Chapter 2: The Notaries
Section 1: The Notaries Serving in the Courts
From those who have satisfied the judicial personnel qualifications set forth under paragraph 1 of Article 23 of the Judicial Personnel Ordinance, the court may selectively appoint court notaries.
Whenever there is more than one notary in a notary division of a district court, one of them shall be appointed as the director, handling and supervising notarial affairs.
Judges of a district court or its branches or judicial personnel, who have satisfied the qualifications mentioned under the first paragraph, can be assigned additional duties to act as notaries.
The notary division’s may hire clerks to assist the notaries in the performance of notarial affairs. The notary clerks are appointed from personnel holding the qualification of a court clerk.
The district court or its branches can appoint court clerks to act as notary clerks in addition to the clerk's other duties.
Section 2: Civil Notary
Civil notaries are appointed by the Judicial Yuan and perform notarial acts as mentioned under Article 2 of this Act.
Regulations governing civil servants do not apply to these notaries mentioned in the preceding paragraph.
The court shall select civil notaries from adult citizens of the Republic of China (hereinafter "the R.O.C.") and who are qualified upon meeting one of the following conditions:
1. Passing the examination for civil notaries;
2. Former judges, or prosecutors, upon being duly qualified;
3. Former public defenders, upon being duly qualified;
4. Former court notaries and duly qualified, or former civil notaries; or
5. Persons having passed the bar examination, and having practiced as an attorney for more than three years
Any person meeting any of the following conditions shall not be appointed as a civil notary. These include someone who has:
1. attained the age of 70 years old;
2. been sentenced to imprisonment of a term of one year or more, except for crimes committed negligently;
3. been deprived of civil rights without those rights being reinstated;
4. been dismissed as a civil servant with a period restricting his reinstatement before that time period has expired;
5. been removed or dismissed on the basis of this Act;
6. been disbarred on the basis of the Lawyers Act;
7. been declared bankrupt without being reinstated;
8. been placed under guardianship or assistance before such declaration has been revoked; or
9. become incapable of performing duties due to a physical or mental disavility.
In difficult to access areas where there is no civil notary, and in accordance with the provisions of the relevant regulations on the qualifications of civil notaries, the Judicial Yuan may select candidate notaries from persons who have the following qualifications: those who have a bachelor's degree from an undergraduate law department; those who have a master of law from a graduate law school of public or accredited private universities or colleges; or be from the law departments or graduate law schools of overseas universities recognized by the Ministry of Education. It is also necessary to have worked as administrative personnel of the judiciary, a court clerk in charge of handling civil and criminal records, or having been appointed as a fifth-level notary assistant for more than four years.
Candidate notaries are in training for a period of three years. At the expiration of the candidacy period, provided they have good credentials, they can be appointed as civil notaries.
The provisions applicable to civil notaries shall apply mutatis mutandis to candidate notaries, unless otherwise provided by this Act.
Civil notaries, after obtaining the approval of the district courts or the branches to which they are registered, may hire assistants to help them perform notarial acts.
The above-mentioned approval may be revoked when necessary.
For the assistants mentioned in the first paragraph, their qualifications, number, scope of professional duties, revocation of authorization, as well as other related items, are prescribed by the Judicial Yuan.
Civil notaries before performing their duties, shall be subject to an internship of an appropriate period. However, this provision does not apply to candidates that meet the qualifications of subparagraph 2 or 4 of Article 25.
Civil notaries, in the course of performing their duties, may be required, depending on business needs, to participate in additional training.
The selection process, internship, appointment and removal of civil notaries are determined by the Judicial Yuan.
Civil notaries are appointed by the Judicial Yuan, which also determines the district court or branch to which the civil notaries are registered. However, the Judicial Yuan may not imit the number of civil notaries.
Upon being appointed, civil notaries may not perform their duties unless they meet the following requirements:
1. Register with the district court or branch to which they are registered.
2. Join the notaries association.
3. Maintain malpractice liability insurance coverage and pay the premium.
4. Submit the mark of their seal, iron stamp and a copy of their signature to the district court or branch to to which they are registered.
Upon being appointed, civil notaries may be removed from their positions if they meet one of the following circumstances:
1. been found guilty of a crime, the verdict of which is final, except for crimes based upon the negligence of the offender.
2. been deprived of civil rights .
3. been dismissed as a former civil servant.
4. been disbarred on the basis of the Lawyers Act.
5. been declared bankrupt.
