The Department of State's Disciplinary Actions: January - February 2021
The Bureau of Election Services and Notaries took the following disciplinary actions against notaries public in January and February 2021:
- A Lancaster County notary is suspended for 3 months. Such suspension is immediately stayed in favor of probation, with the notary required to attend six hours of approved notary education and pay a civil penalty of $250. This action was based on the notary’s failure to be familiar with the duties and responsibilities of a notary public.
- An Adams County notary permanently and voluntarily surrendered her notary commission, because she failed to be familiar with the duties and responsibilities of a notary public by notarizing a document and failing to require the appearance of all parties subject to the notarial act, failed to establish identity through personal appearance of the person executing the instrument to be notarized, failed to properly maintain a notary journal recording items including the date, character, and/or parties to the notarial act, and charged a notary public fee in excess of the fees fixed by the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
- A Chester County notary had her commission revoked, based on her acceptance of Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) in 2019 for Theft by Deception and Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition of Funds Received, both misdemeanors in the first degree. Respondent is subject to disciplinary action under the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts, 57 Pa.C.S. §323(a), in that Respondent lacks the honesty, integrity, competence, or reliability to hold the office of notary public based on Respondent’s acceptance of ARD for offenses involving fraud, dishonesty or deceit.
- A Delaware County notary had his commission suspended for six months, immediately stayed in favor of probation, was levied a civil penalty of $1,000 and a probation assessment of $300, and was required to complete six hours of remedial education because he failed to require personal appearance and failed to maintain a notarial register.
- A Lancaster County notary permanently and voluntarily surrendered his notary commission because he intentionally and knowingly signed the name of another individual on a document without the authorization or knowledge of that individual, subsequently performed a notarial act on that document, and failed to record all notarial acts he performed.
- A Lawrence County notary permanently and voluntarily surrendered his notary commission because he failed to update his office address within five days of its change.
- A Philadelphia County notary had her commission suspended for 12 months immediately stayed in favor of probation, was levied a civil penalty of $500 and a probation assessment of $600, and must complete six hours of in-person remedial education, because she failed to be familiar with the duties and responsibilities of a notary public by failing to require the personal appearance and establish the identity of a person executing an instrument to be notarized.
- Another Philadelphia County notary had his commission suspended for three months immediately stayed in favor of probation, was levied a probation assessment of $150, and must complete six hours of remedial education because he failed to be of good character, integrity, and ability by notarizing a document with an incorrect date and failed to keep and maintain custody and control of an accurate register of all notarial acts performed.