NV Assembly Bill 74 | NNA

NV Assembly Bill 74

Notary Law Update: NV Assembly Bill 74

State: Nevada

Summary:

AB 74 puts in place a statutory framework for the registration and oversight of persons, including Notaries Public, who provide document preparation services. These services are used by individuals who for cultural, financial and other reasons cannot or choose not to hire an attorney to help them with their legal needs. The new law is meant to legitimize the proper offering of such services and also provide protections for persons who are harmed by document preparation service professionals.

Signed:  June 12, 2013

Effective:  March 01, 2014

Chapter: 535

Affects:

Amends Section 240.018 and adds as yet uncodified sections to the Nevada Revised Statutes

Changes:
  1. Defines “document preparation service” as any person who, for compensation and at the direction of a client, provides advice or assistance to the client in a legal matter, including, without limitation, preparing or completing a pleading or other document for the client, translating an answer to a question posed in such a document; securing any supporting document, such as a birth certificate, required in connection with the legal matter; or submitting a completed document on behalf of the client to a court or administrative agency.
  2. Lists persons who do not fall under the definition of engaging in document preparation services (e.g., an attorney, etc.).
  3. Defines “legal matter” to mean the preparation of any will or trust; any proceeding, filing or action affecting the immigration or citizenship status of a person and arising under immigration and naturalization law, an executive order or presidential proclamation, or an action of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services of the Department of Homeland Security, the United States Department of State or the United States Department of Labor; or any proceeding, filing or action otherwise affecting the legal rights, duties, obligations or liabilities of a person.
  4. Provides that any person engaged in the business of providing document preparation services must register with the Secretary of State and provides requirements for registration.
  5. Requires a person registering to perform document preparation services to file a cash or surety bond in the amount of $50,000 with the Secretary of State and provides requirements for the surety bond.
  6. Sets certain procedures for advertising and establishing the relationship with a client for whom one performs document preparation services.
  7. Prohibits a person offering document preparation services from using in any advertisement or written description of the registrant or the services provided by the registrant, or on any letterhead or business card of the registrant, the term “legal aid,” “legal services,” “law office,” “notary public,” “notary,” “licensed,” “attorney,” “lawyer” or any similar term, in English or in any other language, which implies that the registrant: (a) offers services without charge if the registrant does not do so; or (b) is an attorney authorized to practice law in this State.
  8. Provides a list of prohibited acts for document preparation service professionals.
  9. Authorizes the Secretary of State to publish regulations governing document preparation services.
  10. Gives the Secretary investigative authority to investigate violations of the statutes governing document preparation services and provide the Secretary with means for redressing the violations.
  11. Classifies certain violations of the statutes governing document preparation services as crimes and establishes punishment for those crimes.
Analysis:
AB 74 was introduced when the bill sponsor began to notice that a bulk of the calls coming into her office from constituents were complaints either about service received from attorneys or from legal document preparers. The document preparers were oftentimes Notaries or “Notarios Publico,” multi-servicios, and paralegals. These services advertise in all kinds of different ways and for all kinds of different services including divorces, immigration, bankruptcy, and others. They are registered agents who are creating limited-liability companies (LLCs) and doing business transactions. When transactions involving document preparation services went badly, the bill sponsor had nowhere to send constituents. She referred a case involving a gentleman to the Attorney General who used such services and paid over $60,000 to an organization that did absolutely nothing for him. However, it should be noted that businesses and individuals offering document preparation assistance services also fulfill a legitimate need, as many cannot afford to pay an attorney for legal services. AB 74 puts in place a statutory framework for the registration and oversight of such document preparation services. The states of California and Arizona have similar provisions.
 

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