Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Codes

Section 121.001.
Officers Who May Take Acknowledgments Or Proofs

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121.001. OFFICERS WHO MAY TAKE ACKNOWLEDGMENTS OR PROOFS.

(a) An acknowledgment or proof of a written instrument may be taken in this state by:
  1. a clerk of a district court;
  2. a judge or clerk of a county court;
  3. a notary public;
  4. a county tax assessor-collector or an employee of the county tax assessor-collector if the instrument is required or authorized to be filed in the office of the county tax assessor-collector;  or
  5. an employee of a personal bond office if the acknowledgment or proof of a written instrument is required or authorized by Article 17.04, Code of Criminal Procedure.
(b)  An acknowledgment or proof of a written instrument may be taken outside this state, but inside the United States or its territories, by:
  1. a clerk of a court of record having a seal;
  2. a commissioner of deeds appointed under the laws of this state;
  3. a notary public.
(c)  An acknowledgment or proof of a written instrument may be taken outside the United States or its territories by:
  1. a minister, commissioner, or charge d'affaires of the United States who is a resident of and is accredited in the country where the acknowledgment or proof is taken;
  2. a consul-general, consul, vice-consul, commercial agent, vice-commercial agent, deputy consul, or consular agent of the United States who is a resident of the country where the acknowledgment or proof is taken;  or
  3. a notary public or any other official authorized to administer oaths in the jurisdiction where the acknowledgment or proof is taken.
(d)  A commissioned officer of the United States Armed Forces or of a United States Armed Forces Auxiliary may take an acknowledgment or proof of a written instrument of a member of the armed forces, a member of an armed forces auxiliary, or a member's spouse.  If an acknowledgment or a proof is taken under this subsection, it is presumed, absent pleading and proof to the contrary, that the commissioned officer who signed was a commissioned officer on the date that the officer signed, and that the acknowledging person was a member of the authorized group of military personnel or spouses.  The failure of the commissioned officer to attach an official seal to the certificate of acknowledgment or proof of an instrument does not invalidate the acknowledgment or proof.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.  Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 891, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987;  Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, 18, eff. Sept. 1, 1995;  Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 986, 2, eff. June 15, 2001.

Section 121.004.
Method Of Acknowledgment

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121.004. METHOD OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT.

(a) To acknowledge a written instrument for recording, the grantor or person who executed the instrument must appear before an officer and must state that he executed the instrument for the purposes and consideration expressed in it.

(b)  The officer shall:
  1. make a certificate of the acknowledgment;
  2. sign the certificate;  and
  3. seal the certificate with the seal of office.
(c)  The failure of a notary public to attach an official seal to a certificate of an acknowledgement or proof of a written instrument made outside this state but inside the United States or its territories renders the acknowledgement or proof invalid only if the jurisdiction in which the certificate is made requires the notary public to attach the seal.

(d)  The application of an embossed seal is not required on an electronically transmitted certificate of an acknowledgement.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.  Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 603, 1, eff. June 14, 1995;  Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 95, 1, eff. May 11, 2001.

Section 121.003.
Authority Of Officers

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121.003. AUTHORITY OF OFFICERS.

In a proceeding to prove a written instrument, an officer authorized by this chapter to take an acknowledgment or a proof of a written instrument is also authorized to:
  1. administer oaths;
  2. employ and swear interpreters;
  3. issue subpoenas.
Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Section 121.006.
Alteration Of Authorized Forms; Definition

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121.006. ALTERATION OF AUTHORIZED FORMS; DEFINITION.

(a) An acknowledgment form provided by this chapter may be altered as circumstances require.  The authorization of a form does not prevent the use of other forms.  The marital status or other status of the acknowledging person may be shown after the person's name.

