1.As an employer, can I require my employee-notary to allow me to inspect their Journal outside of their presence? No, the Notary has a duty to protect the Journal at all times from loss, damage or tampering and, therefore, must be present at anytime the Journal is made available to another party. In addition, the only entries the employer may inspect are those specifically related to that employer's business.
2. As an employer, can I request that my employee-notary not "embarrass" a VIP client by asking for I.D., etc.?
No. An employer cannot insist that an employee-notary dispense with ANY of the requirements to accommodate a client. The Notary must obey the law with regard to notarization. Pressuring an employee-notary to ignore the proper rules of notarization could jeopardize the validity of the transaction, thereby leaving the client's transaction open to legal challenge and opening yourself and the Notary to criminal liability.
3.My employee-notary knows who I am. Is it really necessary for me to sign the Notary Journal?
Yes. Your signature in your employee-notary's journal is (in the State of Hawaii) required by law. Even if it weren't required by state law for the Notary to provide a complete journal entry, including your signature at the time of the notarial act, is in your best interest in the event the validity of your signature were ever challenged.
4.Can I insure that my employee-notary serves only our customers, so that their time is not wasted on non-customers? No. Notaries are public servants, commissioned to serve all members of the public. Even though your company may have paid the fees associated with the Notary's commission, there is no such thing as a notary "private." An attempt should be made to accommodate requests by non-customers in a reasonable time or an appointment scheduled when they can be served. To do otherwise would violate the Notary's role as a public official and servant. 5.Can I ask my employee-Notary to "pre" stamp and sign certificates to be used in her absence?
No. There are very strict rules that govern the use and control of the Notary's Seal. These include only being affixed by the Notary to whom it was issued (it is a criminal act for a non-notary to use a Notary seal); the Seal is affixed ONLY at the time of notarization (stockpiling of blank certificates is not permitted); the Seal belongs to the Notary whose name is on the seal and the employer cannot prevent the Notary from removing the seal from the office at night or on weekends, nor confiscate the seal when the Notary leaves for other employment.
6.As an employer, can I prohibit my employee from notarizing after hours and on weekends to protect my company from liability.
No. A Notary is a Notary 24 hours a day and an employer has no authority to restrict an employee from notarizing outside the workplace on their own time. By law it is the Notary that is ultimately responsible and an employer's company would only be liable if the employer directed a Notary to notarize improperly.
7.Our notary is out sick. Is is okay for one of the other workers to use her seal?
No. Documents notarized by someone who is not a Notary will not withstand legal challenge. Further, it is a criminal offense, subject to imprisonment, fines or both, to impersonate a notary. The seal should remain under the direct and exclusive control of the Notary at all times and securely stored when a Notary is away from the office.
8.Doesn't my employee-notary have to obey my rules when notarizing for my customers?
No. When it comes to notarization, the state sets the rules and the state-commissioned Notary you employ must follow them. Violation of notarial rules can result in criminal penalties against the Notary and against any person who influences the Notary to break the law.
9.My employee-notary is leaving to work for another company. I paid for the commission and seal. Can I demand that the Notary turn over their commission and supplies when they leave? No. The Notary's commission was issued exclusively to the Notary and no one but the Notary has the right to possess their commission paper. No one but the official who appointed or commissioned the Notary has the authority to revoke a commission or abridge a Notary's term of office. Preventing or hindering a public official such as a Notary from carrying out official duties (remember a Notary is a Notary 24/7) is a very serious matter and you should not obstruct the Notary. Unlike regular office supplies, the purchase of the Notary's Seal and Journal does not confer ownership of these official tools to you. They belong to the Notary, just as the commission is the Notary's.
A Notary and their Employer may be JOINTLY liable to a customer if the notary fails to follow Hawaii state law.
Employers are responsible to insure that notaries employed by them KNOW THE LAWS pertaining to notarization and FOLLOW THEM.