The penalties of up to
$1,500 may apply in the following circumstances:
• Willfully failing to discharge fully and faithfully any of the duties or responsibilities required of a notary public.
A separate provision of the law permits local and state prosecutors to recover up to $1,500 in a civil action from violators of the provisions relating to the unauthorized manufacture, duplication, or sale of the notary public seal and related offenses, including a failure to notify the California Secretary of State that a notary public seal is lost, stolen, destroyed or damaged.
California Government Code sections 8207.4, 8207.1, 8207.2 and 8207.3
Section 2. $750 Penalties Imposed by California Secretary of State on Notaries Public
The California Secretary of State may levy penalties of up to $750 for other notarial misconduct and these too could also result in either denial of an application or revocation or suspension of a commission
California Government Code section 8214.15(b):
• Charging more than the maximum fees for notarial services.
• Failing to complete the acknowledgment at the time the notary public’s signature and seal are affixed to the document.
• Failing to administer the oath or affirmation.
• Negligently failing to discharge fully and faithfully any of the duties or responsibilities required of a notary public. Negligent violations would include, but are not limited to, failing to maintain the notary public journal as required by law, taking improper identification, and failing to provide information to the California Secretary of State within 30 days of a written request.
The failure to provide the journal to a peace officer is also grounds for denial of an application or revocation or suspension of a notary public commission. California Government Code 8214.1(r).
The failure to obtain a required thumbprint
is also a violation of a notary public’s duties and is a ground for
denial of an application or revocation or suspension of the notary
public’s commission. The civil penalty for either notarial failure is up
to $2,500. The failure to provide the journal to a peace officer must be
willful. In both cases, either the California Secretary of State or a
public prosecutor may seek the civil monetary penalty.
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