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 Question 4 - Jail notarizations
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Dannotary

California
265 Posts

Posted - 07/21/2014 :  9:43:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit Dannotary's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I did it once years ago. Never again for any amount of pay. It is a demeaning and humiliating process getting into the place #1 that I am not willing to go through.
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onemoroni1

California
2 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2013 :  1:22:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BobbiCT

Simply call the main office of the jail and tell them you are available for notarizations and you'd like to drop off some business cards.





At the local detention center it is forbidden to solicit notary work, be sure you check it out before they throw you you.
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TGS1985

California
208 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2012 :  12:06:05 AM  Show Profile  Visit TGS1985's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Based on my experiences I think Jail Signings are biggest waste of time and resources ever. I have had no success with these things. One of two things usually happens...

A panic stricken family member calls me regarding my services and how much I charge. If I'm available I tell them I can do it and that my price will depend on the visiting procedures of the prison/jail. I then ask for the prisonís/jail's contact information so that I can call and find out that information. Once I have, I give the family member my price and the prisonís/jail's visiting procedures that must followed. They tell me they'll get back to me once they set everything up. I eventually hear back from them just to find out the guy's going to make bail and I'm no longer needed.

OR...

I call the prison/jail and find out they have a notary on site and don't allow outside notaries perform notarization for inmates.

Nothing like wasting 30 minutes or so of your time for nothing. At this point I only take these signings if I'm really desperate for work otherwise I'm "booked solid".

And to answer your question Arlene the majority of the time the document that need notarization regards temporary custody of a minor or minors. Mom or Dad is busted so they need to give custody of their children to their parents temporally until the whole mess can be sorted out.

Edited by - TGS1985 on 01/24/2012 12:12:43 AM
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D Bozick

California
17 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2011 :  12:14:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've done a few jail notarizations with success, however, I've always been accompanied by a relative of the inmate or the inmate's attorney. Prior to the appointment, I make sure that whoever is meeting me has a current, government issued, photo ID for the inmate in their possession (they will sometimes have to obtain this from the prison staff, which can take a day or two).

The only problem I've encountered is in getting the inmate's signature into my ledger without letting my ledger out of my hands. In one of the prisons, there is a small slot at the bottom of the window where I can slide the signature page of the ledger through while holding the other half of the book, give the guard a pen to monitor the inmate as he signs and then retrieve the book. In another prison, there is no slot to slide the page in to the inmate (conversations take place via phone through the window). In this case, unless I want to abort the signing, I have to release my entire ledger to the guard to bring around the window to the inmate to sign and then bring it back out to me, all within view, of course. Letting it out of my hands always makes me uncomfortable.

How have others handled this, especially in the state of CA?

D Bozick, CSA
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arlenemills

Florida
15 Posts

Posted - 10/07/2011 :  07:59:39 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What type of documents do they normally notarize at jails. I noticed on my own profie page it asked if I have experience with jail, I checked no. But when you look me up on 123 - it just states no to jail services, which I would be willing to do. Any advice. Thanks!! A lot of great info on 123Notary! ARlene

arlene mills
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jbelmont

California
2858 Posts

Posted - 06/22/2009 :  10:44:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbelmont's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Whatever jail ID is offered, its probably not acceptable. YOu need a state issued ID, driver license, passport, or something government issued with a photo that is current with physical description, etc.

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Lisa T.

California
391 Posts

Posted - 06/22/2009 :  10:02:23 PM  Show Profile  Visit Lisa T.'s Homepage  Reply with Quote
sanlee321, call the lock-up facility in question and find out what type of ID card or badge that particular facility has for its inmates. It may be like the one I mentioned on NotRot. Like you, I would not bother with credible witnesses at a lock-up facility. It's a hassle drumming up credible witnesses for regular notary customers - what a headache trying to get them to meet at a lock-up facility.

