Last Minute Court Appearance Leaves Attorney Scrambling For San Diego Jail Notary


A notary public is often needed at the San Diego County Jail in order to help incarcerated inmates. In the process of going to trial, an inmate might need to sign over certain rights to loved ones or their attorney. These documents could include powers of attorney, custody paperwork or any number of different legal documents. In order to prevent fraud and ensure that the signer is who they say they are, a San Diego notary public will meet with the inmate’s attorney or loved one at the San Diego County Jail to notarize legal documents.

Last week I received a call from an attorney in downtown San Diego in need of a notary public, fast. His client was being transferred to the San Diego Superior Court at 1100 Union Street for trial, but needed to sign some legal documents before being transferred. The documents needed to be notarized, but the inmates court appearance had been rescheduled to an earlier time, so the attorney needed someone quick. He found me on and called around 8:00 am Thursday morning. He needed a mobile notary public at the San Diego County Jail within 30 minutes. I told him this wouldn’t be an issue as I’m a downtown San Diego notary and my response times are typically within fifteen minutes. I raced down to the jail and met with his law clerk to get the documents signed in time for his transfer. The documents contained an older version of the California Acknowledgment Certificate and would not be valid if signed as is, so I attached the correct certificate to ensure the notarization was completed properly. The whole appointment took about an hour to get through security, meet with the client and return the guest badges to the security desk.

Whenever a notary meets at the San Diego County Jail, the process can take extra time due to security measures and the need to check in and out. There are a number of different reasons why the signing could be delayed as well. If there is an incident inside the jail, then the facility could be placed on lockdown, causing further delays. Additionally, the inmate will most likely be behind protective glass and possibly shackled. This can cause problems if the notary cannot properly communicate. Furthermore, the notary journal, pen and documents often must be handed to the inmate by a guard since those items cannot fit through the opening in the glass.  If the inmate is shackled, they could have issues signing their name properly as well. This lack of ability to communicate with and pass documents to the notary, can cause the process to take even longer. Because of this extra time, jail and prison signings cost more than a standard notarization. I charge a travel fee, plus a location fee for jails and prisons in addition to the notarization fee. When I book an appointment at the jail, I let the client know that the price includes up to one hour of my time, once I get to the jail. After the initial hour, I charge a wait fee based on thirty minute increments. For more information on pricing for a San Diego County Jail notary, please visit my pricing page. To schedule a San Diego notary public, please call 619 731-0878 or request online.