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Executive Order

PA Governor's Executive Order (2020: Court Reporters)

Notary Law Update: PA Governor's Executive Order (2020: Court Reporters)

State: Pennsylvania

Summary:

Pennsylvania Governor Wolf signed an executive order temporarily granting court reporters who are Notaries reprieve from the physical presence notarization rule.

Signed:  March 21, 2020

Effective:  March 21, 2020

Chapter: N/A

Affects:

Court reporters only who are Notaries.

Changes:
  1. Suspends the requirement for physical presence for Notaries who are court reporters/stenographers participating in criminal, civil and administrative proceedings in the Commonwealth.
Analysis:

In Pennsylvania, court reporters are Notaries Public, who in turn are officers authorized to administer oaths or affirmations, among other notarial acts. Current Pennsylvania law requires notarial acts, even those performed electronically with respect to electronic records, to be done in the physical presence of the Notary. With the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declaring a judicial emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this potentially could paralyze the courts and judicial system. Depositions, arbitrations, hearings and many other proceedings are being cancelled right now, but could be held via phone conference, videoconference, or web deposition if a court reporter could participate remotely. Thus, the Governor's executive order allows for this to happen -- at least temporarily. It's important to emphasize that this order applies only to court reporters, not all Pennsylvania Notaries. This suspension is temporary and will only last for the duration of the declared COVID-19 disaster emergency. 

Read the executive order.

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