Edited by - Lisa T. on 06/22/2009 10:03:01 PM
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n/a

California
2 Posts

Posted - 06/22/2009 :  7:53:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Beware of flashing your business card because an inmate might actually be sly enough to remember a name or phone number and contact you. It has happened to me.
I'm gonna speak to the attorney's office that wants me to id an inmate with a wristband. This is in CA and it's not acceptable as proper ID. The CA primer generalizes this as though it might be construed as legitimate. I am not interested in using 2 credible witnesses at a jail either. That is asking for too much hassle.
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lildeb1951

Arizona
32 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2008 :  09:37:51 AM  Show Profile  Visit lildeb1951's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jbelmont

Do many of you go to jails at all? I used to go weekly, but then got focused on loan signing. Now is a good time to get familiar with jails since its a good source of revenue when loan signings are tight.



Hi Jeremy, the problem here in AZ is we have fee and travel restrictions for what we can charge for notarizations. Being only a mobile notary is not a lucrative business. We need our SOS to change the travel restriction so we can charge a decent service fee.

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DaveH

California
1 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2008 :  12:56:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit DaveH's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Jennifer,
How did you deal with the ID issue? The jails in Orange County take the inmates ID away and make it very difficult to obtain. They want us to use the inmates bracelet which is NOT acceptable in CA.
I've had several discussions going as far up as the watch commander but have not gotten a satisfactory resolution.
The last was with a Sgt. that basically told me if I would not accept the word of a "sworn law enforcement officer" that was my problem not their's and he guessed I would not be notarizing anything at his jail...

Dave_CA
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n/a

California
1 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2008 :  6:49:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have recently went on a jail signing. It was actually very easy considering I was in and out in an hour and a half. I am 5 minutes from the county mens/ womens jail and was contacted by the mother of an inmate to complete a POA.
The client was deaf and had a learning disorder and he was not able to sit with me on the double sided tables because he was not allowed to come into contact with me, (they do not have the tables with the glass dividers in them at the county jail here) so I notarized the POA through the bars while the guards watched so I had my witnesses, and just wrote a long note of who I was, what I was doing and what he needed to do so it was easy.

Overall it was a pleasnt experience and I made a good profit due to the fact it was at 7 pm, so I didnt have to pay for a sitter for my son, and they were not busy so I was not waiting long. I left a stack of my cards at the front desk so we will see if I get any more business from it.

Jennifer Hendrickson
Mobile Notary/ Loan Signing Agent
714-614-5802
www.qualifiednotary.com/JHENDRICKSON
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Shannon

California
360 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2008 :  09:16:40 AM  Show Profile  Visit Shannon's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The few that I have been involved with have been a nightmare.

First, inmates don't typically have ID's. Getting them to provide them and have them at the signing is best done in advance.

Appointments, while a nice idea, are not the same as in the outside world. Be prepared to wait for access to the party you sign.

If witnesses are required, be sure that they may all be in the signing at the same time. If you are limited to 3 individuals and you are one as the notary, how can a second witness be present?

These are all things I learned the hard way.

I now quote a very high hourly rate to conduct such signings as they usually end up taking a long time to complete.

Do any of you turn a profit conducting such signings?

"A Quick Note"
www.aquicknote.net
Now Providing "Service of Process" in Orange County, CA
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lompocjoe

California
8 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2008 :  08:00:17 AM  Show Profile  Visit lompocjoe's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I live near three federal prisons and for the past four years have assisted a chaplain with inmate marriages every quarter. It's been very interesting since the brides come from all over the United States and coordinating times with them is challenging. Most Federal
prisons (not sure about state) will permit notaries to purchase Confidential Marriage Certificates (I guess the same kind movie stars get for privacy purposes) and then the notary & the prison chaplain get together and set the date. If anyone needs more information, contact me at lompocjoe@gmail.com

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CopperheadVA

Virginia
420 Posts

Posted - 07/20/2008 :  04:31:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I received a call once to go to the local jail and notarize a POA. The inmate's mother is the one who contacted me, because she said jail personnel were not responding to her inquiries. When I called the jail to see how I could set it up, I was told that I would not be allowed to visit. Was told that they have notaries on staff (guards?) and that the mother of the inmate would just have to be patient. I was sort of relieved - didn't really want the hassle anyway. So no jail house notarizations around here.

