SOURCE: National Notary Association

National Notary Association

September 25, 2009 08:00 ET

First Digitally-Signed Judicial Order Issued by U.S. District Court Federal Magistrate Judge

Judge Receives Signing Credential After Identity Is Verified by a National Notary Association "Trusted Enrollment Agent"

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - September 25, 2009) - In an event that could transform the manner in which orders are issued throughout the entire judicial system, a U.S. District Judge has issued the nation's first digitally-signed, all-electronic judicial order.

John M. Facciola, United States Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, signed the order utilizing a digital certificate obtained through services provided by the National Notary Association (NNA) ( and technologies developed by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), VeriSign, Adobe Systems Inc., SafeNet and Chosen Security.

"The capability to digitally sign an order or other document should create in the people who receive it an assurance that the document was signed by the judge, and eliminate corrupt attempts to use forged, electronically created documents for improper ends," said Judge Facciola. "It is the next logical development in the transition by the court from paper to electronic filing that will keep the court's way of doing things consistent and contemporary with the actual practices of the society that the court serves," Judge Facciola added.

Judge Facciola received a digital certificate -- an electronic identification credential used to sign electronic documents -- after having his identification verified and authenticated by Elaine Wright, a District of Columbia Notary Public and Trusted Enrollment Agent™. A Trusted Enrollment Agent (TEA) carefully verifies the identity of individuals applying to obtain a digital certificate prior to issuance. TEAs have been certified and background screened by the NNA.

"By utilizing a Trusted Enrollment Agent, parties relying on Judge Facciola's judicial orders can have confidence that his identity was verified for the digital certificate and that the orders were signed by the judge himself," said National Notary Association Chief Executive Officer, Larisa B. Gurnick.

Upon verification of his identity, Judge Facciola activated his signing credential on a secure, standards compliant hardware token and minutes later, the first digitally-signed judicial order was issued.

Documentation of the judge's identification vetting process was recorded, signed and transmitted electronically. As with the judicial order, no paper was required.

The event demonstrates that a judicial order can now be issued electronically utilizing a trusted and secure process, from any computer and location and at any time, thus increasing efficiency and avoiding the delays and costs of transporting paper documents.

"Today's digital age has provided a new way for Notaries to apply their identity-vetting skills as Trusted Enrollment Agents. TEAs now can lend credibility to electronic signatures and records as Notaries traditionally have to paper documents," said Gurnick.

About Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola

Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola was appointed a United States Magistrate Judge in August 1997. He received an A.B. in 1966 from the College of the Holy Cross and a J.D. in 1969 from the Georgetown University Law Center. Following law school, Magistrate Judge Facciola served as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan from 1969 to 1973, and was in private practice in the District of Columbia from 1974 to 1982. He joined the U.S. Attorney's Office in 1982 and served as Chief of the Special Proceedings section from 1989 until his appointment as Magistrate Judge. Magistrate Judge Facciola is an adjunct professor of law at Catholic University. He is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a member of the Board of Governors of the John Carroll Society.

About the National Notary Association

Established in 1957, the National Notary Association (NNA) is the leading professional authority on the American Notary office and is dedicated to educating, serving and advocating for the nation's 4.8 million Notaries. The NNA imparts comprehensive notarial knowledge and understanding, promotes a positive public perception of the Notary professional, and bolsters consumer protection by promoting best practices. The Association's accredited professional programs, services, model legislation and groundbreaking eNotarization technology initiatives help Notaries advance their careers and serve the American public with the highest level of professionalism and ethics. To learn more, visit

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