Rules Providing for Certification of Court Reporters

 

A. The Board of Certified Court Reporters Examiners hereafter referred to as the "Board", shall be composed of seven members who shall be appointed by this Court. Four of the members shall be judges of the Circuit or Appellate Courts and shall be appointed for terms of three years. Initially, one of the four shall be appointed for a term of one year, one for a term of two years, and two for a term of three years. Three of the Board members shall have been court reporters in and citizens of Arkansas for at least five years prior to their appointment. Of the court reporters appointed to the board, at least one shall be a machine shorthand writer, at least one shall be a mask dictation/voice writer, at least one shall be an official court reporter, and at least one shall be a freelance court reporter. Initially, one of the three shall be appointed for a term of one year, one for a term of two years, and one for a term of three years. Members of the Board shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for their travel and other expenses in the performance of their duties.

B. Members shall be appointed to serve a three year term and may be reappointed to a second three year term. A member whose term has expired shall continue to serve until a successor is appointed and qualified. The Court shall fill any vacancy by appointing a member for the duration of an unexpired term and may remove any member for cause. A member who has been appointed to complete an unexpired term shall be eligible for reappointment to serve two terms of three years each.

C. Each member shall take an oath that he will fairly and impartially and to the best of his ability administer this Rule.

At the first meeting of the Board, the Board will organize by electing one of its members as chairman and one as secretary, each of whom shall serve for one year and until his successor is elected. The Clerk of this Court shall serve as treasurer. The Board shall meet at least twice a year at such time and places as the Board shall designate.

 

The Board is charged with the duty and invested with the power and authority:

A. To determine the eligibility of applicants for certification.

B. To determine the content of examinations to be given to applicants for certification as certified court reporters.

C. To determine the applicant's ability to make a verbatim record of court proceedings by any recognized system designated by the Board.

D. To issue certificates to those found qualified as certified court reporters.

E. To set a fee to be paid by each applicant at the time the application is filed and an annual license fee.

F. To develop a records retention schedule for official court reporters of state trial courts.

G. To develop, implement, and enforce a continuing education requirement for court reporters certified pursuant to this Rule.

H. To promulgate, amend and revise regulations relevant to the above duties and to implement this Rule. Such regulations are to be consistent with the provisions of this Rule and shall not be effective until approved by this Court.

I. To provide a system and procedure for receiving complaints against court reporters, investigating such complaints, filing formal disciplinary Complaints against reporters, and for hearing, consideration, and determination of validity of charges and appropriate sanctions to be imposed upon any reporter.

Every applicant for examination for certification as a certified court reporter shall file with the clerk of this court a written application in the form prescribed by the Board. Upon request, the clerk of this court shall forward to any interested person application forms together with the text of this rule and a copy of the regulations promulgated by the Board under the provisions of Rule 3E.

Applicants shall:

a. be at least 18 years of age,

b. be of good moral character,

c. not be a convicted felon, and

d. not have been adjudicated or found guilty, or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, any felony, or to any misdemeanor that reflects adversely on the applicant’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a reporter in other respects, or to any crime a necessary element of which, as determined by the statutory or common law definition of the crime, involves interference with the administration of justice, false swearing, misrepresentation, fraud, deceit, bribery, extortion, misappropriation, theft, or an attempt, conspiracy or solicitation of another to commit a felony.

Upon application and payment of the fee within four months of the effective date of the rule, any court reporter serving in that capacity on or before July 5, 1983, shall be issued a certificate without examination, provided the application and fee are accompanied by letters of recommendation from either a Circuit, Chancery, or Court of Appeals Judge and two attorneys who are licensed to practice law in the State of Arkansas, who certify that the applicant was a practicing court reporter on or before July 5, 1983.

 

(a) Sanctions. For violations of this Rule or “Regulations of the Board of Certified Court Reporter Examiners,” the Board for good cause shown, and by a majority of four (4) votes from the Board concurring, after a public hearing by the Board, may sanction a reporter by ordering a public admonition, or by suspending or revoking any certificate issued by the Board. In the alternative, the Board, with four (4) votes concurring, may sanction a reporter for minor or lesser misconduct with a private, non-public admonition. Discipline by consent, as set out in Section 8 of these Rules, may also be utilized by the Board for any violations of the aforementioned Rule or Regulations..

