Louisiana Notary
PO Box 67041
Baton Rouge, LA 70896

A newsletter published three times a year dedicated to the enhancement of notarial professionalism in Louisiana

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May 2012

Legislation of Interest – Bankers reject study committee recommendations and go for second-class notary. Bar association throws down the gauntlet. Secretary of State backs study-committee recommendations.
Recent Cases of Interest – SLake Charles Judge okays convicted robber for notary commission.

 Spring 2011

Legislation of InterestBankers looking for a new breed of second-class notary. This time, it’s a bank-nominated in-house notary publicprivate.
State Agency Updates – Secretary of state and legislators looking at improving education programs for notary-exam preparation.
Questions and Answers – Personal Surety; Name usage after divorce; Notaries and wedding ceremonies.

Summer 2010

Legislation of Interest – Non-resident lawyers given notary powers; Notary study committee term extended; Acceptance of donations; Filing conveyances in Orleans parish; Civil Code revisions; Mortgage recording statutes redesignated.
Recent Cases of Interest – Former EBR District Attorney Doug Moreau faces civil rights suit for false affidavits used to secure arrest warrants.
Questions and Answers – Affidavits by video appearance.

Spring-Summer 2009

Legislation of Interest Small-succession rules and procedures overhauled. Senators act to limit notary powers for deputy clerks of court. Registry and reporting requirements for notary exam-prep course providers. More ex-officio notaries. Civil code revisions. UCC and commercial title documents.
Recent Cases of Interest – Revocation of prior testaments, interpreting intent of testator in testament with signature defects.
Questions and Answers Statutory directives for notarial acts.
State Agency Updates Education subcommittee reports to Senator Duplessis. Score appeal procedure added for notary exam. Another commission nixed by senators.

Fall 2008

Legislation of Interest Senate notary study committee meetings underway. Topics of study: Education for exam preparation; Commission issuance and validity
Recent Cases of Interest – Purchase agreements do not control the terms of an act of sale unless the act of sale incorporates the terms of the purchase agreement. Concepts: Per Aversionem.
Questions and Answers Revoking an donation for ingratitude
Association News Professionalism and association membership.

Summer 2008

Legislation of Interest Criminal penalties for notaries who scoff at bond, insurance, or annual reporting requirements, and to persons who exercise notarial functions without authorization. Penalties can include suspension, permanent commission revocation, stiff fines, and jail terms.
Civil Code revisions change the rules for donations, notarial emancipations, notarial adoptions, and separate property revenues.

Application process for notarial appointment removed from the parish courts and given to the secretary of state.
New applicants now required to furnish answers to questions attesting to good moral character, integrity, and sober habits on secretary of state application. Judges must approve applicants whose character and fitness to serve are called into question.
New qualifications for holding a notary commission have been added.

Recent Cases of Interest – Notarial acts of correction and changes in original intent of parties to contracts; reversionary clause, resolutory conditions.
Questions and Answers Jury duty exemption; Sale of buildings as movables when located on immovable property.
Association News LNA to offer certification in real estate closing.

Spring 2008

Legislation of Interest – Another second-class notary bill: Sen McPherson wants a signature-witness notary because notaries in his parish can’t pass notary exam. Karen St. Germain revives Fannin 2006 bill to eliminating need for notary authentication on auto titles.

Fall 2007

Special Report Follow-up: False notary charged with 15 counts of theft from attorney-employers
Recent Cases of Interest –
Notary sued over invalid testament.
State Agency Updates – Board of Regents licenses notary course; LSU and LCTCS seek to provide statewide notary course and instructor training. 
Association News
– PCLNA and LNA draft legislation to provide penalties for the unauthorized exercise of notarial functions; LNA adopts civil law notary code of ethics and professionalism 

Summer 2007

Legislation of Interest – 2007 Regular session legislative report.
State Agency Updates –
Senate committee removes notary from consent list. Notary’s appointment terminated. New edition of study guide scheduled for publication.
Questions and Answers
– Questions from readers.

Spring 2007

State Agency Updates – The man who sits behind Huey Long’s desk. 
Recent Cases of Interest
– Concepts: Novation
Questions and Answers
– Questions from readers.

Fall 2006

Special Report:  Attorney general investigates false notary – Employee of private law firm of district attorney (partner) falsely represents self as notary; DA (partner) notified but employee continues practice for over a year until evidence of her criminal history surfaces. No crime to falsely represent oneself as a notary.
Questions and Answers
– Affidavits signed outside presence of notary; Conveyance of titled movable to minor; Preparing special need affidavit; Provisional Custody Mandate vs. Non-legal custodianship affidavits; Estate-planning documents.

Summer 2006

Legislation of Interest – Notary’s duty to record acts; Statewide jurisdiction opportunity for non-attorneys; Leaves of absence; Katrina/Rita displaced notaries; Commission validity; Internet and e-mail filings with secretary of state; Conversion of business entity type; Small successions; Corporate dissolution.
Recent Cases of Interest – Bond for deed problems 
Questions and Answers
– Notaries as paralegals; Mineral lease acknowledgments.

Spring 2006

Legislation of Interest – Revision of recordation and registry laws [Acts 169 (2005)] effective July 1, 2006.
– New mortgage cancellation forms under Act 169 (2005).
Questions and Answers
– Why bother with statutory requirements for documents when document is valid regardless of whether you comply?

