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Interesting developments in notary case law and identity theft are gathered below for your consideration and empowerment. Any feedback or interest in further information is welcomed through emailing us at the contact below.

Here are several recent situations that clearly show how falsifying notarized documents and poor attention to the details of notarization are not in your best interest as it dissolves the credibility of the document; not to mention the potential legal ramifications for the client and/or the notary:

Regarding the Back-dating of notarization: Hoxha v. Lasalle National Bank, 847 N.E.2d 725 (2006) Two Illinois men claimed their neighbor, who was then deceased, agreed to sell them her house. Roger Hoxha and his son James claimed that their neighbor, Doris Robbert, had agreed to sell them property in Chicago for $400,000. The Hoxhas had a notarized document, dated November 2000 allegedly signed by Robbert, directing her property to be sold to the Hoxhas after her death. James Hoxha testified that Robbert, who died in June 2002, did not acknowledge her signature on the document until 2001, and that the Notary backdated the document at Robbert’s request.The woman was no longer around to verify the men’s claims. The notary refused to testify pleading the Fifth Amendment. The state of appeals stopped the sale, partly because the notary backdated the notarized document. (Excerpted from an article written by David Thun, National Notary Association)

Georgia Courty OKs Former Notary Public’s Act: Thomas v. Gastroenterology Assoc., 632 S.E. 2d 118 (2006) A doctor’s affidavit was ruled valid by the Supreme Court of Georgia, which concluded the document was notarized in good faith even though the Notary’s commission had expired. The notary’s commission expired three months prior to the notarization of the doctor’s affidavit. (Excerpted from an article written by David Thun, National Notary Association).

*This individual was very lucky. As a client, you have every right to ask the notary when their commission expires. The notary should be alert to their commission dates, however as an informed consumer, you have the right to double-check. For local documents, notary commission expirations are not significant unless they are expired at the time you are notarizing the document. The individual above was lucky. Why take the chance that your document will be challenged because of the commission expiration date of the notary? If you are working with international documents, be sure you have some wiggle room of time on the notary’s commission expiration date. Remember you will need time to obtain an Apostille. If you are doing the Apostille process yourself, you must factor in mailing time to government offices, government processing, return mail of the document, and shipping time to the final international destination. Please call us, if you would like expedited Apostille service. If you are working on an adoption dossier, use a notary that has a year left on their commission to ensure that some of your documents do not expire while you are still working on the rest of the dossier. Your adoption agency can assist you best with advice on timelines for various international adoptions.

California notaries are commissioned for 4 years afterwhich they must renew their commission for another 4 years. This piece of consumer knowledge will save you time, money, disappointment, and possibly legal ramifications.

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