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RULE §87.34Disciplinary Action

(a) The secretary of state has discretion to determine that the conduct that forms the basis of a complaint against a notary public does not warrant disciplinary action against the notary public and take no further action on the complaint. If the secretary of state determines that disciplinary action should be taken, the secretary of state may pursue the following disciplinary actions against individuals commissioned pursuant to Subchapter A or C, Chapter 406, Government Code:

  (1) issue a written reprimand to the notary public; or

  (2) require the notary public to enter into an agreement to:

    (A) not engage in any further misconduct;

    (B) agree to voluntarily surrender the notary public commission;

    (C) accept a suspension of the notary public commission for a set period of time;

    (D) complete a course of study relating to the powers, duties, and responsibilities of a notary public;

    (E) not seek renewal of the notary public commission for a specified period of time; or

    (F) take such other action as the secretary deems appropriate; or

  (3) take action to revoke the notary public commission.

(b) If an individual has been commissioned as a notary public under both Subchapters A and C of Chapter 406, Government Code, the office has the discretion to pursue revocation of either the online notary public commission alone or both the traditional and online notary public commission.

(c) If no agreement can be reached, before taking action to suspend or revoke the notary public commission, the secretary of state shall give written notice to the notary of a right to a hearing in accordance with the rules of practice and procedure before the secretary of state. If a hearing is timely requested, the secretary of state shall follow the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, Chapter 2001, Texas Government Code governing the initiation and conduct of a contested case proceeding.

(d) It is within the secretary of state's discretion to determine that no action should be taken or to enter into an agreement with the notary public regarding the appropriate action. The secretary of state shall close a complaint file upon a determination that no further action is necessary or conclusion of an agreement with the notary public. After a complaint file is closed, the secretary of state will take no further action on the complaint and will not accept an additional complaint with the same or substantially similar allegations.

Source Note: The provisions of this §87.34 adopted to be effective August 19, 2018, 43 TexReg 5355

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