A notary public has the power and is authorized to administer oaths and affirmations, receive proof and acknowledgment of writings, and present and protest commercial paper. A notary public may act officially anywhere in the Federated States of Micronesia, but shall, before so acting in any State thereof, comply with the provisions of section 414, subchapter I of this chapter. A notary public who serves as an officer or employee of the Federated States of Micronesia in any embassy, representative office, consulate or liaison office may also act officially anywhere in the jurisdiction in which such embassy, representative office, consulate or liaison office is located, PROVIDED that such notary public files a literal or photostatic copy of his commission, an impression of his seal and a specimen of his official signature with the Clerk of the Supreme Court of the Federated States of Micronesia in each State thereof and, if required by law, with the clerk of any appropriate court in the jurisdiction in which the embassy, representative office, consulate or liaison office is located.
Cross-reference: The statutory provisions on the FSM Supreme Court are found in title 4 of this code. The statutory provisions on Judicial Procedure are found in title 6 of this code.
Case annotations: While the majority of notaries are employed by the state government, several are employed by other offices and by private entities. The duties of a notary public are the same, regardless of where they are employed. A notarization performed by a court employee carries the same weight as a notarization performed by a privately employed individual. In re Phillip, 11 FSM R. 243, 245 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2002).
A notary only confirms that the person appeared before him or her, was identified by the notary, and signed the affidavit (or other document) in the presence of the notary. Identity is confirmed by personal knowledge or by appropriate documentation. The identity and signature of the person signing the affidavit are verified by the notary public, and so noted on the document. In re Phillip, 11 FSM R. 243, 245 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2002).
A notary cannot and does not verify or confirm the statements in the affidavit because the notary does not have personal knowledge of those statements. In re Phillip, 11 FSM R. 243, 245 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2002).
A notarized affidavit may be authenticated without the affiant’s testimony, as it is presumed to be authentic so long as it is acknowledged in the manner provided for by law. A clerk of court’s manner of acknowledging an affidavit is for the affiant to swear to it under oath in the clerk’s presence. Peter v. Jessy, 17 FSM R. 163, 173-74 (Chk. S. Ct. App. 2010).
(1) Every notary public shall constantly keep a seal of office, which may be a rubber stamp or impression seal, whereon shall be engraved his name, and the words “Notary Public” and “Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.” He shall authenticate all of his official acts, attestations, certificates, and instruments therewith.
(2) Upon resignation, death, expiration of term of office without reappointment, removal from or abandonment of office, or change in residence from the Trust Territory, he shall immediately deliver his seal to the Attorney General, who shall deface or destroy the same. By failing for 60 days to comply with the above requirement, the notary public, his executor or administrator, shall forfeit to the Trust Territory not more than $200, in the discretion of the Court, to be recovered in an action to be brought by the Attorney General on behalf of the Trust Territory.
Case annotation: Before a notary can apply the notary seal to an affidavit, the notary must confirm that the affiant has personally appeared to sign the affidavit before the notary, the affiant must be identified at that time by the notary, and the affiant must sign the affidavit in the notary’s presence. The notary confirms the affiant’s identity by personal knowledge or by reviewing appropriate documentation. When applying the notary seal, the notary notes on the affidavit that the affiant’s identity and signature have been verified. Peter v. Jessy, 17 FSM R. 163, 174 (Chk. S. Ct. App. 2010).
Every notary public shall record at length in a book of records all acts, protests, depositions, and other things noted by him or done in his official capacity. All copies or certificates granted by him shall be under his hand and notarial seal, and shall be received as evidence of such transactions.
Case annotation: Notarization of a document does not establish truth to the statements made in the document: notarization only verifies the identity and signature of the person who signed the document. Consequently, notarization of a document by a court employee does not represent any court endorsement or certification of the statements made in the document. In re Phillip, 11 FSM R. 243, 245 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2002).
(1) The records of each notary public shall each year on the 30th of June and upon the resignation, death, expiration of term of office, removal from or abandonment of office, or change of residence from the Trust Territory be deposited with the Clerk of Courts for the Truk District.
(2) By a failure for 60 days to comply with the requirement of this section, the notary public, his executor or administrator shall forfeit to the Trust Territory not less than $10 nor more than $100, in the discretion of the Court, in an action brought therefor by the Attorney General on behalf of the Trust Territory.
A notary public who is also a paid employee of the United States, or the Government of the Trust Territory, or of any district administration, and is permitted to perform services as a notary public during the working hours for which he is paid by one of these Governments, shall not be entitled to demand or receive any fees for services performed as notary public during such hours or for such services performed at any other time which are in connection with or in aid of his regular employment.