WI Assembly Bill 468

Law

State: Wisconsin
Signed: March 19, 2008

Effective: April 01, 2008
Chapter: Act No. 110

Summary

Assembly Bill 468 provides strict penalties for several new prohibited acts committed by non-attorney Notaries, including falsely representing or implying that one is a licensed attorney, and providing improper legal representation and advertising notarial services in a foreign language without including in the advertisement a prescribed notice and the fees a Notary may charge.

Affects

Creates subsections 137.01(1)(i), (j) and (k) of the Wisconsin Statutes

Changes
  1. Prohibits a non-attorney Notary from stating or implying that he or she is an attorney licensed to practice law.
  2. Prohibits a non-attorney Notary from soliciting or accepting compensation to prepare documents or represent a person in a judicial or administrative proceeding, including a proceeding relating to immigration or U.S. citizenship unless the Notary is an accredited representative, as defined in 8 CFR 292.1(a) (4).
  3. Prohibits a non-attorney Notary from soliciting or accepting compensation to obtain relief of any kind on behalf of a person from any officer, agent or employee of Wisconsin, a political division of Wisconsin or the United States unless the Notary is an accredited representative, as defined in 8 CFR 292.1(a)(4).
  4. Prohibits use of the phrase “notario,” “notarizaciones” or “notario public.”
  5. Prohibits a non-attorney Notary from advertising notarial services in a language other than English unless (a) the following prescribed notice appears in the advertisement in capital letters of the same size or is communicated verbally in an oral advertisement: “I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY LICENSED TO PRACTICE LAW IN WISCONSIN AND MAY NOT GIVE LEGAL ADVICE OR ACCEPT FEES FOR LEGAL ADVICE”; and (b) the advertisement contains the fees a Notary may charge.
  6. Stipulates that any of these prohibited acts is punishable by fine of up to $10,000 or imprisonment of nine months, or both for a first-time violation, and a fine of up to $10,000 or imprisonment for up to six years, or both for a second and subsequent violation.
Analysis

Assembly Bill 468 creates strict penalties for several new prohibited acts committed by non-attorney Notaries. Each violation is punishable by a fine not to exceed $10,000, imprisonment for up to nine months or both for a first-time violation and up to six years or both for each additional violation. The prohibited acts are targeted at violations related to immigration and advertising notarial services in a foreign language, although a Notary could be punished for simply representing or implying that the Notary is licensed attorney when he or she is not.

Read the bill text.

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