# Limits of Officer’s Jurisdiction

Officers taking acknowledgments are presumed to have acted in a lawful manner.  There is a presumption that the acknowledgment was performed within the territorial limits of the officer’s jurisdiction.  However, when the certificate of acknowledgment fails to show in what State it was made, the acknowledgment is insufficient.

For instance, where the venue to the certificate of acknowledgment is not specifically written and only indicates the state in which the acknowledgment was taken, courts have held this to be insufficient.  Further, a deed acknowledged in such a way was rendered inadmissible in evidence.

An officer taking an acknowledgment can legally act only within the territorial limits of his or her jurisdiction, and the fact that the act was performed within those limits must appear on the face of the acknowledgment.  An acknowledgment taken beyond the territorial jurisdiction of an officer is void. A notary public may not take an acknowledgment outside the county of his or her appointment.