CA Administrative Rule (Disciplinary Guidelines) | NNA
Rule

CA Administrative Rule (Disciplinary Guidelines)

Notary Law Update: CA Administrative Rule (Disciplinary Guidelines)

State: California

Summary:

The California Secretary of State revises its Notary Public Disciplinary Guidelines, last revised in 2001.

Signed:  October 17, 2012

Effective:  November 16, 2012

Chapter: N/A

Affects:

Amends Section 20804 of Title 2, Division 7 of the Code of California Regulations and incorporates the Guidelines into Section 20804 by reference.

Changes:
  1. Provides that a felony conviction may allow an appointment if 10 years have elapsed from the end of parole or probation and the Secretary of State finds the applicant possesses the requisite honesty, credibility, truthfulness and integrity to fulfill the responsibilities of the position. (Note: Previously, the bar was permanent.)
  2. Provides that a conviction for a misdemeanor or lesser offense may allow an appointment if 5 years have elapsed from the end of parole or probation and the Secretary of State finds the applicant possesses the requisite honesty, credibility, truthfulness and integrity to fulfill the responsibilities of the position. (Note: Previously, the bar was 10 years.)
  3. Removes the explicit statement that a second disciplinary action will permanently bar appointment.
  4. Removes the distinction between willful and negligent actions has been removed due to a 2008 legislative change.
  5. Adds new Sections 8214.1(q) and (r)  as grounds for revocation, suspension, or denial since they became law in 2008.
  6. Adds a new section dealing with the Secretary of State’s process for handling cases that have gone to an administrative hearing.
  7. Rewrites the section dealing with petitions for reinstatement or reduction of penalty to make the process clear for the Secretary of State and the petitioners.
  8. Makes many other numerous changes.
Analysis:

Under California law, the Secretary of State commissions, regulates, investigates and disciplines Notaries Public. The purpose of the Notary Public Disciplinary Guidelines is to facilitate due process and maintain consistency in reviewing applications, investigating alleged violations of laws by Notaries and instituting administrative disciplinary actions. The Guidelines are used by administrative law judges, attorneys, Notaries, applicants for a Notary commission and others involved in the disciplinary process.The new Guidelines, which become a part of the Notary Public regulations in the Code of California Regulations, were revised due to the following reasons: (1) To reflect the changes in law made by AB 1210, effective January 1, 2004, AB 434 and AB 886, effective January 1, 2008, AB 2452, effective January 1, 2009, and AB 75, effective January 1, 2012; (2) to clarify the Secretary of State’s process for handling cases that have gone to an administrative hearing and petitions for reinstatement or reduction of penalty; and (3) to incorporate the Secretary of State’s experience in the last decade in dealing with offenses and misconduct by applicants for appointment as a Notary and commissioned Notaries. The benefits of the new Guidelines include: (1) Incorporating the legislative changes to make them consistent with state law; (2) incorporating policy decisions about the duration of time between release from parole or probation; (3) making changes to clarify the Guidelines; and (4) making the Guidelines more easily readable and understandable.

Read the text of the Disciplinary Guidelines.

Read the notice of filing of the final rule adopting the Disciplinary Guidelines.

Read the notice of proposed rulemaking.

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