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Legal Case

FL Supreme Court Administrative Order (2020)

Notary Law Update: FL Supreme Court Administrative Order (2020)

State: Florida

Summary:

A Florida Supreme Court administrative order allows all Notaries to administer oaths remotely by audio-video communication.

Signed:  March 18, 2020

Effective:  March 18, 2020

Chapter: N/A

Affects:

All Florida Notaries Public.

Changes:
  1. Authorizes Notaries and other persons qualified to administer an oath in the state of Florida to swear a witness remotely by audio-video communication technology from a location within the state of Florida provided they can positively identify the witness.
  2. Provides that if a witness is not located within the state of Florida, a witness may consent to be put on oath via audio-video communication technology by a person qualified to administer an oath in the state of Florida.
  3. Provides that all rules of procedure, court orders, and opinions applicable to remote testimony, depositions, and other legal testimony, including the attestation of family law forms, that can be read to limit or prohibit the use of audio-video communications equipment to administer oaths remotely or to witness the attestation of family law forms, are hereby suspended, and will remain suspended until the expiration of the provisions of paragraph five in In Re: COVID-19 Emergency Procedures in the Florida State Courts, Fla. Admin. Order No. AOSC20-13 (March 13, 2020), and any orders extending AOSC20-13.
Analysis:

Effective January 1, 2020, all Florida Notaries who register as an online Notary are authorized to perform remote online notarial acts. The Florida Supreme Court's administrative order allows any Notary -- who is or is not registered as an online Notary -- to administer oaths remotely to a witness in a court proceeding, deposition, testimony, etc. The only requirements are that the Notary must be located in the state of Florida when administering the oath and able to verify the identity of the witness. If the witness is located outside of Florida, they must consent to have a Florida Notary administer the oath. If this is the case, the Florida Notary must obtain the necessary consent, if it has not been received from the witness. It is important to emphasize this order is not permanent, but temporary.

Read the administrative order.

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