CopperheadVA
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jbelmont

California
2858 Posts

Posted - 05/28/2008 :  03:20:13 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbelmont's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Do many of you go to jails at all? I used to go weekly, but then got focused on loan signing. Now is a good time to get familiar with jails since its a good source of revenue when loan signings are tight.
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jbelmont

California
2858 Posts

Posted - 03/05/2008 :  11:23:46 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbelmont's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Why don't you call a few of the criminal defense attorneys. Perhaps they might need to use you from time to time. You never know.
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timgatewood

Tennessee
27 Posts

Posted - 03/05/2008 :  07:04:14 AM  Show Profile  Visit timgatewood's Homepage  Reply with Quote
As a former legal secretary who became a Notary so I could notarize docs for my attorney-boss where he was one of the signers, I would be very surprised if there are any criminal defense attorneys who need a traveling notary -- they normally have other attorneys and legal secretaries and paralegals and other staff in their offices who are notaries. You also would have to deal with criminal defense attorneys, who are generally defending folks that they know are most likely guilty, so what does that say about them?

I call them criminal defense attorneys because only the state or the feds prosecute -- any attorney who is practicing criminal law is defending the accused criminal unless they are on the government payroll.

Marketing any kind of services to attorneys takes a very different mindset because they are much more sensitive about the unauthorized practice of law and you have to be very careful not to offer any services that they consider to be legal services. I have done some of what I call legal outsourcing work, but this actually consisted of accounting (turning bank statements into a proper Probate Court accounting, which a former attorney-boss taught me how to do) and/or secretarial work (for the said former attorney-boss on a very limited part-time basis when he was totally buried with paperwork). In both cases, it was limited services to attorneys who already knew me and who called me for the help. How a non-attorney notary would market to attorneys she or he does not already know is something I have considered, but I have not come up with any good ideas on the subject.

On the question of jail, I notarized the husband's side of a refi closing once in the county penal farm (the wife was not in jail and my client was the title co, who made all the arrangements with the cpf -- I should have charged them more, as it ate a bunch of time in waiting before the few minutes actually spent inside with the prisoner and his guard). I had a job many years ago working for a blind man who ran the commissary in the Memphis City Jail, so I was inside that facility once a day while that job lasted. My general comment to folks about being a traveling notary is that I will go anywhere in the county as long as you are not locked up because I have worked in the jail and the county lockup and never want to go back to either.

-- Tim / Memphis

quote:
Originally posted by jbelmont

You can give business cards to the jail staff, but sometimes they are now allowed or willing to refer you. They might point people to the yellow pages. However, giving cards to the visitors could be profitable. Bailbonds companies are good bets to visit in person also as they get regular business for notaries. Criminal attorneys are another bet although I have no experience marketing directly to them.



Notary Memphis
Traveling Notary, Signing Agent & Field Inspector
Serving Memphis & west Tenn.
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jbelmont

California
2858 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2008 :  08:04:16 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbelmont's Homepage  Reply with Quote
You can give business cards to the jail staff, but sometimes they are now allowed or willing to refer you. They might point people to the yellow pages. However, giving cards to the visitors could be profitable. Bailbonds companies are good bets to visit in person also as they get regular business for notaries. Criminal attorneys are another bet although I have no experience marketing directly to them.
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BobbiCT

Connecticut
135 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2008 :  03:45:58 AM  Show Profile  Visit BobbiCT's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Simply call the main office of the jail and tell them you are available for notarizations and you'd like to drop off some business cards.

