuing an official document. One that can be used as evidence in a court of law. Every word in the notary section signed by you is, in effect, your sworn statement. Even the worst lawyer in the world will admonish you to not sign a document without reading it first. But do you actually read each notary section prior to signing – I do; and so should you. Judge to Notary: You stated that the defendant was the “authorized representative” of the Plaintiff – how did you determine that?

You might also like:

Following directions is more important than you think
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19608

Oaths, how Notaries screw them up
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19369

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