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Chapter 486

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  486.805.  Liability for damages by notary, surety, or employer of notary, when. — 1.  A notary shall be liable to any person for all damages proximately caused that person by the notary's negligence, intentional violation of law, or official misconduct in relation to a notarization.

  2.  A surety for a notary's bond shall be liable to any person for damages proximately caused that person by the notary's negligence, intentional violation of law, or official misconduct in relation to a notarization during the bond term, but this liability shall not exceed the dollar amount of the bond or of any remaining bond funds that have not been disbursed to other claimants.  Regardless of the number of claimants against the bond or the number of notarial acts cited in the claims, a surety's aggregate liability shall not exceed the dollar amount of the bond.

  3.  An employer of a notary shall be liable to any person for all damages proximately caused that person by the notary's negligence, intentional violation of law, or official misconduct in performing a notarization during the course of employment, if the employer directed, expected, encouraged, approved, or tolerated the notary's negligence, violation of law, or official misconduct either in the particular transaction or, impliedly, by the employer's previous action in at least one similar transaction involving any notary employed by the employer.

  4.  An employer of a notary shall be liable to the notary for all damages recovered from the notary as a result of any violation of law by the notary that was coerced by threat of the employer, if the threat, such as of demotion or dismissal, was made in reference to the particular notarization or, impliedly, by the employer's previous action in at least one similar transaction involving any notary employed by the employer.  In addition, the employer is liable to the notary for damages caused the notary by demotion, dismissal, or other action resulting from the notary's refusal to engage in a violation of law or official misconduct.

  5.  Notwithstanding any other provision in this chapter to the contrary, for the purposes of this section "negligence" shall not include any good-faith determination made by the notary pursuant to the obligations imposed by subdivision (3) of subsection 1 of section 486.645 or subdivision (4) of subsection 1 of section 486.645.

  6.  Recovery of damages against a notary, surety, or employer shall require that the notary's negligence, violation of law, or official misconduct be the proximate cause of the damages, although not required to be the sole cause.

  7.  This section shall also apply to electronic notaries performing electronic notarial acts and remote online notaries performing remote online notarial acts.

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(L. 2020 H.B. 1655)


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