HBA-BSM H.B. 3134 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 3134 By: Chavez Judicial Affairs 3/26/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, there is a growing problem of notaries public representing themselves as attorneys, especially to immigrants and individuals with little or poor English speaking skills. Notaries public are taking money from these people without fulfilling the duties of an attorney. House Bill 3134 adds to current provisions regarding notaries public stating or implying that they are licensed to practice law in Texas. The bill also establishes criminal penalties for notaries public who falsely represent and advertise themselves as attorneys. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS House Bill 3134 amends the Government Code to provide that a person commits an offense if the person is a notary public and the person: _states or implies that the person is an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas; _solicits or accepts compensation to prepare documents for or otherwise represent the interest of another in a judicial or administrative proceeding, including a proceeding relating to immigration to the United States, United States citizenship, or related matters; _solicits or accepts compensation to obtain relief of any kind on behalf of another from any officer, agency, or employee of Texas or the United States; _uses the phrase "notario" or "notario publico" to advertise the services of a notary public by any means; or _the person does not post or otherwise include with the advertisement a notice stating that the notary public is not an attorney. A violation of the Act is a Class A misdemeanor. An offense under the Act is felony of the third degree if it shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant had previously been convicted of this crime. The bill removes provisions prohibiting the literal translation of the phrase "Notary Public" into Spanish. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.