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RULE §87.23Complaint Procedures

(a) A person harmed by the actions of a notary public may file a complaint with the secretary of state. The complaint shall be filed on the form prescribed by the secretary of state for such purposes, shall be signed and verified by the person alleging misconduct on the part of the notary public, shall include copies of the notarized documents that are the subject of the complaint, and shall substantially comply with the requirements set forth on the prescribed form.

(b) The secretary of state may determine that the allegations in the complaint are not sufficient to warrant formal disciplinary action. In such case, the secretary of state may:

  (1) take no action on the complaint;

  (2) informally advise the notary public of the appropriate conduct and the applicable statutes and rules governing the conduct; or

  (3) request further information from the complainant or the notary prior to taking action.

(c) If the secretary of state determines that the complaint alleges sufficient facts to constitute good cause for disciplinary action against the notary public, the secretary of state shall send a copy of the complaint to the notary public with a request to the notary to respond to the statements in the complaint.

(d) The notary public must respond to the complaint in writing. The response must:

  (1) specify any disputed facts and provide such additional information as the notary public shall desire;

  (2) be signed and sworn to by the notary before a person authorized to administer oaths;

  (3) include copies of the pages of the notary record book referencing the notarization that is the subject of the complaint; and

  (4) be received by the secretary of state within 20 days of mailing of the copy of the complaint to the notary public.

(e) The secretary of state shall review the response and determine whether further administrative action is appropriate. If the secretary determines that no further action is appropriate, the secretary shall notify the notary public and the complainant of the determination in writing.

(f) If the secretary determines that further administrative action is appropriate, the secretary shall follow the procedures set forth in §87.24 of this title (relating to Disciplinary Action).

Source Note: The provisions of this §87.23 adopted to be effective January 1, 2010, 34 TexReg 9395; amended to be effective August 3, 2010, 35 TexReg 6647

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