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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  16 yrs. of trial experience
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Help. My neighbor caught me off guard and asked me to sign

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Help. My neighbor caught me off guard and asked me to sign a waiver allowing them to build an addition on to an existing structure whose overhang will be right on my property line. I was running late, it was raining, and I signed it in haste. I totally regret doing so. I am in the process of writing a letter to both my neighbors and the city council retracting my signature on the grounds that the letter I signed was not notarized and that I had also changed my mind. Is the letter I signed legally binding if it was not notarized?
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

What you describe will not require a notary. So that is not grounds to void the signature.

A notary is useful to prove identity...for example, if you have a contract and it is witnessed by a notary, that can help prove (if the case went to court) that the person who purports to have signed it was actually the one who signed it. A notary is required for some transactions (for example, a deed transfer will require a notary). But waiver of rights does not require the signature of a notary.

You may be better off focusing on lack of consent lack of understanding...if you can show you did not understand what you were signing, that may be enough to void the release/waiver

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