6. been placed under guardianship or assistance.
7. being incapable of performing duties due to a physical or mental disability .
After the appointment, if the Judicial Yuan discovers that the civil notary has one of the situations stipulated in Article 26, that notary shall be removed from the position.
Civil notaries who fail to pay compulsory professional malpractice liability insurance premiums as provided under this Act may be subject to remove from the position .
Civil notaries who have attained the age of seventy years old shall retire from their position.
Documents made by civil notaries when performing their notarial duties pursuant to this Act shall be deemed as official documents.
Civil notaries who also have the qualifications of a lawyer shall not perform legal practice. However, if the lawyer was licensed as a civil notary with a limited capacity for the purpose of attesting documents only, or due to geographic environment or special needs, the aforementioned limitations shall not apply if the lawyer acquires the Judicial Yuan's approval.
Lawyers concurrently acting as civil notaries (hereinafter "attorney notaries”), shall not accept the appointment of practicing as a lawyer related to those same documents they have attested. Any lawyer belonging to the same law firm may also not be appointed to handle that case.
Unless otherwise provided by this Act, civil notaries shall not concurrently undertake remunerated public offices or business positions, concurrently engage in commercial activities, nor be representatives or users of any company or for-profit association. However, an approval may be granted by the Judicial Yuan, provided there is no conflict with their professional duties.
Civil notaries and their assistants may not act as intermediaries for loans or real estate transactions.
Civil notaries who are temporarily unable to perform their duties due to an illness or any other incident, may request another civil notary or a candidate notary within the jurisdiction of the district court or branch to which they are registered to carry out their notarial duties as their agent.
Civil notaries who, as prescribed above, commission another notary as an agent, shall report it to the district court or the branch to which they are registered. Likewise, when the commission ends, the formerly incapacitated notary shall report it to the court.
In the event the commission period indicated in the first paragraph exceeds one month, the incapacitated notary must request approval from the district court or its branch.
In the event the incapacitated civil notary fails to commission an agent, as prescribed under the first paragraph of the preceding Article, the district court or its branch may appoint a civil notary or a candidate notary within the jurisdiction of the district court or its branch as an agent to carry out the incapacitated civil notary’s notarial duties.
When the civil notary mentioned in the first paragraph of the preceding Article is able to perform his duties, the district court or its branch must discharge the agent.
When the district court or its branch cannot appoint an agent in accordance with paragraph 1, they may appoint a court notary as an agent to perform such duties.
The commissioned agent of a civil notary, when performing notarial duties in accordance with the two preceding Articles, shall make use of the office of the incapacitated notary as his own.
The commissioned agent mentioned in the preceding paragraph, when signing as part of his professional duties, shall affix the incapacitated notary’s title, name, registered district court, office location and agency purpose.
Agents of civil notaries shall assume the responsibility for their own performance of notarial duties. They shall compensate for the damage caused by their malpractice.
Agents who utilize the incapacitated civil notary’s office, personnel or other equipment, shall duly reimburse the incapacitated civil notary for the use of the facilities and personnel. They can apply for adjudication from the court, provided that there is a dispute regarding the amount of reimbursement.
Adjudication mentioned in the preceding paragraph may serve as a legal title for compulsory enforcement.
When necessary, personnel can be assigned by a district court or its branch to seal and store up documents and objects belonging to civil notaries who have died, been removed from their positions, have been dismissed from their duties, or leave their positions due to other reasons.
Within ten days of knowing the death of a civil notary, his/her successors, assistants, or other employees shall inform the district court or its branch to which the civil notary is registered.
When a civil notary has died, been removed from his/her positions, been dismissed from their duties, or left their positions due to other reasons, the district courts or its branches to which the civil notaries registered can assign another civil notary (hereinafter “adjunct notary”) to perform his/her duties in additional to the adjunct notary's own duties.
The adjunct notary can establish offices in the assigned notary districts.
The district courts or its branches to which the notaries registered should discharge the adjunct notary from the adjunct positions when a successor assumes the post of the former notary.
When the civil notaries are removed from their positions, have been dismissed from their duties, or leave their positions due to other reasons, they shall hand over documents and objects relating to their position to their successors or adjunct notaries. The successors and adjunct notaries shall take over the documents and objects.
When the civil notaries die, or otherwise cannot hand over documents and objects, the successors or adjunct notaries shall take possession of the documents and objects in coordination with the personnel appointed by the district courts or the branches to which the successors or the adjunct notaries registered.
