|"Sadly, Texas notary laws do NOT require training. They do NOT require testing. So, many notaries don't see it as a priority."|
I was surprised when I first moved down here how easy it is to get a notary commission in this state - basically, you send in some money and buy a bond. The criminal background check is done randomly (or that was the situation when I got my commission here in 2011). This was very different from my experience in NY, which tests you on the state's notary laws in a timed exam and took a thumbprint before the test as part of the mandatory background check. When I took my test, I met a few people who said they needed it for their jobs and were there for the second or third try.
It's not surprising that mistakes are made here, even with the training materials the state provides. The only incentive to do more than just glance at that stuff is if you take pride in the work you do - and some people just don't care that much, so we end up with bonehead mistakes like this one. Per a TX attorney, the invalid notarization doesn't affect the validity of the document, it just creates a major problem for the notary.
I was wondering if Daniels just got it in her head that it should be notarized; the attorneys drawing up the agreement were trying to make it iron-clad, and they would have included a notarial certificate if they felt it was necessary. The names they used in the document were phony to hide the identities of the parties, so there's no legitimate way you could get those signatures notarized (although Daniels signed using her real name rather than the phony name on the signature line).
The whole thing is a comedy of errors - one party didn't sign at all, the other party signed with the wrong name, and the notary didn't notice either problem, just blindly putting her seal on a document that didn't even require notarization. The TX SOS would be doing the citizens of this state a service by revoking her commission immediately because she doesn't seem to understand what the position entails.