KOSRAE STATE COURT
Federated States of Micronesia

GENERAL COURT ORDER NOTARY PUBLIC POWERS;
FEES FOR NOTARIZATION OF DOCUMENTS


      The Judiciary Act of 1984 authorized the Court to appoint a person as a notary public in writing, to administer an oath or affirmation to a witness, and to exercise the powers of a notary public.  Pursuant to Kosrae State Code, Section 6.101, this Court is authorized to make rules and orders, and to do all acts, not inconsistent with law or rule, required for the due administration of justice.
 
This General Court Order is adopted to set forth the powers and authority of justices and court staff who are appointed as notaries public.  This General Court Order also establishes fees charged for notarization of documents by a notary public appointed pursuant to this GCO.  General Court Order 1985-10 is repealed in its entirety and superseded by this General Court Order.

(1)   Appointment of Notaries Public.

                  (a)   Justices may administer an oath or affirmation to a witness, and may exercise the powers of a notary public.  Whenever a Justice exercises the power of a notary public under this GCO, the Seal of this Court is his notarial seal.  No appointment shall be required.

                 (b)   The Chief Clerk of Court may administer an oath or affirmation to a witness, and may exercise the powers of a notary public. Whenever the Chief Clerk of Court exercises the power of a notary public under this GCO, the Seal of this Court may be used as her notarial seal.  This GCO constitutes the written appointment of the Chief Clerk of Court for these purposes.

                (c)   The Court Reporters and other Court staff may administer an oath or affirmation to a witness, and may exercise the powers of a notary public.  The Chief Justice shall make the appointment of a Court staff person as a notary public in writing. Appointments shall be valid for three years.

      (d)   When notarizing a document, the notary public affixes his or her notarial seal, or attaches a copy of his or her appointment.  Either method is sufficient prima facie evidence of his or her appointment.

                (e)   The appointment of a notary public may be revoked by the Chief Justice for good cause, including failure to follow the requirements of this General Court Order and termination of employment from Kosrae State Court.

          (2)   Notarization of Documents.

                 (a)   A notary public shall notarize a document only when the notary public sees the documents signed and knows the identity of the signer. Identity is shown by personal knowledge of the signer by the notary public or by one of the following documents:  passport, driver's license with photograph, military identification with photograph, or other reliable documents which contain a photograph and signature of the signer.  Identity may also be shown by a sworn statement made by a person known to the notary public, who also knows the signer.

                 (b)   If a document to be notarized contains spaces for additional signatures, the notary public shall cross out the blank lines, to ensure that only those signatures actually witnessed by the notary public are notarized.  A document which requires the notarized signature of more than one person shall be notarized for each signer or group of signers who sign the document at the same time.  Copies of the document or the signature page of the document may be made to allow signing by different persons at different times, and to allow notarization of signatures made by all signers.

                 (c)   A notary public keeps a record of each document he or she notarized by maintaining a journal in which he or she enters the name of the signer, the date signed, and the nature of the document. Alternatively, the notary public may keep a copy of the pages of the document that he or she has notarized.  Records shall be saved by the notary public for six years.

          (3)   Fee for Notarization of Documents.

                 (a)   A notary public shall not charge any fee for notarization of a document which is completed at Kosrae State Courthouse during normal business hours.

                 (b)   A fee of $5.00 shall be paid to a notary public for notarization of a document which is completed outside normal business hours.   The $5.00 fee shall apply for each separate location that the notary public is required to travel to and perform notarization of documents.  The fee shall be paid directly to the notary public who completes the notarization.

This General Court Order is effective immediately.

            SO ORDERED this _____ day of June 2001.

                                                                   YOSIWO P. GEORGE
                                                                   Chief Justice

Service on:    Office of the Attorney General
    Office of the Public Defender
                       Kosrae State Legislature
    Micronesian Legal Services Corporation
                       Posting and distribution at Chief Clerk's Office
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