A proposed class action claims the UPS Store, Inc. has charged New Jersey residents more than the state’s allowable limit for notary services.
According to the case, UPS and the operator of a Mount Laurel UPS store employ a uniform policy of charging $15—including a $2.50 “Notary” fee and a $12.50 “Notary Convenience” fee—for notarizing documents. The lawsuit alleges, however, that New Jersey law caps notary fees at $2.50 for documents not related to the sale or financing of real estate and “plainly bars” any additional charges for such services, “no matter how that fee is labeled.”
“Thus, Defendants’ act in labeling the $12.50 overcharge a ‘Notary Convenience’ is unlawful,” the complaint charges.
The lawsuit, which was removed from state to federal court in New Jersey on August 3, explains that the notarization of documents related to the sale or financing of real estate is typically performed by a title agent, attorney, bank or mortgage company and not at UPS stores. The notary services performed by the defendants, according to the suit, are “almost exclusively” for other types of documents, including power of attorney documents, wills and affidavits. Thus, the $2.50 notary fee cap would apply to virtually all notary services performed at a UPS store, the case argues.
The lawsuit goes on to claim that the so-called “Notary Convenience” fee charged by the defendants in addition to the $2.50 notary fee is “plainly not even for any actual expense or service.” Given customers travel to the UPS store where the notary is employed “and not the other way around,” UPS incurs no mileage or travel expenses, the suit says. Indeed, no additional services are performed by UPS aside from the notarization of the documents at issue, according to the complaint.
The lawsuit alleges the defendants’ allegedly unlawful notary fees stem from a uniform policy employed at all UPS stores, including the Mount Laurel location at which the plaintiff, a Moorestown resident, sought to have a durable power of attorney document notarized. The plaintiff claims to have been charged $15 for the document’s notarization even though it was unrelated to the sale or financing of real estate. Per the suit, the plaintiff’s experience “was not an accident or an oversite” but was the result of the defendants’ allegedly unlawful uniform policy and practice.
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