Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro Corteś and Basil Merenda, commissioner of the Department of State’s Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, have announced disciplinary actions against 14 notaries for March through July 2008.
Actions were taken against notaries in Allegheny (2), Bucks (2), Dauphin, Lehigh, Luzerne (2), Montgomery (2), Montour, Philadelphia, Schuylkill and Washington Counties.
In Allegheny County, a Pittsburgh notary had her commission revoked based on her guilty pleas to charges of forgery and theft by deception in violation of the Notary Public Law, 57 P.S. §149 and §168.
Another Allegheny County notary failed to require the personal appearance of her customer. She voluntarily surrendered her notary seal, embosser and commission along with a signed copy of a consent agreement that she not apply for a notary commission at any time in the future because of her actions.
A Bucks County notary was fined $200, paid an assessment of $200 for the costs of continued monitoring and had her commission suspended for a period of five months, one month active suspension and the remaining period stayed in favor of probation, because she failed to maintain control and custody of a chronological register.
A Bucks County notary had his commission revoked based on his guilty pleas to various crimes as well as offenses under the Crimes Code (false swearing), the Vehicle Code (making false application for title), and the Vehicle Board Act (conducting business without a license and acting as a broker of vehicles without a license) in violation of the Notary Public Law, 57 P.S. §149 and §168. relating to notification of change of address, the requirement to keep and maintain custody and control of an accurate chronological register of all official acts, and charging excessive notary fees.
In Dauphin County, a notary was suspended for four months, which was immediately stayed in favor of probation, paid a civil penalty of $100 and was assessed a $200 charge for the cost of continued monitoring because she failed to keep and maintain custody and control of an accurate chronological register.
A guilty plea to one misdemeanor charge of retail theft cost a Delaware County notary his commission. He was charged with violating the Notary Public Law 57 P.S. §149 and §151.
A Lehigh County notary had his commission suspended indefinitely for his failure to comply with a consent agreement and order.
In Luzerne County, two notaries had their commissions suspended for a period of six and 12 months, both stayed in favor of probation, for failing to keep and maintain custody and control of an accurate chronological register. One notary was also fined $300 for the costs of continued monitoring and the other paid a civil penalty of $150 and was charged $600 for the costs of continued monitoring.
For failing to require personal appearance, a Montgomery County notary permanently and voluntarily surrendered his commission. In addition, he will surrender his seal, and embosser and sign a consent agreement stating that he will not apply for a notary commission in the future.
A notary in Jenkintown, Montgomery County had her commission suspended for a period of 18 months, 12 months active and the remaining time stayed in favor of probation, because she failed to require personal appearance. She also paid a civil penalty of $200 and an assessment of $300 for the costs of continued monitoring.
In Danville, Montour County, a notary had her commission permanently revoked for failing to require personal appearance. She also failed to keep and maintain custody and control of an accurate chronological register.
A Philadelphia notary was ordered to pay a civil penalty of $500 because he failed to take the oath of office or give a bond upon appointment. He used a notarial seal while not a notary public, thereby impersonating a notary.
In Schuylkill County, a notary had her commission revoked and will have to submit her notary seal, embosser and signed consent not to apply for a notary commission for failing to keep an accurate chronological register of all official acts.
A Washington County notary was ordered to attend a notary public practice procedure and review course, had her notary commission suspended for five months and was assessed a $250 charge for the costs of continued monitoring because she failed to produce notary registers when required for January, February and March 2002.
PAN believes that education and training are the keys to avoiding notarial mistakes that will put your commission at risk.
We strongly encourage our members, both new and veteran notaries, to take advantage of the resources and programs PAN offers. PAN’s basic and advanced notary training seminars, Notary Notes articles, the PAN blog, www.blog.notary.org and PAN’s customer service representatives are all resources that keep members up to date and informed.