In a recent case, Taylor v. Kentucky Unemployment Insurance Commission, 382 S.W.3d 826, 833 (Ky. 2012), the Kentucky Court of Appeals noted the distinction between certification and verification for purposes of a civil action challenging denial of an unemployment claim. The lawyer’s failure to have his signature verified (i.e., notarized) resulted in dismissal of the action by the circuit court. The dismissal was upheld by the Court of Appeals.
The Court held that a lawyer’s unnotarized signature that constitutes certification under Rule 11 is not equivalent to verification. Verification is defined by Black’s Law Dictionary as “a formal declaration made in the presence of an authorized officer, such as a notary public, by which one swears to the truth of statements in the document.” Consequently, “[w]hile the signature upon verification may suffice as a certification, the reverse is not true.” Since the statute governing judicial review by the circuit court of an Unemployment Commission decision required filing and verification within 20 days of the Commission’s decision, the lack of verification was a jurisdictional defect and fatal to the claim. The Court also held that the lawyer’s certification did not amount to substantial compliance with the verification requirement.
Needless to say, lawyers (and self-represented litigants) should take care to see that legal documents requiring verification are properly executed.
Note: The foregoing post includes commentary reprinted from the forthcoming 2013 supplement to Rules of Civil Procedure Annotated, 6th ed. (Vols. 6 & 7, Kentucky Practice Series), by David V. Kramer, with permission of the author and publisher. Copyright (c) 2013 Thomson Reuters. For more information about this publication please visit http://store.westlaw.com/rules-of-civil-litigation-annotated-6th-vols-6-7-kentucky/130503/11774808/productdetail.
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