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Questions and Professional Answers

Questions and Professional Answers

  • Notarized custody statement

    Is joint parental notarized statement to transfer legal custody to kinship relative legal binding document? Can this be revoked by one of the signing parents?
    • Re: Notarized custody statement

      It is NOT a Court Order, which is what you need and what can be enforced if a party does not comply with its terms. The notarized document may be evidence of intent to do something (or not do something), but it is typically not binding or enforceable.These are complex issues, and it is important that they be handled correctly. Therefore, it is important that you consult an experienced family law attorney to find out what options are available to you based on the facts of your particular case.If you need more information, you can visit my family law blog ( or our website ( I wish you the best of luck.Ben Stevens

      Ben Stevens
      Turnipseed, Brannon & Stevens
      128 Magnolia Street
      Spartanburg, SC 29306
    • Re: Notarized custody statement

      No, one doesn't legally transfer the custody of children in this manner to have any binding effect.(Only a court of proper jurisdiction is legally empowered to make such determinations.)

      Michael E. Hendrickson
      Attorney & Counsellor at Law
      211 North Union Street Suite 100
      Alexandria, VA 22314
  • Is A Faxed Copy Of Notarized Document Binding?

    We bought a Bowflex (Nautilus)two years ago. The bench broke and my husband's shoulder was injured in February 2002. We have been going back and forth with them ever since, not wanting to settle until his shoulder stopped hurting. They agreed to pay the chiropracter's bills, give us an upgrade to their top of the line model at no charge to us, and some money for ''paid and suffering''. The document they sent to be notarized said the medical bills were $595. I had it notarized and faxed it from work, intending to mail the original today. When I went home for lunch, there was a statement from the chiropracter saying that the total amount was not $595, but $1,115 - with dates of treatment and costs itemized. Apparently, they only had the dates from the chiropracter up to 4/8/02, when he's had treatment all the way up until November of 2003. I called our contact at Nautilus and told them they were missing some medical bills and faxed them the statement from the doctor. Can they hold us to a faxed copy of a notarized statement without having the original or will they be forced to renegotiate.
    • Re: Is A Faxed Copy Of Notarized Document Binding?

      You should fax another notarized statement indicating correction of document dated xx/xx/xx and make sure that it has all of the necessary information before you sign it and notarize it again. Send it off then. People make mistakes even in documents that are notarized. File your correction with the same formality. Consult with an attorney to determine whether or not the proposed settlement agreement will meet the needs of the injured person? Has there been any determination of whether or not there is a permanent injury or are you going to accept a settlement for the medical bills and some token amount for pain and suffering. Good time to talk with a good attorney.

      Christine O'Sullivan
      Law Offices of Christine B. O'Sullivan
      13 Hermit Lane
      Westport, CT 06880-1114
  • norarized loan repayment

    My 21 yr. old daughter took out a loan for her friend to fix his car($l800). She has a signed and notarized statement stating that he would pay it back. However, now he is in jail and of course my daughter is stuck paying the loan. When this is finally paid back it will amount to $2300 due to interest. How binding is this signed, notarized statement. What steps should she take or is this going to be a hard learning experience for her?
    • Re: norarized loan repayment

      From the facts you provided it appears that the statement signed by the boyfriend would be interpreted as a contract for the boyfriend to repay your daughter. Therefore your daughter can file a lawsuit in the local District Justice (DJ) court & try to obtain a judgment against the boyfriend. My guess is that at this time he is unable to pay any money. However the judgment is good for 5 years and can be renewed prior to the expiration of 5 years. If the boyfriend is able to pay at some time in the furture, hopefully your daughter can collect, either voluntarily or involuntarily. Note that if your daughter obtains a judgment in the DJ court, I think it would be best to record the judgment in your county Common Pleas court. In any case, this will be a good lesson for your daughter. It's never a good idea to guarantee a loan- there are always risks.Richard K. Teitell,

      Richard Teitell
      Richard K. Teitell, Esquire, P.C.
      150 Monument Rd., Suite 603
      Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
    • Re: norarized loan repayment

      It would appear that your daughter has a valid contract. These contracts can be enforced at the magisterate court. The fact that her boyfriend is in jail would not be a defense, if he is default she could obtain a judgement. However obtaining a judgement and collecting are two totally separate things. Her boyfriend must have assets in his name to execute on the judgement.Brandon Barnett, Esq.412-916-1677

