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AZ House Bill 2645

Law

State: Arizona
Signed: April 29, 2022

Effective: August 12, 2022
Chapter: 208

Summary

House Bill 2645 toughens the penalties and consequences for Notaries Public who fail to comply with the requirement to makes notifications of a lost journal or stamping device.

Affects

Amends Section 41-4233 of the Arizona Revised Statutes.

Changes
  1. Increases, from $25 to $1,000, the civil penalty for a Notary Public who fails to notify the Secretary of State of the loss, theft or compromise of an official journal or stamping device within 30 days and to notify law enforcement in the case of theft.
  2. Allows the failure of payment of the $1,000 penalty by a Notary Public in #1 to be referred to the Attorney General for collection.
  3. Requires a presumption to be given to the validity of the identity of any party who signed a notarized instrument in a judicial proceeding where: (a) the identity of a party to a notarized instrument is in question; (b) the official journal of the Notary Public is lost, stolen, compromised; and (c) the Notary Public complied with change of address notification requirements.
  4. States that no presumption of the validity of the identity of any party who signed a notarized instrument may be given in a judicial proceeding where: (a) the identity of a party to a notarized instrument is in question; and (b) the official journal of the Notary Public is lost, stolen, compromised or never existed, unless the Notary Public has complied with the outlined reporting requirements for the loss, theft or compromise of an official journal or stamping device.
  5. Requires the court, in an action in which the validity of a notarized document is at issue and it is determined that the Notary Public did not comply with outlined requirements, to provide notice of such finding to the Secretary of State and the appropriate county attorney.
Analysis

House Bill 2645 toughens the penalties and consequences for Notaries Public who fail to comply with the requirement to makes notifications of a lost journal or stamping device. The bill requires a Notary to notify the Secretary of State and law enforcement in the case of theft, of the loss, theft, or compromise of an official journal or stamping device. It makes a failure to report this information a $1,000 fine, which if not paid, may be referred to the Attorney General for collection. In addition, the new law establishes a rebuttable presumption of the identity of the person for whom a notarial act was performed in a court of law provided the Notary complied with the reporting requirements for a lost journal or stamping device but withdraws this presumption if a Notary does not. Finally, the bill requires the court to notify the Secretary of State and the county attorney if in an action in which the validity of a notarized document is at issue and the Notary failed to comply with the reporting requirements for a lost journal or stamp.

Read the text of House Bill 2645.

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