Successors and adjunct notaries shall remove the seal in coordination with personnel appointed by the courts or its branches and take possession of the documents and objects which have been sealed and stored according to Article 43.
The Judicial Yuan shall prescribe additional rules regarding takeover of documents and objects between civil notaries.
The preceding article shall apply mutatis mutandis to the situation where adjunct notaries hand over the documents and objects to other civil notaries.
When adjunct notaries are signing in their capacity of the adjunct position, shall always indicate that they are notarizing in that specific capacity.
When making authenticated copies, transcriptions, photocopies, or excerpt copies of the notarial documents made by the former notaries or adjunct notaries, successors of the former notaries shall sign with an indication that they are successors to the former notaries or adjunct notaries.
When civil notaries have died, been removed from their positions, been dismissed from their duties, or left their positions due to other reasons, and no successor can be appointed due to adjustment of the number of civil notaries, the Judicial Yuan may order other civil notaries registered with the same court or branch as the former notaries to take over related documents and objects.
Article 46 and paragraph 2 of the preceding Article shall apply mutatis mutandis to the civil notaries who are ordered to take over the documents and objects.
Article 43, Article 45, paragraph 3 of Article 46, and paragraph 1 of Article 48 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the situation where civil notaries are disciplined by suspension from executing their notarial duties.
Adjunct notaries, who perform their notarial duties according to preceding Article, shall use the office of the civil notaries who are disciplined with suspension.
The supervision of civil notaries is conducted by the Judicial Yuan.
The supervision mentioned in the preceding paragraph can be conducted by the High Court, district courts, or the district court’s branch to which a civil notary is registered.
The rule regarding the supervision shall be set forth by the Judicial Yuan.
The agencies which conduct supervision according to the preceding Article may periodically check documents and objects in civil notaries’ custody.
The supervisory agencies may issue the following orders to civil notaries:
1. The agencies may order civil notaries to take due care of issues regarding their performance of notarial acts.
2. The agencies may issue warnings to civil notaries if they have improper behavior that does not match with their positions. However, the agencies shall inform the notaries of the right to defend themselves before the warning is issued.
Civil notaries shall be disciplined for each improper behavior indicated if they meet one of the following conditions:
1. If they have behaviors which violate at least one of the following Articles: paragraph 3 of Article 1, paragraph 1 of Article 7, Article 10, Article 14, paragraph 1 of Article 15, paragraph 1 of Article 18, Article 32, Article 37, Article 38, paragraph 1 of Article 41, Article 46, paragraph 1 of Article 67, Article 69, Article 70, paragraph 1 of Article 90, paragraph 2 of Article 98, paragraph 1 and paragraph 4 of Article 101, Article 108.
2. If the behavior is not corrected after the disciplinary warning issued according to Article 53.
3. If there is a final criminal judgment, except criminal negligence, against a civil notary.
If civil notaries are removed from their positions according to Article 33 due to the behavior mentioned in any of the above three subparagraphs, there will be no other disciplinary sanctions.
Civil notaries may be disciplined if they meet one of the following conditions:
1. If they have behaviors violate one of the following Articles: Articles 71 to Article 75, or Article 80.
2. Infamous behavior or other behaviors that are against notarial duties.
Civil notaries may be disciplined with following sanctions :
2. Administrative fines between NTD $15,000 and NTD $150,000;
3. Suspension from duties between 2 months and 2 years;
4. Dismissal from the position.
The sanctions mentioned in subparagraph 1 and 2 of the preceding paragraph can be sanctioned concurrently.
The disciplinary committee of civil notaries shall have the authority to sanction all civil notaries.
The disciplinary committee of civil notaries (hereinafter "the disciplinary committee") shall consist of four judges from the High Court or its branches and three civil notaries. The chairman shall be elected by and from among the committee members.
The disciplinary reexamination committee of civil notaries (hereinafter "the reexamination committee") shall consist of five judges from the Supreme Court and four civil notaries. The chairman shall be elected by and from among the committee members.
If the High Court or its branches consider civil notaries’ behaviors to be disciplined, the court or branches shall refer the civil notary to the disciplinary committee for discussion pursuant to its authority.
If district courts or their branches consider that civil notaries registered with their jurisdiction to be disciplined, they shall report the behaviors to the High Court or its branches for review. The High Court or its branches shall refer the behaviors to the disciplinary committee for discussion.
