CA Assembly Bill 35 | NNA
Law

CA Assembly Bill 35

Notary Law Update: CA Assembly Bill 35

State: California

Summary:

AB 35 prohibits Notaries from practices amounting to “price gouging” for providing services to any person filing an application under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Signed:  October 05, 2013

Effective:  January 01, 2014

Chapter: 571

Affects:

Adds Section 22449 to the Business and Professions Code

Changes:
  1. Provides that immigration consultants, attorneys, Notaries, and organizations accredited by the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals are the only individuals authorized to charge clients or prospective clients fees for providing consultations, legal advice, or Notary services, respectively, associated with filing an application under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
  2. Prohibits Notaries from “price gouging” clients or prospective clients in any matter associated with filing an application under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
  3. Defines “price gouging” as any practice that has the effect of pressuring the client or prospective client to purchase services immediately because purchasing them at a later time will result in the client or prospective client paying a higher price for the same services.
  4. Provides that in addition to the civil and criminal penalties for immigration consultants in Section 22445 of the Business and Professions Code, price gouging by a Notary is cause for the Secretary of State to deny, suspend or revoke the Notary’s commission and to impose any civil penalty pursuant to Government Code Section 8200 et seq.
Analysis:
The state of California is expecting many undocumented aliens currently residing in California to apply for relief under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. As described on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s website: “As the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) continues to focus its enforcement resources on the removal of individuals who pose a danger to national security or a risk to public safety, including individuals convicted of crimes with particular emphasis on violent criminals, felons, and repeat offenders, DHS will exercise prosecutorial discretion as appropriate to ensure that enforcement resources are not expended on low priority cases, such as individuals who came to the United States as children and meet other key guidelines. Individuals who demonstrate that they meet the guidelines below may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and may be eligible for employment authorization.” The Migration Policy Institute has estimated that 1.76 million people can benefit from this new policy. The main relief for these beneficiaries is the two-year deportation reprieve they receive. AB 35 prohibits and penalizes violations by certain individuals, including Notaries, for price gouging applicants filing applications under the program. In addition to the penalties provided in Section 22445 of the Business and Professions Code (penalties for violations as an immigration consultant), a Notary who price gouges may have his or her commission denied, suspended or revoked by the Secretary and receive a civil penalty.
 

Knowledge Center