(b) Definitions.
1. "Revoke a certificate" means to unconditionally prohibit the conduct authorized by the certificate. If a reporter’s certificate is revoked, the reporter is not eligible to apply for a new reporter’s certificate for a period of five (5) years after the date the revocation order becomes effective after final Board action or after final action by the Supreme Court of Arkansas, if there is an appeal.
2. "Suspend a certificate" means to prohibit, whether absolutely or subject to conditions which are reasonably related to the grounds for suspension, for a defined period of time, the conduct authorized by the certificate. No suspension shall be for less than one (1) month nor for more than sixty (60) months.

3. “Admonition” means a written order or opinion of the Board stating the specific misconduct or failure to perform duties by the reporter. The admonition shall be designated as being private or public by the Board. A private admonition shall be a confidential document known and available only to the Board and the reporter.

4. “Special Prosecutor” refers to an individual, who is charged with the duties of investigating complaints presented to the Board, which pertain to alleged violations of the Rules and Regulations; drafting proposed Complaints for the Board’s review, which outline the alleged violations of the Rules and Regulations; serving as a prosecutorial officer before and during any hearing or proceeding, which result from the investigation and/or filing of the Complaint; and performing additional tasks as assigned by the Board.

(c) Subpoenas. The Board has the authority to issue subpoenas for any witness(es), and for the production of papers, books, accounts, documents, records, or other evidence and testimony relevant to a hearing held pursuant to Section 7 upon the request of any party. Such process shall be issued by and under the seal of the Board and be signed by the Chair or the Executive Secretary. The subpoenas shall be served in any manner provided by the Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure for service of process. The Board shall provide for its use a seal of such design as it may deem appropriate. The Circuit Court of Pulaski County shall have the power to enforce process.

(d) Special Prosecutor. 
(1) When requested in writing by the Board to so serve, the Executive Director of the Arkansas Supreme Court Office of Professional Conduct (“Office”) may, if time, work demands, and resources of that Office permit, act as the investigating, charging, and prosecutorial officer for Complaints of this Board. Any expenses of that Office attributed to handling a Complaint from this Board shall be paid to the Bar of Arkansas account from funds available to this Board after review and approval by the Chairperson of this Board of any such expense claims. By agreement between this Board and the Office, reasonable reimbursement for attorney time may be made by the Board to the Office.
(2) The Board may employ on contract, from funds within its budget, such attorneys as it deems necessary for the investigation, charging , and prosecution of Complaints before the Board.
(e) Immunity. The Board, its individual members, and any employees and agents of the Board, including the Executive Director and staff of the Office of Professional Conduct when acting for the Board, are absolutely immune from suit or action for their activities in discharge of their duties hereunder to the full extent of judicial immunity in Arkansas. 

(f) Confidentiality. Subject to the exceptions listed in (4) below in this subsection: 

(1) All communications, Complaints, formal Complaints, testimony, and evidence filed with, given to or given before the Board, or filed with or given to any of its employees and agents during the performance of their duties, that are based upon a Complaint charging a reporter with violation of the Board Rules, shall be absolutely privileged and confidential; and 

(2) All actions and activities arising from or in connection with an alleged violation of the Board Rules by a reporter certified by the Board are absolutely privileged and confidential. 

(3) These provisions of privilege and confidentiality shall apply to complainants. 

(4) Exceptions. 

(i.) Except as expressly provided in these Rules, disciplinary proceedings under these Rules are not subject to the Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure regarding discovery. 
(ii.) The records of public hearings conducted by the Board are public information. 
(iii.) In the case of revocation, the Board is authorized to release any information that it deems necessary for that purpose. 
(iv.) The Board is authorized to release information: 

(a) For statistical data purposes; 

(b) To a corresponding reporter disciplinary authority or an authorized agency or body of a foreign jurisdiction engaged in the regulation of reporters; 

(c) To the Commission on Judicial Discipline and Disability; 

(d) To any other committee, commission, agency or body within the State empowered to investigate, regulate, or adjudicate matters incident to the legal profession when such information will assist in the performance of those duties; and 

(e) To any agency, body, or office of the federal government or this State charged with responsibility for investigation and evaluation of a reporter’s qualifications for appointment to a governmental position of trust and responsibility.

