An Express Article from the California Land Title Association
Bulletin 13/14-33 - October 11, 2013
Governor Brown has vetoed legislation in Assembly Bill 477 (Chau) that would have added notaries to the list of mandated reporters of suspected elder and dependent adult financial abuse. In his veto message, the Governor echoed many of the same sentiments shared by the CLTA during its opposition to the bill, noting that "notaries, with their very limited interactions, should [not] be placed in the position of being a mandated reporter [of elder financial abuse]."
The CLTA, in conjunction with the California Escrow Association, were in strong opposition to early versions of the bill, which contained a provision that stated "a notary public shall not perform a notarial act" if an elder "has a demeanor that causes the notary public to have a compelling doubt about whether the elder or dependent adult understands the consequences of the transaction", or if "the elder or dependent adult is not acting of his or her own free will". The CLTA and CEA mobilized a successful grassroots campaign that raised doubts about the bill, and later removed their opposition after working with the author's office to insert provisions that expanded liability protections for mandated reporters, including notaries, and made clear that notaries would have had no duty to review any document beyond those the notary was actually acknowledging.
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