Notary Public Blog of Sonita M. Leak, CNSA | “Duress Me Not”, Tales from Hodges, South Carolina

Notary Public Blog of Sonita M. Leak, CNSA | Duress Me Not, Tales from Hodges, South Carolina
December 19, 2017

Point Blank, Period, Duress in ANY situation is not good. Duress against a Senior, or should we say, ‘Seasoned’ Citizen? Sonita don’t play that!

Today, of all days of my entire seven years’ service as a Notary Public for the State of South Carolina, I experienced my very ‘first’ blatant case of Duress.  If you know how I feel about signers’ rights, and you can place me in the midst of a Duress-type situation, you pretty much know that tempers flared.  You can meet tempers with revenge, oooooor, you can bounce back with professionalism, as much kindness as possible given the situation and with kit gloves (you want to make sure the task is accomplished and you leave the premises unharmed).

Today’s signing was SUCCESSFULLY ACCOMPLISHED using the methods above.  It is with great humility and a professional presence myself and a willing additional witness were able to escape with signatures.

Some tips for other Notaries Public when performing signings in which Duress may be a factor:

1) Separate the signer from other relatives and ask them if they are signing under their own free will and deed.
2) Keep some form of protection with you at all times.  I am in no way, shape or form a member of law enforcement, so you will have to seek those resources on your own.
3) Know when to say, “NO!” to a signing situation.
4) Report Elder Abuse (if the person signing is a Seasoned Citizen).  There are several agencies you can seek assistance from should you feel someone may be in danger or may be under the coercive deception of a loved-one.

Here are some resources:

American Psychological Association’s Link on Elder Abuse
A Place for Mom’s Link on Elder Abuse
US Department of Health and Human Service’s Link on Elder Abuse’s Link on Elder Abuse
Nursing Home Abuse Guide’s Link on Elder Abuse


Your Local Upstate Notary Public,

Sonita M. Leak
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