(5) Any reporter against whom a formal Complaint is pending shall have disclosure of all information in the possession of the Board and its agents concerning that Complaint, including any record of prior Complaints about that reporter, but excepting “attorney work product” materials. 
(6) The reporter about whom a Complaint is made may waive, in writing, the confidentiality of the information. 

(g) Procedure.
1. Standard of Proof. Formal charges of misconduct, petitions for reinstatement, and petitions for transfer to or from inactive status shall be established by a preponderance of the evidence.
2. Burden of Proof. The burden of proof in proceedings seeking discipline is on the Board or its special prosecutor. The burden of proof in proceedings seeking reinstatement is on the reporter seeking such action. 

3. Limitations on Actions. The institution of disciplinary actions pursuant to these Procedures shall be exempt from all statutes of limitation. 

4. Evidence and Procedures. Except as noted in these Rules, the Arkansas Rules of Evidence and the Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure shall not generally apply to discipline proceedings before the Board. 

5. Pleadings. All pleadings filed before the Board shall be captioned "Before the Supreme Court Board of Certified Court Reporter Examiners" and be styled "In re ______________" to reflect the name of the respondent reporter.
(h) Ex Parte Communication. 

(1) Members of the Board shall not communicate “ex parte” with any complainant, attorney acting as Board prosecutor, the Executive Director, or the staff of the Office of Professional Conduct, or the respondent reporter or his or her counsel regarding a pending or impending investigation or disciplinary matter except as explicitly provided for by law or these Rules, or for scheduling, administrative purposes, or emergencies that do not deal with substantive matters or issues on the merits of the case or Complaint. 

(2) A violation of this rule may be cause for removal of any member from the Board before which a matter is pending. 

(i) Probable cause determination. Before a formal Complaint may be prepared on any reporter, the written approval of four (4) members of the Board shall be given to the draft complaint as prepared. Before any formal Complaint may be served on a reporter, it shall be approved by the signature of the Board Chair. 
(j) Complaint. The Complaint to be served upon a reporter shall state with reasonable specificity each Board Rule alleged to have been violated by the reporter and summarize the conduct or omission by the reporter that supports the Rule violation. Affidavits of those persons having knowledge of the facts and court records and documents may be attached as exhibits to the Complaint.

(k) Service of Complaint. The Complaint shall be served by one of the following methods:

1. By certified, restricted delivery, return receipt mail to the reporter at the address of record for the reporter currently on file with the Board,

2. By personal service as provided by the Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure or an 
Investigator with the Office of Professional Conduct; or,

3. When reasonable attempts to accomplish service by (k)(1) and (k)(2) have beenunsuccessful, then a warning order, in such form as prescribed by the Board, shall be published weekly for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation within this State or within the locale of the respondent reporter's address of record. In addition, a copy of the formal Complaint and warning order shall be sent to the respondent reporter's address of record by regular mail.

4. A reporter’s failure to provide an accurate, current mailing address to the Board or the failure or refusal to receipt certified mailing of a formal Complaint, shall be deemed a waiver of confidentiality for the purposes of the issuance of a warning order.

5. Unless good cause is shown for a reporter’s non-receipt of a certified mailing of a formal Complaint, the reporter shall be liable for the actual costs and expenses for service or the attempted service of a formal Complaint, to include all expenses associated with the effectuation of service. Such sums will be due and payable to the Board before any response to a formal Complaint will be accepted or considered by the Board.

6. After service has been effected by any of the aforementioned means, subsequent mailings by the Board to the respondent reporter may be by regular mail to the reporter’s address of record, to the address at which service was accomplished, to any counsel for the reporter, or to such address as may have been furnished by the reporter, as the appropriate circumstance may dictate, except that notices of hearings and letters or orders of admonition, suspension, or revocation shall also be sent by certified, return receipt mail or be served upon the reporter in a manner authorized in Section 7(k)(2).

