Prior to adoption of the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts (RULONA) in Pennsylvania, notaries had the power to take a deposition. Under RULONA, a notary may certify or attest a deposition, but the specific wording that notaries have the power to “take depositions” is not in the law.
A deposition is one of the ways in which information is disclosed between plaintiffs and defendants. In a deposition, a deponent swears to or affirms his or her intention to tell the truth and responds to verbal questions from attorneys. Depositions are usually taken by court reporters, who are trained and capable of capturing every word of the deposition.
An ordinary notary must be careful not to attempt to take a deposition unless the notary is thoroughly familiar with the laws, rules, and court procedures that apply to deposition.