(b)  In an acknowledgment form "acknowledged" means:
  1. in the case of a natural person, that the person personally appeared before the officer taking the acknowledgment and acknowledged executing the instrument for the purposes and consideration expressed in it;
  2. in the case of a person as principal by an attorney-in-fact for the principal, that the attorney-in-fact personally appeared before the officer taking the acknowledgment and that the attorney-in-fact acknowledged executing the instrument as the act of the principal for the purposes and consideration expressed in it;
  3. in the case of a partnership by a partner or partners acting for the partnership, that the partner or partners personally appeared before the officer taking the acknowledgment and acknowledged executing the instrument as the act of the partnership for the purposes and consideration expressed in it;
  4. in the case of a corporation by a corporate officer or agent, that the corporate officer or agent personally appeared before the officer taking the acknowledgment and that the corporate officer or agent acknowledged executing the instrument in the capacity stated, as the act of the corporation, for the purposes and consideration expressed in it;  and
  5. in the case of a person acknowledging as a public officer, trustee, executor or administrator of an estate, guardian, or other representative, that the person personally appeared before the officer taking the acknowledgment and acknowledged executing the instrument by proper authority in the capacity stated and for the purposes and consideration expressed in it.
Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Section 121.007.
Form For Ordinary Certificate Of Acknowledgment

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121.007. FORM FOR ORDINARY CERTIFICATE OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT.

The form of an ordinary certificate of acknowledgment must be substantially as follows:

"The State of ____________,

"County of ____________,

"Before me ____________ (here insert the name and character of the officer) on this day personally appeared ________________, known to me (or proved to me on the oath of ________________ or through __________________ (description of identity card or other document)) to be the person whose name is subscribed to the foregoing instrument and acknowledged to me that he executed the same for the purposes and consideration therein expressed.

(Seal)  "Given under my hand and seal of office this ________ day of ____________, A.D., ________."

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.  Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 90, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Section 121.015.
Private Seal Or Scroll Not Required

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121.015. PRIVATE SEAL OR SCROLL NOT REQUIRED.

A private seal or scroll may not be required on a written instrument other than an instrument made by a corporation.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Section 121.014.
Action For Damages

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121.014. ACTION FOR DAMAGES.

A person injured by the failure, refusal, or neglect of an officer to comply with a provision of this chapter has a cause of action against the officer to recover damages resulting from the failure, refusal, or neglect of the officer.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

PR - Property Code
Title 3. - Public Records
Ch. 12. - Recording Of Instruments

12.006. Grant From Government.

A grant from this state or the United States that is executed and authenticated under the law in effect at the time the grant is made may be recorded without further acknowledgement or proof.

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3491, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984.

TEX PR. CODE ANN. 12.001:
INSTRUMENTS CONCERNING PROPERTY

(a) An instrument concerning real or personal property may be recorded if it has been acknowledged, sworn to with a proper jurat, or proved according to law.

(b) An instrument conveying real property may not be recorded unless it is signed and acknowledged or sworn to by the grantor in the presence of two or more credible subscribing witnesses or acknowledged or sworn to before and certified by an officer authorized to take acknowledgements or oaths, as applicable.

(c) This section does not require the acknowledgement or swearing or prohibit the recording of a financing statement, a security agreement filed as a financing statement, or a continuation statement filed for record under the Business & Commerce Code.

(d) The failure of a notary public to attach an official seal to an acknowledgment, a jurat, or other proof taken outside this state but inside the United States or its territories renders the acknowledgment, jurat, or other proof invalid only if the jurisdiction in which the acknowledgment, jurat, or other proof is taken requires the notary public to attach the seal.

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3489, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 162, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 603, Sec. 2, eff. June 14, 1995.

TEX PR. CODE ANN. 12.003:
INSTRUMENT IN GENERAL LAND OFFICE OR ARCHIVES

(a) If written evidence of title to land has been filed according to law in the General Land Office or is in the public archives, a copy of the written evidence may be recorded if:

  1. the original was properly executed under the law in effect at the time of execution; and
  2. the copy is certified by the officer having custody of the original and attested with the seal of the General Land Office.
(b) A court may not admit a title to land that was filed in the General Land Office as evidence of superior title against a location or survey of the same land that was made under a valid land warrant or certificate prior to the filing of the title in the General Land Office unless prior to the location or survey:
  1. the older title had been recorded with the county clerk of the county in which the land is located; or
  2. the person who had the location or survey made had actual notice of the older title.
Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3490, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984.