CO House Bill 1391 | NNA
Law

CO House Bill 1391

Notary Law Update: CO House Bill 1391

State: Colorado

Summary:

House Bill 1391 defines practices that constitute a deceptive trade practice in an immigration matter.

Signed:  June 10, 2016

Effective:  June 10, 2016

Chapter: TBD

Affects:

Adds Section 6-1-727 to and amends Section 12-55-110.3 of the Colorado Revised Statutes.

Changes:
  1. Provides that if a person, other than a licensed attorney or person authorized under federal law to represent others in immigration matters, engages in legal advice or legal services in an immigration matter, as specified, the person engages in a deceptive trade practice.
  2. Lists the following legal services which constitute a deceptive trade practice in an immigration matter: (a) advising or assisting another person in a determination of the person's legal or illegal status for the purpose of an immigration matter; (b) for the purpose of applying for a benefit, visa, or program related to an immigration matter, selecting for another person, assisting another person in selecting, or advising another person in selecting a benefit, visa, or program; (c) selecting for another person, assisting another person in selecting, or advising another person in selecting his or her answers on a government agency form or document related to an immigration matter; (d) preparing documents for, or otherwise representing the interests of, another person in a judicial or administrative proceeding in an immigration matter; (e) explaining, advising, or otherwise interpreting the meaning or intent of a question on a government agency form in an immigration matter; (f) demanding or accepting advance payment for the future performance of services in an immigration matter, especially with regard to services to be performed if a pending or future act of Congress or executive order that concerns immigration reform is made effective; or (g) selecting, drafting, or completing a legal document affecting the legal rights of another person in an immigration matter.
  3. Provides that an individual who is not authorized to perform legal immigration services commits a deceptive trade practice if he or she represents, in any language, either orally or written, that (a) he or she is a notario publico, immigration assistant, immigration consultant, immigration specialist, or other title that conveys or implies that he or she possesses legal skill or expertise in immigration law, or (b) he or she can or is willing to provide services in an immigration matter, if such services would constitute the practice of law.
  4. Lists the following permitted non-legal services an individual who is not an attorney may provide in an immigration matter: (a) offering or provide language translation or typing services, regardless of whether compensation is sought; (b) securing or offering to secure existing documents, such as birth and marriage certificates, for a person seeking services; or (c) offering other immigration-related services that: (i) are not prohibited under the new law, CRS Section 12-55-110.3, or any other provision of law; and (ii) do not constitute the practice of law.
  5. Requires a Notary Public who advertises in a language other than English to add the following words to the prescribed notice currently in statute both in English and the language of the advertisement: "I am not an immigration consultant, nor am I an expert on immigration matters. If you suspect fraud, you may contact the Colorado Attorney General's office or the Colorado Supreme Court."
  6. Prohibits a Notary from engaging in conduct that constitutes a deceptive trade practice pursuant to CRS 6-1-726.
Analysis:

The following statement of intent explaining the purpose of House Bill 1391 is found in the text of House Bill 1391: "The General Assembly hereby finds and determines that the practice by some nonattorneys of providing legal advice or services in immigration matters negatively impacts the people who use their services and the public interest in preventing fraud and providing adequate opportunities to pursue immigration relief. While the Colorado Supreme Court regulates the practice of law in the state, the General Assembly hereby finds and declares that it is in the public interest to prohibit nonattorneys from engaging in deceptive trade practices in immigration services in addition to the Colorado Supreme Court's prohibition against the unauthorized practice of law."

Read the bill text.

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