Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The signatory's obligation to read the instrument, and a claim of notarial misconduct.

Practice point:  A party is obliged to read a document before signing it, and cannot avoid the document's effect by alleging ignorance of its contents.  A cause of action alleging that the plaintiff was induced to sign something different from what he or she thought was being signed only arises if the signatory is illiterate, blind, or not a speaker of the language in which the document is written.

A defendant establishes prima facie entitlement to judgement as a matter of law dismissing a notarial misconduct claim by presenting evidence that the plaintiff signed the document which contained the notary's acknowledgment. The plaintiff cannot raise a triable issue of fact with conclusory testimony that the he or she did not sign the document.

Case in point:   Anderson v. Dinkes & Schwitzer, P.C., NY Slip Op 03721 (2d Dep't May 10, 2017)

Here is the decision.

Tomorrow's issue:  A claim of unfair competition and misappropriation of confidential information.