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RULE §87.33Complaint Procedures

(a) The secretary of state may determine that the allegations in the complaint are not sufficient to warrant formal disciplinary action. In such case, the secretary of state may:

  (1) take no action on the complaint;

  (2) informally advise the notary public of the appropriate conduct and the applicable statutes and rules governing the conduct; or

  (3) request further information from the complainant or the notary public prior to taking action.

(b) If the secretary of state determines that the complaint alleges sufficient facts to constitute good cause for disciplinary action against the notary public, and the complaint complies with §87.32 of this title (relating to Submitting a Complaint), the secretary of state shall send a copy of the complaint, with any attachments the secretary of state deems to be relevant, to the notary public with a request to the notary to respond to the statements in the complaint.

(c) The notary public must respond to the complaint in writing. The response must:

  (1) specify any disputed facts and provide such additional information as the notary public shall desire;

  (2) be signed and sworn to by the notary public before a person authorized to administer oaths;

  (3) include copies of the pages of the notary record book referencing the notarization that is the subject of the complaint; and

  (4) be received by the secretary of state within 21 days of the date of the secretary of state's notice of the complaint to the notary public.

(d) The secretary of state shall review the response and determine whether further administrative action is appropriate. If the secretary determines that no further action is appropriate, the secretary shall notify the notary public and the complainant of the determination in writing.

(e) If the secretary determines that further administrative action is appropriate, the secretary shall follow the procedures set forth in this §87.34 of this title (relating to Disciplinary Action).

Source Note: The provisions of this §87.33 adopted to be effective August 19, 2018, 43 TexReg 5355

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