• Lisa McKellar Poursine

What can a Florida International Civil Law Notary do for you?

Updated: Jan 21



Litigation

Due to the influx of South American real estate and business investments in South Florida, Florida litigators often come across circumstances where a witness or client contact essential to a Florida case is no longer residing in the United States, but now resides in Argentina, Uruguay, or Chile. In connection therewith, the litigator may need:

  • The Jurat Page of Answers to Interrogatories for a Florida case to be notarized; or

  • An Affidavit to submit with a Motion for Summary Judgment for a Florida case to be notarized, but run into an obstacle when the individual is not returning to Florida for quite some time.

A public notary cannot notarize such a document outside of the State of Florida; however, a Florida international civil law notary has the authority to notarize documents outside of Florida or abroad for use in Florida. A Florida international civil law notary, in contrast to a public notary, is a lawyer who is in good standing with the Florida Bar and has practiced for five (5) years or more, has passed a comprehensive civil law notary examination, and holds a lifetime appointment by the Florida Department of State pursuant to Fla. Stat. Sec. 118.11 (2018). There are less than one hundred and sixty (160) individuals who are Florida international civil law notaries.


Powers of Attorney

A Florida civil law notary may authenticate a document granting power of attorney to a designated individual with respect to all or some of the powers held by the grantor. Such a document may be signed and authenticated by a Florida civil law notary abroad and give the power of attorney to an individual traveling to or residing in Florida with respect to a banking, real estate, and/or trusts and estates matter.


Real Estate

Florida international civil law notary services may be used by real estate attorneys where the signer of a real estate deed for a Florida property is located abroad, or the deed is conveying real estate in a civil law jurisdiction (such as Spain, Italy, Argentina, Uruguay, or Chile) and the deed’s signer is located in Florida. Further, a real estate closing for a Florida property can be completed abroad with the assistance of a Florida international civil law notary.  See Fla. Stat. Sec. 695.03(3) for more information. 


Marriages

A Florida international civil law notary may solemnize marriages for Florida residents on international waters.


Probate

A Florida international civil law notary may assist with the transfer of property in a foreign country by creating an authentic act.


Example: A mother owns property in a civil law country, and she owns that property as a tenant in common with her husband and their son. The mother dies and leaves her share of the property to the father. The son then relinquishes his right to the property, and the father comes to an agreement with a potential buyer to the property. However, the land records in the civil law jurisdiction do not reflect the mother’s intestate death. How can the civil law notary in the foreign civil law country, who is needed to convey the property, then know that the father is legally the only owner of it? A quick and easy solution is that a Florida international civil law notary can create an “authenticate act” referencing Fla. Stat. Sec. 118.10, attesting to the legitimacy of a Florida court’s probate court order making the father the sole heir to the property. That authentic act is then presumed correct.


Corporate Transactions

A Florida civil law notary has the legal power to create an authentic act abroad proving the legal representation of a corporate signatory for a Florida entity.


Example: A Florida international civil law notary may create an authentic act that confirms that a foreigner who, for example, serves as the secretary of a Florida corporation has the legal capacity to sign a corporate resolution, and that XYZ person is then the 25% owner of that corporation (if the facts so provide). That authentic act is “legally equivalent to the authentic acts of civil-law notaries in all jurisdictions outside of the geographic borders of the United States” pursuant to Fla. Stat. Sec. 118.10.


Insurance

A resident of a civil law country who has a homeowner’s insurance policy on a property located in Florida may need to file a sworn statement for a proof of loss prior to being able to recover for a property damage claim with respect to the Florida property; a Florida international civil law notary may notarize such a document outside of Florida.


Certification of Arbitration and/or Court Documents

A Florida international civil law notary may certify Florida court and/or arbitration documents for use in court proceedings in a civil law country.


Certification of Translations

A Florida international civil law notary may certify translations for use in a civil law country.


The above-mentioned examples are a few of the powers held by a Florida international civil law notary. Call McKellar Poursine, P.L.L.C. at (305) 721-2954 to discuss whether we can help you.

Copyright © 2018 McKellar Poursine, PLLC - All Rights Reserved.