57 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes § 323 - Sanctions

§ 323. Sanctions.

(a) Authority.--The department may deny, refuse to renew, revoke, suspend, reprimand or impose a condition on a commission as notary public for an act or omission which demonstrates that the individual lacks the honesty, integrity, competence or reliability to act as a notary public. Such acts or omissions include:

(1) Failure to comply with this chapter.

(2) A fraudulent, dishonest or deceitful misstatement or omission in the application for a commission as a notary public submitted to the department.

(3) Conviction of or acceptance of Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition by the applicant or notary public for a felony or an offense involving fraud, dishonesty or deceit.

(4) A finding against or admission of liability by the applicant or notary public in a legal proceeding or disciplinary action based on the fraud, dishonesty or deceit of the applicant or notary public.

(5) Failure by a notary public to discharge a duty required of a notary public, whether by this chapter, by regulation of the department or by Federal or State law.

(6) Use of false or misleading advertising or representation by a notary public representing that the notary public has a duty, right or privilege that the notary public does not have.

(7) Violation by a notary public of a regulation of the department regarding a notary public.

(8) Denial, refusal to renew, revocation, suspension or conditioning of a notary public commission in another state.

(9) Failure of a notary public to maintain a bond under section 321(d) (relating to appointment and commission as notary public; qualifications; no immunity or benefit).

(a.1) Administrative penalty.--The department may impose an administrative penalty of up to $1,000 on a notary public for each act or omission which constitutes a violation of this chapter or on any person who performs a notarial act without being properly appointed and commissioned under this chapter.

(b) Administrative Agency Law.--Action by the department under subsection (a) or (a.1) is subject to 2 Pa.C.S. Chs. 5 Subch. A (relating to practice and procedure of Commonwealth agencies) and 7 Subch. A (relating to judicial review of Commonwealth agency action).

(c) Other remedies.--The authority of the department under this section does not prevent a person from seeking and obtaining other criminal or civil remedies provided by law.

(d) Investigations and hearings.--

(1) The department may issue a subpoena, upon application of an attorney responsible for representing the Commonwealth in disciplinary matters before the department, for the purpose of investigating alleged violations of the disciplinary provisions administered by the department.

(2) In an investigation or hearing, the department, as it deems necessary, may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, examine witnesses, take testimony and compel the production of documents.

(3) The department may apply to Commonwealth Court under 42 Pa.C.S. § 761(a)(2) (relating to original jurisdiction) to enforce a subpoena under this subsection.

(e) Other enforcement authority.--The department may initiate civil proceedings at law or in equity to enforce the requirements of this chapter and to enforce regulations or orders issued under this chapter. In addition, the department may request the prosecution of criminal offenses to the extent provided by this chapter or as otherwise provided by law relating to notaries public, notarial officers or notarial acts, in the manner provided by the act of October 15, 1980 (P.L.950, No.164), known as the Commonwealth Attorneys Act.

(f) Criminal penalties applicable.--The following apply:

(1) Except as provided in this chapter or otherwise provided by law, it is unlawful for a person to hold himself out as a notary public or as a notarial officer or to perform a notarial act.

(2) Falsely pretending to be a notary public or a notarial officer and performing any action in furtherance of such false pretense shall subject the person to the penalties set forth in 18 Pa.C.S. § 4913 (relating to impersonating a notary public or a holder of a professional or occupational license).

(3) The use of an official stamp by a person who is not a notary public named on the stamp shall constitute a violation of 18 Pa.C.S. § 4913.

(4) Except as provided in paragraph (2) or (3), any person violating this chapter or a regulation of the department commits a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000.

Cross References. Section 323 is referred to in section 321 of this title.

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Last modified: October 8, 2016