7. Service on a non-resident reporter may be accomplished pursuant to any option available herein, or in any manner prescribed by the law of the jurisdiction to which the service is directed. 
(l) Time and Manner of Response; Rebuttal.

(1) Upon service of a formal Complaint, pursuant to Section 7(k) or after the date of the first publication, pursuant to Section 7(k)(3), the respondent reporter shall have twenty (20) days in which to file a written response in affidavit form with the Board of Certified Court Reporters Examiners by filing the response at the Office of the Clerk of the Arkansas Supreme Court, 625 Marshall Street, Little Rock, AR 72201, except when service is upon a non-resident of this State, in which event the respondent reporter shall have thirty (30) days within which to file a response. In the event that a response has not been filed with the Board of Certified Court Reporters Examiners within twenty (20) days or within thirty (30) days, as the appropriate case may be, following the date of service, and an extension of time has not been granted, the Executive Secretary shall proceed to issue the Complaint to the Board by mail as a “failed to respond” case. 
(2) At the written request of a reporter, the Board Chair is authorized to grant an 
extension of reasonable length for the filing of a response.

(3) The Executive Secretary shall provide a copy of the reporter’s response to the complainant within seven (7) calendar days of receiving it and advise that the complainant has ten (10) calendar days in which to rebut or refute any allegations or information contained in the reporter’s response. The Executive Secretary shall include any rebuttal made by the complainant as a part of the material submitted to the Board for decision and any such rebuttal shall be provided to the respondent reporter for informational purposes only, with no response required. If any rebuttal submitted contains allegations of violations of Board Rules not previously alleged, a supplemental or amended Complaint may be prepared and served on the respondent reporter, who shall be permitted surrebuttal in the manner prescribed herein for filing a response to a Complaint.

(4) The calculation of the time limitations specified herein shall commence on the day following service upon the respondent reporter. If the due date of a response, rebuttal, or surrebuttal falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the due date will be extended to the next regular business day. 
(m) Failure to Respond; Reconsideration.

(1) A reporter’s failure to provide, in the prescribed time and manner, a written 
response to a formal Complaint served in compliance with Section 7(k) shall constitute separate and distinct grounds for the imposition of sanctions notwithstanding the merits of the underlying, substantive allegations of the Complaint; or,

(2) May be considered for enhancement of sanctions imposed upon a finding of violation of the Rules.

(3) The separate imposition or the enhancement of sanctions for failure to respond may be accomplished by the Board's notation of such failure in the appropriate sanction order and shall not require any separate or additional notice to the respondent reporter.

(4) Failure to timely respond to a formal Complaint shall constitute an admission 
of all factual allegations of the Complaint and an admission of all alleged violations of Rules and Regulations violations in the Complaint.

(5) Failure to timely respond to a formal Complaint shall extinguish a respondent 
reporter's right to a public hearing on the formal Complaint.

(6) Reconsideration:
(a) Provided, however, that in a case where a timely response was not filed by a respondent reporter, within ten (10) calendar days after receiving a written notice from the Board setting the case for hearing, the respondent reporter may file with the Board, through the Office of the Clerk of the Arkansas Supreme Court, a petition for reconsideration in affidavit form, stating under oath clear, compelling, and cogent evidence of unavoidable circumstances sufficient to excuse or justify the failure to file a timely response to the Complaint. (b) Upon the filing of a petition for reconsideration for failure to timely file a response to a Complaint, the Executive Secretary of the Board shall provide each member of the Board a copy of the petition for reconsideration for a vote by written ballot on granting or denying the petition, the ballot to be marked and returned to the Executive Secretary within a reasonable time. (c) If four (4) members of the Board, upon a finding of clear and convincing evidence, vote to grant the petition for reconsideration, the Board shall permit the reporter to submit a belated affidavit of response to the substantive allegations of the formal Complaint and the matter shall proceed as though the response had been made timely.
(d) If four (4) Board members vote to deny the petition for reconsideration, the case shall be placed on the agenda at the next meeting of the Board, and the Board shall determine the appropriate sanction from a review of the file, without giving consideration or weight to any response that may have been untimely filed.
(n) Pre-trial procedure.
(1) The Board Chair may set and conduct such pretrial conferences as the Chair deems needed for the case. The Board Chair shall also issue an order setting any Complaint for hearing before the Board.
(2) The Board Chair shall hear and decide all pretrial matters and all motions, including any motion to dismiss the Complaint or any part thereof.

