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November 20, 2013

School District Rejects Notarized Affidavit

Senior Counsel Dee Black answers questions and assists members with legal issues in Pennsylvania. He and his wife homeschooled their children. Read more >>

Home School Legal Defense Association recently assisted a member family whose affidavit filed with Millville Area School District to begin homeschooling was rejected because it had been notarized in a state other than Pennsylvania. The parent signing the affidavit had gotten it notarized while in Wyoming. According to the letter sent to the parent by the district superintendent, it was necessary for the parent to execute a new affidavit before a Pennsylvania notary before it would be accepted.

In his reply to the superintendent’s letter, HSLDA Senior Counsel Dewitt Black acknowledged that Pennsylvania’s law governing home education programs requires that the affidavit be notarized, but he asserted that the law does not mandate that it be notarized only in Pennsylvania. In fact, the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts adopted by Pennsylvania states, “A notarial act performed in another state has the same effect under the law of this Commonwealth as if performed by a notarial officer of this Commonwealth if the act performed in that state is performed by … a notary public of that state.”

Apparently the Wyoming notarization gave rise to the suspicion that the family did not actually reside in Pennsylvania, because the superintendent also insisted that they provide proof of residency. Black responded in his letter that the family’s residence address in Millville and local telephone number were included in the affidavit submitted and that state law required nothing more.

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