      Brandon Barnett
      Brandon J. Barnett Attorney At Law
      5624 Brownsville Rd
      Pittsburgh, PA 15236
  • Legality of signed statement

    On 3 Sept 2005, my husband signed a statement giving me full ownership of several of our bank accounts - 1 from Wells Fargo Bank and 3 from Meriwest Credit Union. The exact amounts are listed on the statement.He is now trying to say that I am stealing this money from him. While I do have the signed letter in my possession, it was not notarized. IS this statement still a legal form?
    • Re: Legality of signed statement

      Yes. A notarized document simply adds greater credibility and authorized third party verification that no fraud, duress, etc..transpired in the execution of the document at issue. However, you may want to strongly consider consulting further with an attorney on this matter to BEST protect yourself, especially once you divulge what your ex's alleged defenses or claims against you are. The totality of the circumstances will help an attorney guide you legally from here. If you would like such assistance, contact us directly.

      H.M. Torrey
      The Law Offices of H.M. Torrey
      800 West El Camino Real, Suite 180
      Mountain View, CA 94040
    • Re: Legality of signed statement

      The police and district attorney seldom become involved in a financial dispute between husband and wife. You should keep a record of what you use this money for. If you use it, pay community debts. Then if you need to defend in court you can produce evidence of what you used the money for.

      Lyle Johnson
      Lyle W. Johnson Attorney at Law
      152 N. Third Street, Suite 510
      San Jose, CA 95112
  • Is notarized written statement admissible in court?

    In small claims court in CT, I have a witness to a minor accident. For court, can I use anotarized written statement asadmissible testimony so witmess does not have to appear in court?
    • Re: Is notarized written statement admissible in court?

      No.Your opponent cannot "cross examine" a notarized statement.

      James Aspell
      Law Office of James F. Aspell, PC
      776 Farmington Avenue
      West Hartford, CT 06119
  • Notarized statement vs witness

    hello, Will a notarized statement from a witness be as effective as having the witness appear in court?
    • Re: Notarized statement vs witness

      No, it will not be admissible.

      Mark S. Moroknek
      Law Office of Mark S. Moroknek *
      175 The Vale
      Syosset, NY 11501
  • Is lawsuit valid if based on a false affidavit?

    Lawsuit filed on basis of a HOA management company notarized affidavit stating that repairs are needed on property. The HOA management representative's notarized sworn statement said that she had been to the property alledgedly owned by me on several occasions, gave the location address of said property with detail listing of repairs. The property named in the lawsuit is TOTALLY different property than the one named in the notarized affidavit attached to the lawsuit, the two properties are not even in the same subdivision. In fact, the property named in the notarized affidavit was bought by my husband before we were married, it is in his name only, I am not the legal owner of the property. Also, the property in the notarized affidavit is not in any disrepair. Is lawsuit based on this false affidavit upholdable/valid in court?
    • Re: Is lawsuit valid if based on a false affidavit?

      I don't know what the lawsuit is all about. Is the affidavit "false" or merely "error"? False implies intentional conduct to deceive, an error is something that can be corrected. These types of questions are best discussed with your lawyer.

      James Grissom
      Law Office of James P. Grissom
      3507 West Alberta Rd.
      Edinburg,, TX 78539
  • Subpoena

    I was asked (by my ex boyfriend) to provide a written & notarized statement for his child custody hearing about the fact that I supported him and his daughter for 7 months while we were together, and paid all the bills, because his ex-wife could not afford to support his daugher. If I refuse to write this statement, can he legally subpoena me to some to court?
    • Re: Subpoena

      Yes. If the matter was to go to trial. You can state only what you have personal knowledge of. For instance you know you supported him, but you were told the reason.

      2185 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.
      San Diego, CA 92107
  • How can I get an afidavit admited as evidence in CA ?

    I've been reading blogs out there, where people are using notarized afidavits as evidence in their lawsuits (I'm going to file in CA State Court). I know that it's hearsay to bring in any written statement where the author can't be brought in for cross examination, but I can't afford to bring in people from other states, so if there was a way for them to send me a notarized affidavit, where I can somehow use it in support of any of my claims, it would be Awsome. Any ideas ???
    • Re: How can I get an afidavit admited as evidence in CA ?

