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#700161 - 03/12/07 09:34 PM Refuse to notarize a document
Dave M_TCA Offline
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Dave M_TCA
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 683
Wherever my most benevolent em...
There is nothing I can find that says that a notary cannot refuse to notarize a document.

I don't see why not, but can a bank refuse to notarize documents for non-customers?
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David J Mulkerin, CRCM
All opinions expressed are mine and not those of my employer and are not to be taken as legal advice.

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#700187 - 03/12/07 10:13 PM Re: Refuse to notarize a document Dave M_TCA
Tom at HOME Offline
Diamond Poster
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,139
Of course. However, such refusal may cost you a customer in the future. But that is the Bank's choice.

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#703785 - 03/20/07 08:03 PM Re: Refuse to notarize a document Tom at HOME
Dave M_TCA Offline
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Dave M_TCA
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 683
Wherever my most benevolent em...
My thoughts exactly. Thanks Tom.
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David J Mulkerin, CRCM
All opinions expressed are mine and not those of my employer and are not to be taken as legal advice.

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#757901 - 06/21/07 04:10 PM Re: Refuse to notarize a document Dave M_TCA
stefrio Offline
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Joined: May 2006
Posts: 29
A notary public is a public office which means that you have been appointed by the state. You are the same as an elected offical and can't refuse a request by a member of the public because their hair is pink or that don't use a certain bank. It is discrimination and a notary can be sued personally for this.

I have been a notary in several states over the years and only one state (CA) allows the restriction of customers only with conditions. The documents that are notarized during business hours must be for the employer's business. The notary must enter into an agreement where the employer pays for the notary's commission and supplies in exchange for their services during business hours.

This also applies to charging customers vs. none customers.

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#758177 - 06/21/07 06:43 PM Re: Refuse to notarize a document stefrio
noctrl02 Offline
100 Club
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 147
Chicago, IL
From my reading of the Notary Act, there is nothing that prohibits a notary from refusing to notarize a document. I had no problem looking at a non customer and refusing to notarize a document for a few reasons:
1) Nowhere in the Notary Act does it state a notary must or is required notarize a document - instead it indicates that a Notary has the authority (3-105);
2) A notary has a duty to identify the individual requesting notarization and is liable if they fail to properly identify the person;
3) the notary can be held personally liable for improper notarizations (7-101) as can their employer (7-102); and
4) I am not comfortable in notarizing documents for persons that I have never met before nor do I feel it is appropriate for me to place that burden on my employer as they paid for the surety bond and it is as a their employee that I am notarizing documents.

If I am wrong, please cite specifics (case law, public acts, etc) to where my actions are prohibited.

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#759150 - 06/22/07 06:35 PM Re: Refuse to notarize a document noctrl02
stefrio Offline
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Joined: May 2006
Posts: 29
Please refer to the Notary Public Code of Professional Respsonsbility, Article A 1-a-4 Improper Refesual Due to Nonclient Status: Link here http://www.nationalnotary.org/UserImages/Notary_Code.pdf

It reads:
The Notary shall not refuse to perform a lawful and proper notarial act solely because the signer is not a client or customer of the Notary or the Notary's Employer.

Another source is the National Notary Assocation. This was cut and pasted from their website
Can a Notary refuse to serve people?
Only if the Notary is uncertain of a signer's identity, willingness, mental awareness, or has cause to suspect fraud. Notaries may not refuse service on the basis of race, religion, nationality, lifestyle, or because the person is not a client or customer.

As long as the request is a legal one and the person has proper identification, you are a public servant. Now if the id you are presented appears to be altered or the signer does not appear willing to provide you the infomration, you have grounds for refusal. I am sure your employer who become more upset with discrimination lawsuit than you performing your duty of witnessing a signature for a person who you identified as matching the id.

By the way, I was named in a lawsuit ( in error) by one of my clients whom I performed a notary for on a real estate transaction. Since they were a customer of my bank, I performed the notary. The bank since the document was not one of theirs were not named in the lawsuit and was not required to provide me a lawyer. Things to think about.

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#759331 - 06/22/07 07:53 PM Re: Refuse to notarize a document stefrio
Dave M_TCA Offline
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Dave M_TCA
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 683
Wherever my most benevolent em...
Thanks stefrio, I'm going to have to look into this.
_________________________
David J Mulkerin, CRCM
All opinions expressed are mine and not those of my employer and are not to be taken as legal advice.

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