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Subpoenaed Notary: You’ve Been Served!





There are a few things you should know about what happens when a Notary is subpoenaed. A Notary will be contacted by the lawyer and asked to show their notarial journal for any document that was said to have been fraudulently notarized. The Notary will also need to provide documents such as an invoice or payment, if one of these were created at the time of notarization. To prove that they had conducted this service, most Notaries carry error and omission insurance on their career that protects them from legal action against them. New York State has laws in place that protect Notaries from being sued by a third party for negligence while performing their duties as a Notary Public under Article 4-A of the Notary Law. This means that Notaries in the state of New York have a little more protection against legal action than Notaries in other states. As always, it is best to consult an attorney and/or your E/O Insurance if you are ever subpoenaed as a Notary and are unsure of what to do next. Remember, the Notary's main priority is to protect themselves and the public from any fraudulent activity. By being proactive and following state law, you can help ensure that your Notarial practice remains safe and legal.

What happens when a notary is subpoenaed?


When a document is said to be fraudulent, and a lawyer sends a notary a subpoena for their notary journal and insurance, what can the notary do or expect? How long does the process take? New York state Notaries have some protection against legal action as defined by NYS Notary Law article-A. Most Notaries that notarize for a career carry error and omission insurance which helps with this type of situation. A Notary will prove that a notarization took place by using their Notary Journal and any invoice that was created or payment of the document. By being proactive and following state law, you can help ensure that your Notarial practice remains safe and legal.


-When a lawyer sends a Notary a subpoena for their Notary journal and insurance, the Notary can expect to provide documents such as an invoice or payment if one was created at the time of notarization.


-Most Notaries that notarize for a career carry error and omission insurance which helps with this type of situation.


-A Notary will prove that a notarization took place by using their Notary Journal and any invoice that was created or payment of the document.


-By being proactive and following state law, you can help ensure that your Notarial practice remains safe and legal.


If you have been subpoenaed as a Notary, please consult an attorney and/or your E/O insurance for more information on what to do next. This could be a two year process depending on if you were to make it to court. There are three major phases:


  1. Discovery - Collecting and sharing of evidence. Usually the subpoena that you receive will state what evidence are expected to provide in regards to the case.

  2. Deposition - During this session, you will meet with all of the parties involved in the case to make statements in regards to your testimony. You will be sworn and under oath will make a statement. This should be treated as if you were in court.

  3. Trial - If the case is not settled or dismissed, you may go to trial (civil or criminal) depending on the case. You will take the stand and answer the questions that were discussed during your deposition before a judge/jury.

*court cases and information provided are for public record


Remember that the Notary's main priority is to protect themselves and the public from any fraudulent activity. By being proactive and following state law, you can help ensure that your Notarial practice remains safe and legal. Thank you for reading!



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