I assume it is profitable for your in PA. In CT, the maximum statutory fee "per notarization" is $5 plus 35 cents per mile. It is not profitable for me to travel for that fee. Personal opinion: Getting into the jail, making sure that someone will be available to pay me in cash, plus the inmate must have identification in compliance with CT notarization laws is a PIA. I know many of our Legal Services attorneys are often at local jails and can notarize documents for their "clients."
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kandy1099

Pennsylvania
121 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2008 :  12:03:10 AM  Show Profile  Visit kandy1099's Homepage  Reply with Quote
So how does one getting starting working as a jail notary? There is a jail right across the river from me, and it would help during these slow times.
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jbelmont

California
2858 Posts

Posted - 02/12/2008 :  12:17:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbelmont's Homepage  Reply with Quote
To answer LBJ, generally they need powers of attorney since they can't do anything themselves. Then, grant deeds, quitclaim deeds are also sometimes common.

The procedure is different in each jail as a notary previously pointed out in this string. Its good to know the whole procedure at each jail that you go to. Each jail is completely different. Some are high security and could really keep you waiting.

Other jails have really mean people working there who will hurt your feelings, but most jail staff are very nice people in my experience.
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LBJ

Maryland
14 Posts

Posted - 02/12/2008 :  07:03:11 AM  Show Profile  Visit LBJ's Homepage  Reply with Quote
This totally piques my interest.......especially the lucrative part. There is a new penitentiary about 20 miles from me also.
1. Please advise what types of documents exactly would you notarize for these inmates?
2. In addition to the travel fee and waiting fee, what do you charge for notarizing the other documents?
3. How did you get started?
Someone said to visit the jail first.....do they just let anyone in the facility? I really need to know how to get started.....please tell more. TYVM
lbj
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Sylvia_FL

Florida
46 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2008 :  12:35:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit Sylvia_FL's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Florida doesn't even allow conjugal visits, so the only time the wives will see their husbands is behind bars. The first one I performed the guy was a lifer! When I got into the chapel, accompanied by an official, another prisoner (a lifer in for murder) was setting up sound equipment. When we were ready to start the ceremony he put on some music and he sang "Meet Me At The Altar". After the ceremony another prisoner took Polaroid photos.

About a month after the wedding I discovered that the groom had been moved to another correction facility far away from the one where I performed the service, and a lot farther away from his bride.
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jbelmont

California
2858 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2008 :  08:41:31 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbelmont's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Its amazing how many girls are waiting in line to marry a criminal. I noticed that the waiting room in Men's central had the best looking girls. I guess those girls don't always exercise the best form of judgement.

quote:
Originally posted by Sylvia_FL

The only times I have visited a correctional institute was to perform marriage ceremonies. (In Fl notaries are authorized wedding officiants). They were "interesting" to say the least.
Before going out there I had to clear it with the officials at the CI, they needed all my info to do a background check on me, then a few days later I get a call to say I am cleared to go.
Then when I arrive, they have me go to a separate entrance (not the usual visitors one - where the line was loooooong), they patted me down and used one of those "wands" like they use at airport security. They took my ID until I left. Then they fitted me with an electronic device I was to activate if I felt threatened at any time. I performed the marriages with armed guards in the chapel.

Prisoners ID was not a problem as it was a CI and not the regular jail.

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Sylvia_FL

Florida
46 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2008 :  03:34:30 AM  Show Profile  Visit Sylvia_FL's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The only times I have visited a correctional institute was to perform marriage ceremonies. (In Fl notaries are authorized wedding officiants). They were "interesting" to say the least.
Before going out there I had to clear it with the officials at the CI, they needed all my info to do a background check on me, then a few days later I get a call to say I am cleared to go.
Then when I arrive, they have me go to a separate entrance (not the usual visitors one - where the line was loooooong), they patted me down and used one of those "wands" like they use at airport security. They took my ID until I left. Then they fitted me with an electronic device I was to activate if I felt threatened at any time. I performed the marriages with armed guards in the chapel.

Prisoners ID was not a problem as it was a CI and not the regular jail.
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jbelmont

California
2858 Posts

Posted - 10/03/2007 :  09:12:57 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbelmont's Homepage  Reply with Quote
What is the procedure for a jail notarization? Please discuss identification and communication with the "client" as one of the main points. Remember, that its always a friend, attorney or relative of the inmate who hires the notary, not the jailbird.
We can also discuss which ones of you enjoy visiting jails and what its like, etc.
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