CA Assembly Bill 2747 | NNA
Law

CA Assembly Bill 2747

Notary Law Update: CA Assembly Bill 2747

State: California

Summary:

Assembly Bill 2747 makes a willful failure by a Notary Public to discharge fully and faithfully any of the duties or responsibilities of a Notary punishable by a civil penalty of up to $1,500.

Signed:  September 30, 2014

Effective:  January 01, 2015

Chapter: 913

Affects:

Amends Section 8214.15 of the Government Code

Changes:
  1. Adds a willful failure by a Notary Public to discharge fully and faithfully any of the duties or responsibilities of a Notary punishable by a civil penalty of up to $1,500 to California Government Code Section 8214.15.
Analysis:

Government Code Section 8214.1 authorizes the Secretary of State to refuse to appoint any person as Notary or to revoke or suspend the commission of any Notary upon specified grounds. Subsection (d), a very broad provision, allows the Secretary to refuse to commission any person as a Notary, or suspend or revoke the commission of a Notary for “failure to discharge fully and faithfully any of the duties or responsibilities required of a notary public.” Government Code Section 8214.15 also makes certain violations contained in Section 8214.1 punishable by a civil penalty not to exceed $750 or $1,500, the higher penalty being reserved for the more serious offenses. Section 8214.15(b) contains a civil penalty of $750 for a Notary who negligently fails to perform any duty required of a Notary Public. Back in 2008, when substantive revisions to the California Notary statutes to address real property fraud took effect, the $1,500 civil penalty for a willful failure of duty by a Notary was inexplicably removed from Government Code Section 8214.15. Mistakes like this happen when drafting major legislation, but they are usually discovered and corrected by introducing legislation in the next session to fix the issue. In the intervening years, the Secretary’s office was hampered in its enforcement efforts by not having this particular provision in its arsenal. It could punish a Notary for negligently failing to faithfully perform any duty required of a Notary by assessing the $750 penalty, but for egregious cases of fraud and intentional misconduct, it lacked the authority to impose the higher penalty for a willful failure of duty. Thus, AB 2747 corrects the error brought about under the 2007 legislation some seven years later.

Read the bill text.

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