(o) Hearings.
(1) Hearings shall be conducted at such times and places as the Board may designate. 
(2) A hearing shall not be conducted unless at least five (5) Board members are present.
(3) After hearing all the testimony and receiving all the evidence in a case, the Board shall deliberate in private and reach a decision on the Complaint. At least four (4) votes are required to find a Rule or Regulation violation and to order a sanction. The same four (4) Board members are not required to vote for both the rule violation(s) and the sanction.
(4) If at least four (4) Board members agree on the Rule or Regulation violated by the reporter, and on a sanction, an Order consistent with such vote shall be prepared and provided to the Board Chair for review and approval. Upon approval, such Order shall be filed with the Clerk of the Arkansas Supreme Court and a filed copy shall be promptly provided to the respondent reporter and any counsel for the reporter.
(5) In addition to any available disciplinary sanction, the Board may also order a reporter to pay:
(a) The costs of the investigation and hearing, excluding any attorney’s fees,
(b) A fine not to exceed $1,000.00 and 
(c) Full restitution to any person or entity which has suffered a financial loss due to the reporter’s violation of any Board Rule or Regulation, but only to the extent of the costs of any reporter’s transcript and fees and expenses associated with a transcript of any court proceeding or deposition.
(6) Once a public hearing has commenced, a private, confidential admonition is not an available sanction.

 

(a). Surrender of Certificate. A reporter may surrender his or her certificate upon the conditions agreed to by the reporter and the Board:
(1) In lieu of disciplinary proceedings where serious misconduct by the reporter is admitted by the reporter to exist, or

(2) On a voluntary surrender basis of his or her certificate at any time where there is no pending Complaint against the reporter.

(3) No petition to the Supreme Court for voluntary surrender of a certificate by a reporter shall be granted until referred to and approved by the Board and the recommendations of the Board are received by the Supreme Court.

(4) If the Supreme Court accepts any form of surrender of a reporter’s certificate, it will do so by per curiam order.

(b). Discipline by Consent. 

(1) A reporter against whom a formal Complaint has been served may, at any stage of the proceedings not less than ten (10) business days prior to the commencement of a public hearing tender a written conditional acknowledgment and admission of violation of some or all of the Rules and Regulations alleged, in exchange for a stated disciplinary sanction in accordance with the following: 
(2) With service of a Complaint, the respondent reporter shall be advised in writing that if a negotiated disposition by consent is contemplated that the respondent reporter should contact the Board Chair or the Board’s special prosecutor to undertake good faith discussion of a proposed disposition. All discipline by consent proposals must be approved in writing by the Board Chair, or by the Board’s special prosecutor before the consent proposal can be submitted to the Board.

(3) Upon a proposed disposition acceptable to the respondent reporter and the Board Chair or representative, the respondent reporter shall execute and submit a consent proposal on a document prepared by the Board setting out the necessary factual circumstances, admissions of violation of the Board Rules and Regulations, and the terms of the proposed sanction.

(4) The consent proposal, along with copies of the formal Complaint, and the recommendations of the Board Chair or representative, shall be presented to the Board by written ballot to either accept or reject the proposed disposition. The decision shall be determined by four (4) concurring votes of the Board. The respondent reporter will be notified immediately in writing of the Board’s decision. Rejection will result in the continuation of the formal Complaint process.

(5). No appeal is available from a disciplinary sanction entered by the consent process.

(6). The Board shall file written evidence of the terms of any public sanction discipline by consent, in the form of an order, with the Clerk of the Supreme Court. 

(c) Serious Misconduct. If the discipline by consent involves allegations of serious misconduct, for which a suspension or revocation of the certificate is to be imposed, the Supreme Court shall also approve any agreed consent proposal and any sanction. 

(1) The Board shall present to the Supreme Court, under such procedures as the Supreme Court may direct, any discipline by consent proposal involving serious misconduct, which the Board has reached with a respondent reporter.

