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Law

UT House Bill 408

Notary Law Update: UT House Bill 408

State: Utah

Summary:

House Bill 408 makes employers of Notaries liable for the misconduct of their Notary-employees.

Signed:  March 26, 2019

Effective:  May 13, 2019

Chapter: TBD

Affects:

Amends Section 46-1-18 of the Utah Code Annotated.

Changes:
  1. Provides that an employer of a Notary is also liable for damages proximately caused by the Notary's misconduct if the Notary was acting within the course and scope of the Notary's employment and the employer had knowledge of, consented to, or permitted the misconduct. 
Analysis:

Over the past few years several states have clarified in their Notary statutes that employers of Notaries can be held liable for the misconduct of their employee-Notaries under certain circumstances. House Bill 408 enacts such a provision in Utah. For an employer to be liable, the Notary must be acting within the course and scope of the Notary's employment. This means that any notarizations performed by the Notary "off the clock" or outside of work would not trigger liability for the employer. In addition, to be liable the employer must have had knowledge of, consented to or permitted the misconduct. The burden would be on the plaintiff in an action to prove the culpability of the employer. In addition, the employer is liable only if the misconduct resulted in damages "proximately" caused by the Notary's misconduct. The liability of the employer does not eliminate the Notary's liability for the misconduct; instead, it provides an additional party after whom a damaged plaintiff may pursue a civil action.

Read the bill text.

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