The District Notary Association may refer the behavior of its members to the disciplinary committee for discussion if they consider the behaviors must be disciplined. Joint resolutions of directors and supervisors of the associations are required before the referrals.
The disciplinary committee of civil notaries shall properly investigate cases before making resolutions. It shall provide those who were subject to investigation with a sufficient chance to defend themselves. It may inform the agencies or associations which referred the cases to provide explanation of the reasons for sanction if necessary.
The disciplinary committee shall make a written resolution statement after making the oral resolution mentioned in the preceding paragraph.
The disciplined civil notaries and the associations that refer cases according to paragraph 3 of Article 58 may apply for an appeal to the reexamination committee. The application of appeal shall be made to the reexamination committee within 20 days after the next day of serving of the written resolution statement.
The preceding Article shall apply mutatis mutandis to the procedure of appeal.
If the reexamination committee’s resolution affirms sanctions of suspension or dismissal, the disciplined civil notaries may apply for a re-appeal to the reexamination committee. The Public Functionaries Discipline Act shall apply mutatis mutandis to the procedure and reasons for the application of re-appeal.
The Judicial Yuan shall set forth the rule regarding the disciplinary procedure of civil notaries.
After the disciplinary sanctions are finalized, the disciplinary committee or the reexamination committee shall submit all the documents to the High Court or the branch where the disciplined civil notary is registered. The High Court or its branches shall then report to the Judicial Yuan to issue and execute the orders. The Judicial Yuan shall publish written resolution statements of suspension or dismissals sanctions on the official gazettes of the Judicial Yuan.
If a civil notary is detained by authorities during a criminal investigation procedure, or serving imprisonment or detention pursuant to final criminal judgment, the civil notaries’ duty is ipso jure suspended.
The Judicial Yuan may suspend civil notaries temporarily from their duties until the completion of disciplinary procedure, if the situation of their violation is serious.
Article 50 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the situation that civil notaries are suspended from their duties according to the preceding two paragraphs.
Civil notaries who are suspended from their duties according to paragraphs 1 and 2 of the preceding Article, shall be restored to their duties under the following circumstances:
1. They are not subject to the sanctions of removal, dismissal or suspension.
2. They receive the criminal sentence of detention or imprisonment and have served the sentence, and are not subject to the sanctions of removal, dismissal or suspension.
Civil notaries may apply for resignation. The Judicial Yuan shall discharge the civil notaries’ duties after a designated person takes over the objects or documents according to this Act.
Civil notaries, who are removed, suspended, dismissed, suspended temporarily, or discharged from duties due to retirement or resignation, may not perform their duties after the next day of receiving the order. Those who are detained or sentenced to prison shall not perform their duties. Civil notaries who are ipso jure suspended temporarily from performing their duties according to paragraph 1 of Article 63 may not perform their duties from the time of detention or serving their sentence of imprisonment.
Civil notaries shall maintain malpractice liability insurance coverage during the period of performing their duties.
The Judicial Yuan shall issue an order to determine the minimum amount of insurance coverage for each insured risk according to the circumstances. However, the insurer may limit the amount of insurance compensation to no more than twice as much as the determined minimum coverage for the given insurance year.
Insurers shall immediately inform the district courts, or the branches and District Notary Associations where civil notaries are registered when the notaries’ insurance contracts are suspended, terminated, rescinded, have delayed payment of insurance fees, or other situations that will influence the validity of the insurance contracts
Civil notaries shall compensate for the losses of victims, when said notaries intentionally breach their professional duties and infringe others’ rights. If the infringement is negligently caused, the notaries shall compensate for losses when victims are not able to obtain compensation from other sources.
If victims cannot acquire compensation or indemnity according to the preceding paragraph, the preceding Article, Article 145 or other sources, they may apply for state compensation according to the procedure prescribed by the State Compensation Law. The compensating authority is the district court or its branches, where the said civil notaries are registered.
The preceding two paragraphs shall apply mutatis mutandis to the agents of civil notaries stipulated in paragraph 1 of Article 42.
Paragraph 2 of Article 4 of the State Compensation Law applies mutatis mutandis to the situations stipulated in the preceding two paragraphs.
Civil notaries shall be responsible for intentional or negligent behaviors of their assistants and other employees when performing notarial acts.
Civil notaries shall, before the tenth day of the following month, submit transcriptions or photocopies of notarial deeds or attested deeds made by them to the courts or its branches where they are registered for future reference and examination every month. They shall collect and organize the aforementioned documents by sequential date of acceptance and bound into volumes.