Tuesday, September 18, 2012

New Adoption Law for Contested Adoption

The following is the current addition to the existing VA Code section 63.2-1203, under number 4(C). C. In an adoption proceeding where the consent of a birth parent is required, but the petition for adoption alleges that the birth parent is withholding consent to the adoption, the court shall provide written notice to the birth parent of his right to be represented by counsel prior to any hearing or decision on the petition. Upon request, the court shall appoint counsel for any such birth parent if such parent has been determined to be indigent by the court pursuant to § 19.2-159. If you are approached my a parent who is desiring to give up custody for adoption to an out of state adoption, the notary may need to be cautious. The notary may be dealing with a contested adoption where indigent parent is required to have a court appointed lawyer. If the notary suspects a contested adoption, the needs to call the police and child protective services so the competent Juvenile and Domestic Court can sort out the case. Adoptions within VA should be done only State official is present. If parent wishes to execute a waiver of notice on an adoption, this is another matter. After going through the steps of notarization, the notary can execute a jurat. Waiver of Notice is also used in divorce cases. In all cases, the waiver of notice states the party wants no further notice or communications on the case.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Non Party Witness or Defendaant

A person who is neither a defendant or plaintiff is a non party witness when called to a Federal Court case and enjoys some protection under Rule 12 from excessive behavior from Counsel of Defendant or Plaintiff. A notary was given a subpoena for a deposition where the Plaintiff was suing several defendants for ten million dollars over an adoption case where the child was taken from VA to Utah. According to the notary the original subpoena was overreaching. However, the Defendant's attorney got to see some of the overreaching material but got only to keep notary journal entries regarding the adoption case.All the attorneys got to see the 2008 VA notary Handbook since the notarization occurred in early 2009. The case never went to trial since the parties entered in to a sealed agreement. It is strongly recommended that a notary under subpoena bring a lawyer to any deposition since you have no idea if you are dealing with dolphins with law degree or sharks or pit bulls with law degrees. Furthermore, the notary can be intimidated if the testimony could result a substantial prison sentence for one or more of the parties after the civil procedure has been resolved. All VA notaries must remember, the former mayor of Detroit went to Federal and State Prison because he lied to a Michigan notary. VA notaries are required to fully co-operate with all criminal investigators.A sealed civil settlement does not preclude a criminal investigation. When a VA notary is served with bill of complaint alleging errors, the notary should notify the insurance company immediately to obtain counsel. This is another reason to carry insurance and maintain a notary journal even though VA does require notaries to have one.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Official terms of Copy Certification

From VA Notary Handbook "Copy certification" means a notarial act in which a notary (i) is presented with a document that is not a public record; (ii) copies or supervises the copying of the document using a photographic or electronic copying process; (iii) compares the document to the copy; and (iv) determines that the copy is accurate and complete. I interpret this to mean that the notary supervises the copying or does the copying I will not notarize exact copy of documents made by client when I am not present. Furthermore, Va notaries can not make copy certification of birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates or documents issued by courts since these all have keeper of record issues.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

VA Electronic Notaries Perform Notary Acts VIA Video

Today, Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz issued a statement of warning about a new Virginia state law regarding notary publics. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell signed House File 2318, which allows Virginia notaries to perform notarial acts via video and audio technology without the signer of the electronic document being physically present before the notary public in Virginia.

Secretary Schultz said, "As Secretary of State with responsibility over the notary process in Iowa, it is my job to duly inform the public that this law puts them at risk. Under this new law, Iowans using the online notary subject themselves to Virginia law and any court challenge of the notary actions would require action in Virginia. With over 55,000 Iowa notaries, it's never been easier to use the notary process in Iowa and there is no need to take the risk associated with this Virginia law."

Monday, January 2, 2012

VA Notaries are not employees of the Commonwealth of VA

Va notaries are appointed by the Governor of VA for a four year term. Va notaries are not employees of the Commonwealth of VA and contrary to the suggestion of an Arlington County resident, do not receive a salary. Va notaries receive up to $5.00 per notary act and negotiate the travel with client. Some notaries have places that they will visit for a set amount.