      There really isn't much you can do about this. The reason hearsay isn't allowed in court is that the other side will not be able to cross-examine the person who made the statement. The affidavits you want to use are prime examples of evidence which causes that problem.There are exceptions to the hearsay rule, but most of them relate to the circumstances under which the statement was made -- a dying declaration, for example, or certain types of regularly-kept business records. There are exceptions based upon to the statement's relationship to prior statements by the same person (for example, has the witness contradicted herself), but these generally apply only to prior statements by a witness who testifies at trial.The hearsay rule has too many nuances and exceptions to explain here. Since I know nothing about the statements you want admitted or about what you hope they will demonstrate, I can't say whether they would be admissible or not. The odds are not in your favor, though.

      Edward Hoffman
      Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman
      6171 West Century Boulevard, Suite 200
      Los Angeles, CA 90045
    • Re: How can I get an afidavit admited as evidence in CA ?

      I agree with Mr. Hoffman's analysis of the difficulties you would encounter in using affidavits in lieu of live testimony. Particularly if you are in pro. per. and not an attorney, and the other side is represented by counsel, you would be subjected to a flurry of objections, mostly well-founded, and probably wouldn't get any of your proposed evidence admitted.As he points out, there are some limited exceptions to the hearsay rule, but they are narrow and technical and the chances are great that they wouldn't apply, or you wouldn't have the legal knowledge and experience to explain to the judge, before he rules on a motion to strike, why a particular part of your affidavit should be admissible for a particular purpose.A better way to obtain admissible testimony from faraway witnesses is to take their depositions. This can be done either by submission of written questions or orally. Deposition testimony of distant (over 150 miles from the courthouse) non-party witnesses is generally admissible against a party who had notice of the deposition. Depositions give opposing counsel their opportunity to cross-examine. Depositions are taken before a court reporter at a private (non-courtroom) location and they can be videotaped.Trying cases in superior court is tricky business even for trained lawyers, and you may be in for a rude awakening if you try to represent yourself. I've done it, and even though I am a lawyer, it's difficult to handle the dual roles of attorney and client in live courtroom action.If you file your case, upon it being assigned to a judge, take some time to sit in that judge's courtroom during an actual trial before yours comes up. Try for one of similar complexity and nature. Try to imagine how you would handle the responsibilities of the attorneys.

      Bryan Whipple
      Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law
      P O Box 318
      Tomales, CA 94971-0318
  • Living Trust Notarized

    Does an Illinois living trust have to be notarized? A close friend in Chicago whose father just died had a trust prepared in 1990 which was signed but not notarized. When my friend went to the bank, the bank would not accept him as the successor trustee since the trust was not notarized? I am in California and here a trust does not need to be notarized but it is usually a good idea. Does the living trust have to be notarized in Illinois?
    • Re: Living Trust Notarized

      Good morning.It is not required but it is a good idea, so you can avoid these kinds of challenges to the testator's signature. Was it witnessed by anyone? Will be happy to discuss any additional questions that your friend or you may have.

      Zedrick Braden III
      Law Office of Zedrick Braden III
      203 North LaSalle, Suite 2100
      Chicago, IL 60601
    • Re: Living Trust Notarized

      Good morning.It is not required but it is a good idea, so you can avoid these kinds of challenges to the testator's signature. Was it witnessed by anyone? Will be happy to discuss any additional questions that your friend or you may have.

      Zedrick Braden III
      Law Office of Zedrick Braden III
      203 North LaSalle, Suite 2100
      Chicago, IL 60601
    • Re: Living Trust Notarized

      Is the trust dated? Signed and dated is all that is required. But the bank is not being unreasonable. If the bank paid the funds to the trust beneficiary and someonelse came along to contest the validity of the trust the bank could be left holding the bag so to speak.However, since the decedent's account was at the bank it must have a signature card on file to compare with the one on the trust. Let me know if you want to explore this and other ways to resolve it without going to court.

      Gregory Turza
      Law Offices of Gregory P Turza
      4711 Golf Road Suite 550
      Skokie, IL 60076