Your Cookies are Disabled! sets cookies on your computer to help improve performance and provide a more engaging user experience. By using this site, you accept the terms of our cookie policy. Learn more.

3 court cases every Notary should know

Updated 3-11-24. In this video, attorney and Notary Mike Phillips discusses 3 court cases where a Notary committed a serious error, examines where the Notary went wrong and shows how other Notaries can avoid similar mistakes and their consequences:

  • Bessenyei v. Vermillion: A 2012 case where a Notary was instructed to notarize a businessman’s signature on multiple documents while the signer was away on an international trip.
  • Vancura v. Katris: A 2008 case where a Notary improperly notarized a person’s signature on a mortgage assignment without the signer being identified or physically present for the notarization.
  • Galetta v. Galetta: A 2013 case where the validity of a notarized prenuptial agreement was challenged during a divorce due to certificate wording on the agreement missing some language.

Each year, the NNA’s annual Conference for Notaries features workshops and seminars by leading experts in the Notary field. 

Related Articles:

Personal Appearance: The best protection for Notaries

View All: Best Practices


Add your comment


09 Dec 2019


Betty Dedman

10 Dec 2019

I think if we all use "Best Practice" these scenarios in our own Notary lives are easily avoided. Let's start with Galetta v. Galetta. If the documents were drawn up by an attorney and language was missing, then the attorney is at fault. If, on the other hand, the notary neglected to print in his/her name, "'comma', Notary Public" as is expected on many signature/name affidavits, then the Notary is sloppy and bad practice caught up to him/her. For the other court cases, i am truly astonished. EVEN THOUGH I have seen many training videos that suggest that once i identify a signer the signer doesn't NEED to sign in front of me?!?!? That is very bad practice, and I insist that Every Time I notarize a document I watch the signer(s) sign in front of me. If I don't not, I inVITE the possibility of fraud. Why EVER would someone signing a document leave the room to do so? My old CPA was a Notary Public and he would often notarize anything set in front of him. Since he has passed away I doubt there will be any criminal charges brought against him.

Wolf Leonard

11 Dec 2019

If the notary neglected to print in his/her name, "'comma', Notary Public" as is expected on many signature/name affidavits, then the Notary is sloppy and bad practice caught up to him/her. >>> Pls explain

Richard bronge

14 Jan 2020

Thank you always enjoy reading

Patricia Busch

08 Oct 2020

Thank you 🤗, very informative!!

William T. Burke

14 Dec 2020

I find it so difficult to believe that ANY N.P. would allow themselves to get into that kind of situation. Now, the case of B vs V (2012) where the N.P. was instructed to do what was guess is he/she was coursed into that action. Which is very unfortunate indeed. But these actions are all common situations and if they allow themselves to get into it, that singular action alone then as simple as it was is it worth working for someone that would push you into that situation.

William T. Burke

14 Dec 2020

Secondly, how many of us, as N.P.'s, have a minimum question v. answer list for when people ask for service and you need to know certain details? This is a step that has developed over time. I am not saying there are specific questions for every action but there are questions that are in that self defense brackets. Those questions are the ones that can very simply save you from negative action.

Ms J

15 Dec 2020

Thank you for taking the time and sharing all this necessary information with us. It's important that going into 2021 All notaries are the best they can be and with that being said this information will certainly help us all put our best foot forward! #MaskON

Candi Angotti

18 Dec 2020

Instead of remembering these court cases notaries should learn notary acts and laws. Common sense would tell you not to do these things! I didn't read where a gun was held to the notary's head or they were forced to notarize these documents. Just saying...

Barbara Hoffman

12 Jan 2021

I appreciate Candi's comment. In a notary's job, there is never a shortcut. A shortcut IS bad practice.

carl macon

12 Jan 2021

Excellent class.

Dan Sundquist

29 Mar 2021

I have a rubber stamp with my "name, Notary Public.". It's saved my bacon more than once and it's very legible.

Daniel Downing

29 Mar 2021

While it's of utmost importance to insure the notary language is correct, the mention case was reversed upon apeal:,due%20to%20a%20defective%20acknowledgment.&text=The%20parties'%20signatures%20and%20the,single%20page%20of%20the%20document.

Walter Ordonez

27 Feb 2023

I appreciated this training, i apprecited the instructor because he delivered the information effectively and interesting. He was knowledgeable and understood our Notary Public duties. He was actually excellent at presenting. Thank you for whomever provided us this material.

30 Jun 2023

This is very insightful and good to be aware of. Does NNA have more/all court cases, by state, for real-world examples as reference and examples for notary wins vs disciplinary actions?: I am aware that PAN includes a few mentioned: We look forward to reading more examples. Thank you.

National Notary Association

30 Jun 2023

Hello. Information about a recent California case can be found here:

Kih Fairley

25 Mar 2024

This is a must read and much needed information


25 Mar 2024

I truly enjoyed and appreciate this video.


26 Mar 2024

I wish these title, escrow and signing companies will not pressure a notary to notarize documents or make a correction when the signers are not there. It doesn't matter if the notary made a mistake, those companies need to follow the rules too. The are also a notary just like us independent notaries.

Redd Anderson

01 Apr 2024

He is right about keeping the journal. I had 2 different people photo copy my notary seal and apply it to another document that thy choose. My journal helped me.

Leave a Comment

Required *

All comments are reviewed and if approved, will display.