What does "Recognize" Mean?
The Interstate Recgnition of Notarizations Act would require state and federal courts to:
Each court that operates under the jurisdiction of a State shall recognize any lawful notarization made by a notary public licensed or commissioned under the laws of a State other than the State where the court is located[.]
What does "recognize" mean in this legislation? In terms of admissibility, most trial lawyers are familiar with the concept of the exception to the hearsay rule for public records and the concept of judicial notice. Is this what the term is intended to mean? Are notarized documents now to be viewed as "public records?" Because they aren't. Notary publics are not public officials and the documents they notarize are not public records. The problems that recent events have demonstrated are that, in fact, notarized documents in foreclosure proceedings are very unreliable. Recent events actually point to a policy that should exclude notarized documents from eligibility for such a presumption. More . .
What has been happening around the country in foreclosure proceedings has been the denial of due process for homeowners who want to challenge the veracity and validity of the evidence that the foreclosing parties have been introducing as evidence. This law will only exacerbate this problem.
At the very least, a legislative history and clear definition of what Congress means by the term "recognize" is required. The President must veto this bill and send it back to Congress so it does its work of properly drafting this legislation.
FULL DISCLOSURE: This legislation affects cases I am involved in. Speaking for me only
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