Model Act for State Legislation





Proposed by



The National Association of Civil Law Notaries



For Adoption in United States Jurisdictions



Section 1.



For purposes of this article, the following terms shall
have the following meanings:

(1) Authentic Act.

An instrument executed by a civil law notary
referencing this article, which is imbued by the state with the legal acceptance
of the certainty that comes from the presumption of truth that accompanies the
document and which includes the particulars and capacities to act of transacting
parties, a confirmation of the full text of any necessary instrument, the
signatures or their legal equivalent thereof of any transacting parties, the
signature and seal of a civil law notary, and such other information prescribed
by the Secretary of State.

(2) Brevet.

A private document in which the civil law notary attests to
the authenticity of the signature or signatures, a fact or a contract. Brevets
may be used, among other things, to certify signatures, prescribe oaths, certify
a translation or a copy of a document that is not part of the civil law notary’s
protocol, or certify the identity of any object or thing.

(3) Civil Law Notary.

A person who is admitted to the practice of law in
this state, who has practiced law in a United States jurisdiction for at least
five years, and who is appointed by the Secretary of State as a civil law

(4) Minute.

An authentic act written by a civil law notary which contains
the exact narration of a finding of fact or facts influencing the rights of
private parties of which the civil law notary has personal knowledge and that
due to the nature of the authentic act does not constitute a contract or
juridical business. Types of minutes include, but may not be limited to:

(a) General Minutes.

A minute providing a certification of general facts
known to the civil law notary;

(b) Minutes of Notoriety.

A minute providing a certification that a fact
is generally known by the people who have a direct or close relationship with
the factual situation or its consequences, or who belong to the social or
economic environment of the person affected by a particular fact;

(c) Minutes of Correction.

A minute for the purpose of rectifying minor
errors in form or omissions made by the civil law notary in prior authentic
acts; or

(d) Minutes of Addition.

A minute for the purpose of including a document
in the civil law notary’s protocol in order to provide for preservation of the
document; limited memorialization of domestic private documents and/or execution
of foreign legal documents.

(5) Notarial Deed.

An authentic act in which contains a contract,
transaction or other juridical act and which may also include the certification
of facts. Notarial deeds may involve either a single party, as in the case of a
will, or multiple parties, as with a contract.

(6) Protocol.

A registry maintained by a civil law notary in which the
acts of the civil law notary are archived.


Section 2.


(1) The Secretary of State shall have the power to appoint civil law notaries
and administer this section.

(2) A civil law notary is authorized to issue brevets, minutes and notarial
deeds and thereby may authenticate or certify any document, transaction, event,
condition or occurrence. The contents of an authentic act and matters
incorporated therein shall be presumed legal and accurate but such presumption
may be rebutted in litigation upon a showing of clear and convincing evidence. A
civil law notary may also administer oaths and make certificates thereof when
necessary for execution of any writing or document to be attested, protested, or
published under the seal of a notary public. A civil law notary may also take
acknowledgments of deeds and other instruments of writing for record.

(3) The authentic acts, and oaths and acknowledgments of a civil law notary
shall be chronologically recorded in the civil law notary’s protocol in a manner
prescribed by the Secretary of State.

(4) The civil law notary may, without prejudice to his duty to ensure
professional confidentiality, issue certified copies of authentic acts to
individuals who, in his or her opinion, have a legitimate interest in the
contents of an authentic act. Certified copies of authentic acts shall have the
same legal force and effect as the original.


(5) A civil law notary is obligated to:

(a) Draw up authentic acts in accordance with their knowledge and
comprehension and such documents must clearly reflect the wishes of the
contracting parties duly adapted to legal requirements necessary for the
documents to have full legal force and effect.

(b) Represent the transaction itself in the creation of the authentic act.
For this purpose, the civil law notary acts as an intermediary where there are
multiple parties to a transaction.

(c) Use his or her best efforts to advise all parties to the transaction
equally, accurately, fully and impartially regarding the nature and legal
consequences of the transaction.

(d) Refrain from representing any party in any matter arising from or related
to the civil law notary’s authentic act.


Section 3.


The Secretary of State may adopt rules prescribing:

(1) The form and content of authentic acts, oaths, acknowledgments, and
signatures and seals or their legal equivalents.

(2) Procedures for the permanent archiving of authentic acts, maintaining
records of acknowledgments, and oaths, and procedures for the administration of
oaths and taking of acknowledgments.

(3) The charging of reasonable fees to be retained by the Secretary of State
for the purpose of administering this article.

(4) Educational requirements and procedures for testing applicants’ knowledge
of all matters relevant to the appointment, authority, duties or legal or
ethical responsibilities of a civil law notary.

(5) Procedures for the disciplining of civil law notaries, including, but not
limited to, the suspension and revocation of appointments for failure to comply
with the requirements of this article or the rules of the Secretary of State, or
for misrepresentation or fraud regarding the civil law notary’s authority, the
effect of the civil law notary’s authentic acts, or the identities or acts of
the parties to a transaction.

(6) Bonding or errors and omissions insurance requirements, or both, for
civil law notaries.

(7) Other matters necessary for administering this article.


Section 4.



(1) The powers of civil law notaries include, but are not limited to, all of
the powers of a notary public under the laws of this state.


(2) This article shall not be construed as abrogating the provisions of any
other act relating to notaries public, attorneys, or the practice of law in this


Section 5.


If certification of a civil law notary’s authority is
necessary for a particular document or transaction, it must be obtained from the
Secretary of State. Upon receipt of a written request from a civil law notary
and the fee prescribed by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of State shall
issue a certification of the civil law notary’s authority, in a form prescribed
by the Secretary of State, which shall include a statement explaining the legal
qualifications and authority of a civil law notary in this state. The fee
prescribed for the issuance of the certification under this section or an
apostille may not exceed [twenty dollars ($20.00)] per document. The Secretary
of State may adopt rules to implement this section.


Section 6.


The provisions of this act are severable. If any part of
this act is declared invalid or unconstitutional, the declaration shall not
affect the part which remains.


Section 7.


All laws or parts of laws in conflict with this act are


Section 8.


This act shall become effective upon its passage and
approval by the Governor, or upon its otherwise becoming a law.