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I am a notary and private investigator in Arizona. I do not…

Customer Question
Hi, I am a...

Hi, I am a notary and private investigator in Arizona. I do not do much notarizing so I was not familiar with the laws on this and I thought it was acceptable to allow for a subscribing witness to notarize some affidavits, I allowed one of the investigators who works for me to complete the notary and stamped the document and added a certificate of execution by a subscribing witness. I have now discovered that this is not permitted in Arizona. I am being called in to discuss these affidavits. What am I facing and do I need an atty? Thank you.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Arizona

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

The affidavits were used in a post conviction case and the defendant was granted a new trial. The new atty and investigator discovered the problem and I am being called in to discuss it.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I don't think so. thx

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
11/20/2017
Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 8 months ago
Ray
Ray, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 48,242
Experience: 30 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
Verified

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question and respond.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
ok
Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

All you can do here is admit there was error made by employee.The employee is the one in trouble here if they signed this in two places.They could make notary complaint and take his notary seal and sue against his bond.

A notary commission may be suspended, revoked or denied for failure to discharge

fully and faithfully any of the duties or responsibilities required of a notary public.

Examples are listed throughout the manual and include but are not limited to:

Failure to keep, maintain and protect a notary journal in accordance with A.R.S. §

41-313(E)(1).

Failure to obtain a notary seal in accordance with A.R.S. § 41-313(E)(2).

Failure to notify the secretary of a change of surname within 30 days of the name

change. A.R.S. § 41-

327.

Failure to notify the secretary of an address change within 30 days of the change.

A.R.S. § 41-

323.

EXAMPLES OF MISCONDUCT UNDER A.R.S. § 41

-

330

Substantial and material misstatement or omission in the application for a notary

public commission that is submitted to the secretary of state.

Conviction of a felony unless the notary public’s civil rights have been restored, or

of a lesser offense involving moral turpitude or of a nature that is incompatible

with the duties of a notary public. A conviction after a plea of no contest is

deemed to be a conviction for purposes of this paragraph.

Revocation, suspension, restriction or denial of a professional license if that action

was for misconduct, dishonesty or any cause that substantially relates to the duties

or responsibilities of a notary public.

Failure to discharge fully and faithfully any of the duties or responsibilities re-

quired of a notary public.

The use of false or misleading advertising in which the notary public has repre-

sented that the notary public has duties, rights or privileges that the notary public

does not possess by law.

Charging more than the fees authorized by statute. A notary public who charges

fees higher than allowed by rule (see the rules in the back of this manual) is liable

to the party aggrieved in an amount four times the fee unlawfully demanded and

received [excessive fees A.R.S. §§ 38-413 and 41-316(C)]. In doing so the notary

public is also guilty of a class 5 felony.

The commission of any act involving dishonesty, fraud or deceit with the intent to

substantially benefit the notary public or another person or to substantially injure

another person.

Failure to complete the acknowledgment or jurat at the time the notary’s signature

and seal are affixed to the document.

Failure to administer the oath or affirmation required at the time of performing a

jurat for an individual.

Execution of any notarial certificate by the notary public containing a statement

known by the notary public to be false.

Notarization of a document that contains no notarial certificate.

The return for insufficient funds or any other reason for nonpayment of a check

issued for an application or bond filing fees to the secretary of state.

Failure to notify the Secretary of State’s office within 30 days of a name change

A.R.S. § 41-327

Notary Public Complaints

An investigation of misconduct

Steps:

1. The Secretary receives a written complaint indicating a violation of notary law or

ethics.

See article left, When a Notary Complaint is Filed.*

2. The complaint is forwarded to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office (“AGO”).

3. The AGO investigates the complaint. (While pending, the complaint is confidential.)

4. The AGO provides the Secretary with its investigation results.

5. The Secretary’s office contacts the notary public by written notice of the decision.

They can revoke notarial license and fine.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Wouldn't I be the one in trouble since I allowed him to notarize the document and I stamped it. He had them sign the notary journal.
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Could I be criminally liable?
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I could not find anywhere that a subscribing witness is not permitted in conducting a notary act. Can you advise?
Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

I cannot see that this is necessarily a violation, I think the lawyer might be looking for something to help their appeal here.I don't think that anything criminal will come out of this.It is probably bad procedure not a crime.

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Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

They could try and terminate notary license thats about it.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Ok,thanks...that was helpful.
Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

You are so welcome thanks for rating 5 stars.

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