What is the liability of a notary?

Tennessee statutes provide that if a notary who takes acknowledgment of a deed or other instrument fails or refuses to comply with and discharge the duties required of a notary, he or she shall forfeit and pay the sum of $100 for the use of the county of the notary’s residence and shall, moreover, be liable to the party injured for all damages, including costs, the party may sustain by the notary’s failure or refusal to discharge the statutory duties. T.C.A. § 66-22-113. Such action can be based on the negligence or misconduct of the notary. Other penalties for misconduct are discussed elsewhere in this publication. Liability is not limited to the amount of the statutorily mandated bond. Professional liability insurance may be available for a notary public.