Winter 2006

Legislation of Interest – Revisions to laws of registry; Reciprocal parish change; Paternity acknowledgments; Clerk-of-court notary powers; Video testaments
– Non-legal custodians
Questions and Answers
– Stamped disclaimers; Signing in reciprocal parishes; Affidavits and witness acknowledgments
State Agency Updates
– Notary authority in parish of temporary residence

Spring 2005
Special Report–Part II
The Office of Notary Public in Louisiana 2005

IV. Commission Status: Maintaining bond or insurance; Special rules for Orleans Parish; de Facto Doctrine; Annual Reports; Leave of absence; Retired Notaries
V. Procedures for Appointment:
Qualifications; Requirements for appointment; Qualifying examinations waivers; Bonds; Insurance; Dual commissions
VI. Miscellaneous Information:
Fees, Seal, Identification of parties, Liability, causes of action, no duty to inspect instruments, Unauthorized practice of law

Fall 2004
Special Report–Part I
The Office of Notary Public in Louisiana 2005

I. The Notary as a Public Official: Independent public function; Nature of fees as public funds, taxes on fees, occupational licenses; Official Misconduct; Crimes; Suspension/Removal from office
II. Notary Powers:
General and enumerated powers; Powers of notaries connected with banks and corporations; Jurisdictional limits
III. Duties of Office:
Recordation and registry; Notaries in Orleans Parish; Statutory directives.

Summer 2004

Legislation of Interest – Consequences of failing to file annual report. Optional inactive status for notaries age 70.  New laws on notary liability. Clerks of Court notary powers. Consequences of failing to properly identify notary and parties. Name usage on notarial instruments. Signature requirements for proper acknowledgments. Bond requirements and insurance options. New procedures for notary exams. Donations in contemplation of marriage. Witnesses to testaments. New rules for social security numbers in acts. New seller disclosure requirements. Procedures for canceling mortgages. Who can be a trustee?
Questions and Answers
– Notary authority of clerks of court and deputies. Malfeasance in Office
State Agency Updates – OMV in-house notaries. Secretary of State contracts with LSU for notary examinations. 19th JDC takes bold step to assure notaries in parish are competent.

Spring 2004

Legislation of Interest – New peremptive period for suits for notary malpractice. Final adjustments to new notary laws. Revocation process simplified. Inactive status for notaries 70 years of age or older wishing to retire from active status, but maintain their commission.
Recent Cases of Interest
– New twist on old doctrine: When is a notary not a notary?
State Agency Updates – Secretary of State moves forward with new notary candidate examination program. Office of Motor Vehicles seeks to provide free notary service at field offices.
Questions and Answers – Notarizing documents for your family or business; Notarizing copies; Simple wills (What are they, anyway?)

November 2003

Legislative Updates – Problems with new notary bond law; Additional exclusions for testaments to witnesses. Correction in July report on effective date for notaries to use ID numbers; Big problems with new law defining forced heirs.
Recent Cases of Interest
– Malpractice liability, practice of law, and prescription for negligence in drafting notarial acts; Attestation clauses and substantial conformity with statutory models.
State Agency Updates – Secretary of State mails first annual reports; Important information for attorneys.
Questions and Answers – Small successions; Out-of-state lenders’ mortgage packages
Insurance Update – E&O Insurance underwriter changes marketing policy after new law passed- Legislator says company “sucker-punched” notaries.
Twentieth Anniversary Issue Special Supplement – Selections from archives of past issues.

Regular Issue – July 2003 

Legislation of InterestMajor changes in Title 35: Notary ID numbers; Notaries to file annual reports; Notary testing standardized statewide; New signature requirements on recorded documents; Strict limitations on ex officio powers;  Notary bond requirements increased; Insurance options.
Other changes: New requirements for authentic act. Trust code changes. Corporation law changes. New special drivers’ licenses NOT form of identification. Presumption of equal portions for ownership in indivision. Permissible surnames.
Questions and Answers – Notary bonds, E&O Insurance, and Act 926 of the 2003 legislature. Coverage options, premiums, and contacts.
State Agency Updates
– 19th Judicial District Court to appoint parish notary policy & procedures study committee. Secretary of State notary division website updated with FAQ.
Recent Cases of Interest Louisiana Supreme Court denies writs in donation invalidation case. Donation stands as invalid because of defect of form re: signature order. Supplemental information: Following the express requirements for form.

Regular Issue – March 2003 

Recent Cases of Interest Act of donation invalidated because of signature order; Olographic testament invalidated in case decided by La. Supreme Court.
Legislation Filed – HB 855 Notary Regulatory Board; HB 738 Limitation on non-attorney notary powers. HB 737 seeks increase in notary bond requirement.
State Agency Updates – Fee increases
Questions and Answers – Liens on Vehicles; Requirements for security agreements; Proper form for mandates; OMV requirements for duplicate title.

Special Issue – January 2003

Report of Secretary of State to the Legislature – HCR 81 Notary Study Committee completes work – Secretary of State reports and makes recommendations to legislature.


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Louisiana Notary - The Notary's Newsletter since 1983
C. Alan Jennings, Managing Editor
PO Box 67041
Baton Rouge, LA 70896