(2) If the Supreme Court does not approve the proposed discipline by consent or the voluntary surrender of the certificate, the matter shall be referred back to the Board which shall resume the proceedings at the stage at which they were suspended when the consent proposal was made and submitted to the Supreme Court.

(a) Within thirty (30) days of receipt of written findings of the Board issuing an admonition, or suspending or revoking a certificate, the aggrieved court reporter may appeal said findings to the Supreme Court of Arkansas for review de novo upon the record. Such appeal shall be prosecuted by filing a written notice of appeal with the Clerk of the Supreme Court of Arkansas with a copy thereof to the Chair of the Board. The notice of appeal shall specify the party taking the appeal; shall designate the order of the Board from which appeal is sought; and, shall designate the contents of the record on appeal. The notice shall also contain a statement that the transcript, or specific portions thereof, have been requested.

(b) The Executive Secretary of the Board shall prepare the record for appeal consisting of the pleadings, orders, and other documents of the case, and include therein the transcript of proceedings that is provided by the respondent reporter. The Chair of the Board shall certify the record prepared by the Executive Secretary.

(c) The respondent reporter shall be responsible for obtaining the transcript of any case proceedings and hearings and for timely providing same to the Executive Secretary of the Board.

It shall be the responsibility of the appellant to transmit such record to the Supreme Court Clerk. The record on appeal shall be filed with the Supreme Court Clerk within ninety (90) days from filing of the first notice of appeal, unless the time is extended by timely filed order of the Board. In no event shall the time be extended more than seven (7) months from the date of entry of the initial order of the Board. Such appeals shall be processed in accord with pertinent portions of the Rules of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals of the State of Arkansas.

All fees and other monies accruing under the Rule shall be deposited by the Clerk of this Court in an account called, "Certified Court Reporters Fund." All expenses incurred by the Board shall be paid out of this fund as authorized and directed by the Board. Travel and other necessary expenses of the members of the Board shall be paid from said fund.

 

a. After the effective date of this Rule, all transcripts taken in court proceedings, depositions, or before any grand jury will be accepted only if they are certified by a court reporter who holds a valid certificate under this Rule. Provided, however, that depositions taken outside this state for use in this state are acceptable if they comply with the Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure.

b. Disciplinary Authority. An Arkansas certified court reporter is subject to the disciplinary authority of this jurisdiction, regardless of where the court reporter's conduct occurs. A court reporter not certified in this jurisdiction is also subject to the disciplinary authority of this jurisdiction if the court reporter provides or offers to provide any court reporter services in this jurisdiction. A court reporter may be subject to the disciplinary authority of both this jurisdiction and another jurisdiction for the same conduct.

The effective date of this Rule is February 1, 1984.

 

Reporters certified pursuant to this rule must acquire thirty (30) continuing education credits every three years through activities approved by the Board or a committee of the Board. Such three year period shall be known as the "reporting period." Each reporting period shall begin on January 1 and extend through December 31 three years hence. The reporting period for reporters newly certified pursuant to this Rule shall begin January 1 following certification by the Board. If a reporter acquires, during such reporting period, approved continuing education in excess of (30) thirty hours, the excess credit may be carried forward and applied to the education requirement for the succeeding reporting period only. The maximum number of continuing education hours one may carry forward is ten (10).

A continuing education credit is presumed to be 60 minutes in length. However, the Board in its discretion may grant greater or lesser credits per hour of education as each individual program may warrant. Court reporters certified pursuant to this rule who maintain a residence address outside the State of Arkansas are subject to this requirement. However, continuing education activities approved by the appropriate authority in their resident jurisdiction shall be applicable to this requirement.
To establish compliance with this continuing education requirement the Board may accept continuing education hours acquired to meet the continuing education requirements of the National Court Reporters Association or the National Verbatim Reporters Association.

Exceptions to Requirement. In cases where extreme hardship or extenuating circumstances are shown, the Board may grant a waiver of the continuing education requirement or extensions of time within which to fulfill the requirements. Such waivers or extensions shall be considered only upon written request from the certificate holder. As a condition of any waiver or extension, the Board may set such terms and conditions as may be appropriate under the circumstances.

