« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
services are rendered in behalf of the widows and families of deceased soldiers or sailors of the United States, or where, from other circumstances, the exaction would operate oppressively upon the applicant. It is expected that these considerations will have due weight with consular officers. The Department of State does not intervene unless in cases of manifest injustice, although it reserves the right at all times to decide upon the fairness and propriety of any charge that a consular officer may make for such services, and to fix the amount to be paid, if there shall be any reason to do so. (Paragraph 488.)
482. Under Federal laws.—The statute permits consular officers, whenever they are required or deem it necessary or proper to do so, within the limits of their respective districts, to administer to or take from any person an oath, affirmation, affidavit, or deposition, and to perform any notarial act which any notary public is required or authorized by law to do or perform within the United States. Such acts, in order to be valid and effectual, must be certified by the consul under his hand and seal of office.-R. S., sec. 1750.
483. Under State laws. The laws of some of the States and Territories authorize consular officers to take acknowledgments of deeds, to take depositions and affidavits, and to perform other official acts for use in such States and Territories. When called upon for any service not within the usual functions and competence of a notary public, according to the general law and usage of commercial nations, the consul will be guided by the State or Territorial statute which empowers him to act in the premises. The powers and duties of a notary public are derived in a large measure from general usage, public law, and the customs of merchants. To some degree they are regulated by statute in most of the States, but not usually in such a manner as to restrict the exercise of the functions which otherwise appertain to the office. As a general rule, a notary public may take acknowledgments of deeds, powers of attorney, agreements, leases, releases, assignments, bonds, mortgages, bills and contracts of sale, and protests, certify copies, and may take all forms of oaths, affidavits, and depositions.
484. Performance of notarial services optional.—Consular officers are not compelled to render notarial services; but, as a general rule, when the act requested can be performed without interference with official business, and without giving offense to the local government, they are expected, upon the tender of a suitable remuneration, to perform it. They are prohibited, however, to issue certificates of law or fact as to any matters outside the scope of their official duties and powers. (Paragraph 422.)
485. Compensation for services.-Consular officers are authorized to charge for notarial services the fees prescribed for notaries public in the District of Columbia, and no more.
Tariff of notarial fees. The tariff of notarial fees fixed by law for the District of Columbia is as follows:
For each certificate and seal, 50 cents.
Taking depositions or other writings, for each 100 words, 10 cents.
Administering an oath, 15 cents.
Taking acknowledgment of a deed or power of attorney, with certificate thereof, 50 cents.
Every protest of a bill of exchange or promissory note, and recording the same, $1.75.
Each notice of protest, 10 cents.
Each demand for acceptance or payment, if accepted or paid, $1, to be paid by the party accepting or paying the same.
Each noting or protest, $1.
Revised Statutes relating to the District of Columbia, section 990.
A copy of this tariff of fees must be posted in a conspicuous place in the public office of the consulate.
Notarial fees belong to consul.- While a notarial service derives its legal validity and effect from the official character of the person performing it and is an official service, consular officers are not required to pay the fees for such services into the Treasury, but may retain them as personal fees, unless the service or a part of it is one for which a fee is preseribed in the tariff of official fees.—33 Fed. Rep., 572. (Paragraph 533.) In that case the fee prescribed in the tariff of official fees must be collected and accounted for to the Treasury.
486. Record and transcript of notarial and unofficial services.Each consul shall keep a permanent record of all notarial and unofficial services and of the fees or compensation received therefor, and transmit at the close of each quarter one sworn mpy of the same (Form No. 159) to the Department of State and another sworn copy to the Auditor for the State and other Departments. If no fees for notarial services have been col. Jurted that fact must be reported. This record and transcript should include all notarial and unofficial acts for which a fee has been charged, and also gratuitous services of like characier, such as the authentication of pension vouchers, bond transfers, etc.; describe the service so fully and clearly that its nature may be ascertained by inspection. Entry of the services as "affidavit,” “oath," "certification,” “authentication," etc., is insufficient. Many of these acts are concerned with the transfer of property and the execution of papers and instruments of importance. Questions are likely to arise at any time which it is desirable that the Department of State should have the means of answering, either from the information on its files or in the records of the several consulates. The Form (No. 159) which has been prepared for this purpose shows the particulars which the record shall contain and also
the form of oath to accompany it. If in the execution of papers witnesses are required, their names should be entered in the column of “remarks."
487. Notarial services by consular clerks.—When a consular clerk attached to a consular office is required to perform notarial or other unofficial services for the convenience of the consul, the consular clerk is entitled to reasonable compensation out of the fees received for the services, in addition to his salary, which is paid him for his official work only.
488. Lien upon papers—disputed charges.- Where it is necessary to insure payment, a consular officer may retain the papers committed to him in connection with the notarial or unofficial work until his proper fees are paid. In such case, however, he should promptly notify the party employing him of the completion of the work and of his readiness to transmit the papers or the information on receiving payment of his fees. If payment is refused, a full report of the case should be made to the Department of State.
If a dispute arises as to the proper charges and the consul and his employer are unable to agree, the facts may be laid before the Department, which will give such instructions as may be deemed proper.
489. Commission to take testimony.-- When a court in the United States appoints a consular officer commissioner to take testimony in a foreign country for the use of that court, the commission is usually accompanied by interrogatories and full instructions, which the consul should be careful to follow. In such cases the consul acts, not in his official capacity as consul, but as an officer of the court which issues the commission, and his charges must not exceed those allowed by the court issuing the commission. These charges must be included in the record and transcript prescribed in paragraph 486.
490. Where local government objects. -- Where the local gor. ernment objects to the taking of testimony by a consular
officer, acting as commissioner for a court in the United States, the consul should return the papers with an explanation of the reasons why he is unable to execute the commission and with any suggestions he may be able to make as to the proper method of obtaining the testimony-whether by letters rogatory or otherwise.
COMPENSATION OF CONSULAR OFFICERS.
491. Two classes. With respect to their compensation, consular officers are divided into two classes, (1) those who are paid a fixed salary appropriated annually by Congress, and
those who are paid no salary, but receive their compensation in fees collected for official services and in payments from the Treasury of the United States for services to Ameriran vessels and seamen. (Paragraphs 196, 520.)
492. Salaried officers.-Consuls-general, consuls, and commereial agents, in Schedules B and C, receiving salaries fixed by law are entitled to compensation at the rate of their respective salaries, as follows:
1. Beginning not prior to the date of the oath of office, for time occupied in receiving instructions in the l'nited States, Dut exceeding thirty days.-R. S., sec. 1740.
2. For the time actually and necessarily occupied in transit, by the most convenient route, between the places of their residence and their posts, not, however, to exceed the time fixed in paragraph 478. This applies both to transit from the United States and to transit to the United States at the termination of service, unless the officer dies, or is recalled for malfesance, of resigns in anticipation of such recall. The time during which a consul may be unavoidably detained at his post while waiting for a conveyance to the l'nited States, after delivering by the office, may be included in his home transit so far as not