§ 820-6-1-.03. Discipline; Suspension And Revocation
(1) An Alabama Civil-law Notary shall be disciplined for conduct involving misrepresentation or fraud in the creation or execution of an authentication instrument. All complaints to the Office of the Secretary of State concerning the conduct or acts of an Alabama Civil-law Notary will also be referred to the Alabama Bar for a determination by the Bar as to whether the complaint alleges a violation of the rules of the Alabama Bar governing the conduct and discipline of lawyers.
(2) All complaints to the Office of the Secretary of State concerning the conduct or acts of an Alabama Civil-law Notary which on their face appear to establish facts which if proven true would constitute an act of misrepresentation or fraud in the creation or execution of an authentication instrument will be investigated by the Office of the Secretary of State to determine whether cause exists to suspend the Alabama Civil-law Notary's appointment or reprimand the Alabama Civil-law Notary.
(3) After investigation and upon a determination by the Secretary of State that one or more acts of misrepresentation or fraud in the creation or execution of an authentication instrument has been committed by an Alabama Civil-law Notary, the Secretary of State shall, after considering the extent of the fraud or misrepresentation including the number of persons involved and the effect on those persons; the number of acts of misrepresentation or fraud; any financial loss or other injury that may have resulted; and the degree of culpability of the Alabama Civil-law Notary; order one or more of the following courses of action:
(a) Issue a letter of warning to the Alabama Civil-law Notary including the Office of the Secretary of State's findings;
(b) Order compliance with these rules;
(c) Order restitution;
(d) Order suspension of the appointment of the Alabama Civil-law Notary;
(e) Order revocation of the appointment of the Alabama Civil-law Notary;
(f) Refer the allegations to the Office of the Attorney General for criminal investigation; and/or
(g) Refer the allegations to the Alabama Bar for disciplinary proceedings.
(4) Any order under this rule which requires payment of restitution or results in the suspension or revocation of the appointment of an Alabama Civil-law Notary shall be accompanied by a notice of final agency action and the Alabama Civil-law Notary shall be entitled to a fair hearing in accordance with the provisions of the Alabama Administrative Procedures Act, Title 41, Chapter 22, Code of Ala. 1975.
(5) A former Alabama Civil-law Notary whose appointment has been finally revoked due to conduct involving misrepresentation or fraud shall not be eligible for a new appointment as an Alabama Civil-law Notary for a period of at least five years.
(6) An Alabama Civil-law Notary may voluntarily resign from an appointment by notifying the Office of the Secretary of State in writing at the above address of the intention to do so. Any Civil-law notary who voluntarily resigns from an appointment as an Alabama Civil-law notary shall be eligible to file a new application, along with a certificate of good standing from the Supreme Court of Alabama that also states that the applicant has been a member of the Alabama Bar for at least five years, issued within 90 days of the date of application, and application processing fee of one hundred dollars, in accordance with Rule 820-6-1-.01(2), supra. If said application, certificate, and processing fee are filed with the Secretary of State within one year of the date the Secretary of State received notice of voluntary resignation from a Civil-law notary appointment, the applicant will not be required to complete a new examination process. A voluntarily resigned Civil-law notary who seeks to resume service as an Alabama Civil-law notary after one year of the date the Secretary of State received notice of voluntary resignation must, in addition to the above-stated requirements, successfully complete a new examination process in compliance with Rules 820-6-1.02(1), 820-6-2-.01 and 820-6-2-.02, supra.(New Rule: Filed January 10, 2001; effective February 14, 2001. Amended: Filed June 5, 2009; effective July 10, 2009.)
Formerly 820-X-12-.09, as per certification filed January 10, 2001; effective February 14, 2001.
Authors: Charles E. Grainger, Jr., Jean Brown
Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, §§ 36-20-50, et seq.
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