Any reporter certified pursuant to this rule who attains age 65 or 30 years of certification, during any reporting period, is exempt from all requirements of this rule for that reporting period as well as all subsequent reporting periods.

At any time during a reporting period a reporter may take inactive status as it pertains to the continuing education requirement of this rule. Inactive status means that a reporter will not practice court reporting until such time as the reporter returns to active status. Election of inactive status must be in writing. Election of inactive status must be annually renewed and the Board shall provide a form for renewal of inactive status. Such annual renewal shall be filed with the Board on or before March 31 of each year subsequent to the year of election of inactive status. For the purpose of this paragraph court reporting means "verbatim reporting" as defined in Section 1 of the "Regulations of the Board of Certified Court Reporter Examiners" and, verbatim reporting regardless of the context, including administrative or regulatory proceedings and non-judicial proceedings. A reporter may return to active status at any time upon written notice to the Board. In such case the reporter shall be subject to the thirty hour requirement of this rule for the reporting period beginning the following January 1.

Continuing Education Activities Content. Continuing education credit may be obtained by attending or participating in Board approved seminars, conventions, or workshops, or other activities approved by the Board. To be approved for continuing education credit the activity must: be presented by individuals who have the necessary experience or academic skills to present the activity; include quality written materials; and, the course must be subject to evaluation. The continuing education activity must contribute directly to the competence and professionalism of court reporters. The Board is authorized to approve continuing education activities which include but are not limited to the following subject areas: language; academic knowledge; statutes and regulations; reporting technology and business practice; and, ethical practices-professionalism.

Administrative Procedures. The Board shall be the authority for approval of continuing education programs. Such authority may be delegated by the Board to a committee. It is presumed that program approval will be sought and determined well in advance of the educational activity. However, the Board or its committee may approve an educational activity after the event.

The Board is authorized to develop appropriate forms and other administrative procedures as necessary to efficiently administer this continuing education requirement.

The Board shall require that reporters certified pursuant to this rule maintain and provide such records as necessary to establish compliance with this continuing education requirement. The Board may also require that sponsors provide evidence of attendance at programs in such form as the Board may direct.

On or before January 31 after the conclusion of the immediately preceding reporting period, the Board shall provide a final report by first class mail to reporters whose reporting period concluded the preceding December 31. The number of continuing education credits stated on the final report shall be presumed correct unless the reporter notifies the Board otherwise. In the event the final report shows that the reporter has failed to acquire 30 continuing education credits for the applicable reporting period, the reporter shall be in noncompliance with the requirements of this rule.

In the event of noncompliance, the certificate of the affected reporter shall be subject to suspension as set forth in the following section. Prior to initiation of suspension proceedings, the Board shall provide notice to allow the reporter to achieve compliance. Board approved continuing education credits obtained subsequent to the relevant reporting period and prior to a vote of suspension shall be accepted in order to cure noncompliance. However, such hours will be subject to a late filing fee in an amount not to exceed $100.00.

Suspension of License - Reinstatement. Section 7 of this rule - "Discipline" and Section 19 of the "Regulations of the Board of Certified Court Reporter Examiners" shall govern suspension or revocation proceedings for failure to comply with the continuing education requirements set out in Section 13 of this rule.

After a Board vote of suspension or revocation of a certificate, the Board shall notify the affected reporter by way of certified mail, restricted delivery, return receipt requested. In addition, the Board shall file the order of suspension with the Clerk of this Court and provide such other notice as the Board may consider appropriate.

A reporter whose certificate has been suspended pursuant to this Section who desires reinstatement shall file a petition for reinstatement with the Board. The petition shall be properly acknowledged by a notary public or an official authorized to take oaths. It shall be in such form as the Board may direct. The petitioner may request a hearing before the Board. Upon appropriate notice and hearing, the Board may take action on the petition for reinstatement. In the event the certificate is reinstated, the Board may set additional educational requirements, including successful completion of a certification examination, as a condition of reinstatement and may assess reinstatement fees in an amount not to exceed $250.00.

History: Sections 7(a), (i) and 8(b)(4) amended by per curiam order April 14, 2011.