PHILIPSBURG–Parliament unanimously passed a law today, Monday, that allows notaries domiciled on St. Maarten to exercise their competencies on Saba and St. Eustatius, two special municipalities of the Netherlands.
While notaries already perform some duties on the two smaller islands, the law was necessary to ensure their proper functioning and services to all communities.
Justice Minister Cornelius de Weever told Parliament the law was a necessary bridge to the work of notaries on the three Dutch Caribbean territories. All three also share the same judicial system via the Joint Court and have some similar laws.
There were only two questions related to the law that was already handled in the Central Committee sitting last year.
The first question was from Member of Parliament (MP) Frans Richardson (United St. Maarten Party) who asked if young St. Maarteners who want to open a notary office can do so. De Weever said the country has reached its quota of notaries – three. Only when a notary reaches pension age can a new one be installed.
The three notary offices are Notary Office SXM/Tjon Ajong & Associates, Notary Mingo and Boekhoudt Civil Law Notary Office.
MP Christophe Emmanuel (National Alliance) queried why all notaries had notices up that they are not dealing with dividing of property. De Weever, after consultation with a notary and his advisors, said notaries are not obligated to take on land division cases. Oftentimes, those cases are lengthy and are better dealt with by a lawyer. The final property transfer or other actions can then be undertaken by the notary as required by law.
The adopted law will now undergo the process of review by the Ombudsman. If no issues are found, it will be published in the National Gazette (Dutch: Landscourant) and enacted.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/85709-notary-offices-step-closer-to-operations-in-saba-statia