This follows the need to explain to foreign people that a “notary” is nothing of what they often think it means.
Many frauds are perpetuated, and not only among the Hispanic community, and not only for immigration purposes, by persons who are “notary public” and mislead the people into believing they can help with legal matters, or that being a notary public provides some sort of added credibility.
In most countries, particularly civil law countries, these countries do not have “lawyers” in the American sense, insofar as that term refers to a single type of general-purpose legal services provider; rather, their legal professions consist of a large number of different kinds of law-trained persons, known as jurists, of which only some are advocates who are licensed to practice in the courts. It is difficult to formulate accurate generalizations that cover all the countries with multiple legal professions, because each country has traditionally had its own peculiar method of dividing up legal work among all its different types of legal professionals.
Civil-law notaries (or latin notaries) are specially trained lawyers acting as public officers with jurisdiction over voluntary, i.e., non-contentious, private law. Unlike a notary public, their common-law counterparts, they are able to provide legal advice and prepare instruments with legal effect. They often receive the same education as advocates, trial lawyers, or any professional litigator such as barristers or attorneys in common-law countries, avocats in French-speaking countries, and so forth.
Civil-law notaries are limited to areas of private law. Private law resolves disputes between private parties and requires minimal or no government intervention. The most common areas of practice for civil-law notaries are in property conveyancing and registration, drafting contracts, business transactions, successions, and other estate related matters. Ordinarily, they have no authority to appear in court on their client’s behalf; their role is limited to drafting, authenticating, and registering certain types of transactional documents. In some countries, such as the Netherlands, France or Italy, they also retain and keep property records – in minute form – in notarial protocols, or archives.
Difference from North American Notaries Public
A civil-law notary should not be confused with a notary public in the United States and Canada, who has none of the legal powers notaries enjoy at civil law. Rather, notaries public only have the power to administer oaths, take declarations or depositions from witnesses, acknowledge signatures, and certify copies, usually in conjunction with some legal process.
Notary Public is a 6 hours class costing $99.
For this reason, immigrants from civil-law countries where civil-law notaries exist, particularly those from Spanish-speaking nations, are often confused by the office of notary public and have been defrauded by dishonest notaries misrepresenting themselves as having legal powers. In some states there have been ongoing efforts to prohibit notaries public from listing themselves as Notario Público. Such a law has existed for more than fifteen years in California. Similar laws now exist in Texas, Illinois, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida.
Saint Ivo of Kermartin (17 October 1253 at Kermartin, a manor near Tréguier, Brittany, France – 19 May 1303 at Louannec, Brittany), also known as Erwann (in Breton) and Yves (in French), Yvo, Ives, or Ivo. He is a saint and patron of lawyers and abandoned children. Saint Ives is also the patron saint of Brittany. His feast day is on May 19. His first name is often associated with his family name, Yves Helory (also : Helori or Heloury, the orthography was not fixed at this time).