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NM House Bill 180

Legislation

State: New Mexico
Signed: March 01, 2022

Effective: March 01, 2022
Chapter: 27

Summary
House Bill 180 repeals a statute effective just this past January that allows inspection of journal entries and recordings of notarial acts.

Affects

Repeals New Mexico Statutes Annotated Section 14-14A-29.

Changes
  1. No longer authorizes the public to request journal entry or audiovisual recordings related to a specified notarial act transaction pursuant to the Inspection of Public Records Act (NMSA Chapter 14, Article 2).
  2. Repeals the requirement that a request of a journal entry or audiovisual recording must name the notarial act transaction with particularity, naming the document subject to the notarial act in the request for which the journal entry or audiovisual recording is sought.
  3. Repeals the prior provision stating that no request for records relating to a notarial act that does not name the document subject to the notarial act shall be enforceable pursuant to the Inspection of Public Records Act.
Analysis

House Bill 180 repeals the right of any member of the public to submit a request for a journal entry or audiovisual recording of a notarial act under the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA). The main concern with the repealed provisions was subjecting a document signer’s personal information from potential privacy breaches.

Even though several states grant access to Notary journals by providing certain minimum information to prevent “fishing expeditions” through journals, it is unclear how available notarial records in New Mexico will be going forward. Notarial records routinely are presented as evidence in a legal dispute over a notarization, and often acquit a Notary of allegations of wrongdoing or demonstrate that a Notary acted with reasonable care. While notarial records may no longer be requested pursuant to the IPRA, nevertheless the NNA hopes that the public will be able to access notarial records that affect their transactions or actions as a relying party.

House Bill 180 was enacted as an emergency statute taking immediate effect.

Read the text of House Bill 180.

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