Judicial Council Approves Updated Complaint Procedures

By Shinji Morokuma

 

The Judicial Council of Georgia recently adopted updated rules for handling complaints against certified court reporters.  The Council, upon recommendation of its Standing Committee on Court Reporting Matters, approved an update to Article 12 of the Board of Court Reporting Rules and Regulations, on April 28, 2017.  The procedures, which are effective May 1, 2017, were redrafted to better ensure due process for court reporters when an ethics complaint is filed against them.
 
The key updates to the rules are:
 
• Initial Processing of Complaint. Increases role of the AOC Legal Compliance Officer (LCO) with respect to making preliminary judgments about a complaint.  More specifically, it allows the LCO, in conjunction with the Chair of the Board, to make a determination about the facial sufficiency of the complaint.  This prevents the full Board from having to review and vote on every single complaint.
 
• Hearing.  Requires a respondent to make a request in writing for a hearing or else the right to a hearing is waived.  Any notice of a complaint will include a specific provision informing the respondent that he or she must request the hearing in writing within 30 days of receiving the complaint.  The Board may still require a hearing even if the right is waived.
 
• Hearing Officers.  More clearly outlines the role of the hearing officer and the hearing procedure.
 
• Addition of Motions for Voluntary Discipline.  Provides for respondents to petition the Board for voluntary discipline in lieu of a hearing, though it has been a customary practice for a long time.
 
• Sanctions.  Defines the types of discipline allowable under the statute and Rules and clarifies what types of orders are publicly discoverable.
 
The updated rules incorporating the new Article 12 are posted on the Board of Court Reporting website here:
http://bcr.georgiacourts.gov/sites/default/files/BCR/Board%20Rules%204-28-17.pdf
 
An updated complaint form is posted here:
http://bcr.georgiacourts.gov/sites/default/files/BCR/BCR%20Complaint%20Form%205-1-17.pdf

Contact AOC

Administrative Office of the Courts 244 Washington Street, SW Suite 300 Atlanta, GA  30334

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