Oregon Statutes - Chapter 194 - Notaries Public - Section 194.980 - Civil penalties; factors; notice; hearing; rules.

(1) In addition to any other penalty provided by law, any notary public who is found to have performed an act of official misconduct may incur a civil penalty in the amount adopted under subsection (2) of this section, plus any costs of service or recording costs.

(2)(a) The Secretary of State shall by rule establish the amount of civil penalty that may be imposed for a particular act of official misconduct. A civil penalty shall not exceed $1,500 per act of official misconduct.

(b) In imposing a penalty authorized by this section, the Secretary of State may consider the following factors:

(A) The past history of the person incurring a penalty in taking all feasible steps or procedures necessary or appropriate to correct any official misconduct.

(B) Any prior acts of official misconduct.

(C) The gravity and magnitude of the official misconduct.

(D) Whether the official misconduct was repeated or continuous.

(E) Whether the cause of the official misconduct was an unavoidable accident, negligence or an intentional act.

(F) Any relevant rule of the Secretary of State.

(G) The notary’s cooperativeness and efforts to correct the act of official misconduct.

(c) The penalty imposed under this section may be paid upon those terms and conditions as the Secretary of State determines to be proper and consistent with the public benefit. Upon request of the notary incurring the penalty, the Secretary of State shall consider evidence of the economic and financial condition of the notary in determining whether a penalty shall be paid.

(3) Imposition or payment of a civil penalty under this section shall not be a bar to any action or suit described in ORS 194.200, to a criminal proceeding or to a proceeding under ORS 194.168.

(4) A civil penalty shall not be imposed under this section until the notary public incurring the penalty has been given notice in writing from the Secretary of State specifying the violation. The notice is in addition to the notice required under ORS 183.745 and shall be served in the same manner as the notice required under ORS 183.745.

(5)(a) After initial notice as provided in subsection (4) of this section, a civil penalty may be imposed in the manner provided in ORS 183.745.

(b) The Secretary of State may delegate to a hearings officer appointed by the Secretary of State, upon such conditions as deemed necessary, all or part of the authority to conduct hearings required under ORS 183.745.

(6) Notwithstanding ORS 180.070 (3), expenses incurred by the Secretary of State or Attorney General under subsections (1) to (5) of this section or under ORS 194.200 (2) shall be paid from the Operating Account under ORS 56.041.

(7) All civil penalties and costs recovered under this section shall be paid into the Operating Account under ORS 56.041. [1989 c.976 §28; 1991 c.734 §11; 1993 c.66 §12]

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Last modified: August 7, 2008