IN RE BOARD OF CERTIFIED COURT REPORTER EXAMINERS
Board of Certified Court Reporter Examiners [the Board]
submitted proposed changes to the Rule Providing for
Certification of Court Reporters and the Regulations of the
Board of Certified Court Reporter Examiners. We published the
suggested amendments for comment from the bench, bar, and
public. The comment period has closed. We adopt the changes
as set out in "line-in, line-out" fashion (new
material is underlined; deleted material is lined through)
Providing for Certification of Court Reporters
1. Members of the board.
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.
Members shall be appointed to serve a three-year term and may
be reappointed to a second two
additional three-year terms. 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.
member shall take an oath that he will fairly and impartially
and to the best of his or her ability administer
. . . .
3. Duties of the board.
Board is charged with the duty and invested with the power
A. To determine the eligibility of applicants for
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 for cases pending
in of state trial courts.
G. To develop, implement, and enforce a continuing education
requirement for court reporters certified pursuant to this
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
To hire an executive secretary to assist the Board with its
4. Applications for certification.
applicant 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 Section 3. The
application form along with the rules and regulations
governing this Board and court reporters shall be available
on the Board's website.
a. be at least 18 years of age,
b. be of good moral character,
c. not be a convicted felon,
d. submit an official background check from the
designated state authority or from the National Crime
Information Center, and
e. 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.
. . . .
violations of this Rule or "Regulations of the Board of
Certified Court Reporter Examiners, " other than
those related to the nonpayment of fees outlined in Section 9
of the Rule, 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 with a private,
non-public admonition. Discipline by consent, as set
out in Section 8 of thisese
Rules, may also be utilized by the
Board for any violations of the aforementioned Rule or
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.
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)
"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
. . . .
Hearings shall be conducted at such times and places as the
Board may designate.
hearing shall not be conducted unless at least five (5) Board
members are present.
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
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
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
(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
(6) Once a public hearing has commenced, a private,
confidential admonition is not an available sanction.
8. Surrender of certificate -- ...