VT House Bill 470 | NNA
Law

VT House Bill 470

Notary Law Update: VT House Bill 470

State: Vermont

Summary:

House Bill 470 is a major judicial restructuring bill. The bill transfers responsibility for appointing Notaries from the judges of the superior court to assistant judges. In Vermont, assistant judges, also called “side judges,” are elected in every county and some sit on Traffic, Probate and Superior Court cases to review findings of fact. The bill now clarifies that applications for resident Notary commissions are to be submitted with the county clerk instead of the clerk of the superior court and nonresident applications are to be submitted with the assistant judge of the county where the applicant’s place of employment is located. The commissioning fee has been raised from $20 to $30, with the state realizing the increase in the commissioning fee.

Notary provisions of the bill are effective June 1, 2010.

Signed:  June 04, 2010

Effective:  July 01, 2010

Chapter: Act No. 154

Affects:

Amends Title 12 Section 5852; Title 24 Sections 183, 441, 441a and 442; and Title 32 Section 1436 and 1551 of the Vermont Statutes Annotated

Changes:
  1. Raises the fee for appointment as a Notary from $20 to $30, with the fee being split equally between the state and the county where the application was made.
  2. Transfers responsibility for appointing Notaries Public from the judges of the superior court to assistant judges.      
  3. Clarifies that applicants for appointment as a Notary must file the application for appointment with the county clerk (not the clerk of the superior court, as formerly).
  4. Clarifies that nonresident applicants for a Notary commission must file the application for commission with the assistant judge of the county where the person’s place of employment is located (not with the judge of the superior court, as formerly).  
Analysis:

House Bill 470 is a major judicial restructuring bill brought about by severe budget cuts that have closed the courts 2½ days a month. Court restructuring has been talked about since the 1970s, but gained new impetus this year as lawmakers looked for new government efficiencies to save money. The resulting bill calls for consolidation of staff, regionalization of court administrative functions, use of technology to reduce unnecessary expenditures, improvement of resource flexibility, and reallocation of jurisdiction between courts. The major provision in this bill is consolidation of the state’s District, Superior, Family, Environmental and Probate courts into a single administrative entity under the jurisdiction of the Vermont Supreme Court. The bill transfers responsibility for appointing Notaries from the judges of the superior court to assistant judges. In Vermont, assistant judges, also called “side judges,” are elected in every county and some sit on Traffic, Probate and Superior Court cases to review findings of fact. Under the new law, the judicial roles of assistant judges, non-lawyers who historically have joined law-trained judges in hearing cases, will be reduced. The bill now clarifies that applications for resident Notary commissions are to be submitted with the county clerk instead of the clerk of the superior court and nonresident applications are to be submitted with the assistant judge of the county where the applicant’s place of employment is located (and not with the judge of the superior court, which has now been dissolved). The commissioning fee has been raised from $20 to $30, with the state realizing the increase in the commissioning fee.

Read the bill text.

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