Virginia Board for Court Reporters. Creates the Virginia Board for Court Reporters as an independent board to establish the qualification of applicants for licensure or registration of court reporters in the state. Beginning July 1, 2021, no person may engage in or offer to engage in work as a court reporter unless he has been licensed by the Board. The bill establishes principles of conduct for court reporters and creates the Board for Court Reporters Fund to receive licensing and registration fees to fund the licensure and registration program.
The objective of the draft is to provide the Board with the powers and duties as other regulatory boards in Title 54.1, including the board under the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation and the Department of Health Professions and the independent Accountancy Board.
Article 1 - General provisions (Beginning on Line 448)
- Defines "court reporting services" as the making of a verbatim recording by means of machine shorthand, voice writing, or electronic/digital recording of any testimony given under oath before, or for submission to, any (i) court, (ii) court-appointed referee or examiner, (iii) board, commission, or other body created by law, or in any other proceeding where a verbatim record is required.
- Also defines "court reporter" and "court reporting services provider"
- Establishes the nine-member board consisting of four court reporters, two Virginia-licensed attorneys, one member of the Judicial Council of Virginia, and two citizen members.
- Provides standard powers and duties possessed by other regulatory boards, including the power to establish license fees in an amount providing sufficient revenues to pay all the costs and expenses incurred by the Board necessary to administer the licensing program.
- Board to maintain a registry of registered court reporter services providers, licensed court reporters, and court reporters on inactive status.
- Provides for the employment of an Executive Director to carry out the day-to-day functions of the Board.
Article 2 - Licensure and registration (Beginning on Line 558)
- Effective July 1, 2021, no person may engage in or offer to engage in work as a court reporter unless he has been licensed by the Board.
- Also requires court reporting services providers to be registered by the Board.
- Includes grandfather provisions for certain applicants working as a court reporter prior to July 1, 2020.
- Establishes provisions for apprentice licensure, reciprocity agreements with other jurisdictions, relocation from other jurisdictions, continuing education, and inactive status for court reporters.
- Creates the Board for Court Reporters Fund to receive licensure fees and civil penalties. Money in the fund may be used to provide for the education and training of court reporters or to assist indigent parties in obtaining transcripts.
Article 3 - Prohibited Conduct; Penalties (Beginning on Line 659)
- Establishes minimum standards of conduct and prohibited practices for licensed court reporters and registered court reporting services provider.
- Includes the prohibited actions contained in current § 17.1-1002.
- Includes the comparable treatment of parties provisions of current § 17.1-1003.
- Board provided with power to civil penalty of $2,500 for each regulatory violation.
- Provides for aggrieved parties to Board actions to be subject to review and appeals under the Administrative Process Act.
Other General Provisions
- Includes amendments to the Freedom of Information Act providing an open records exemption for open investigative files (§ 2.2-3705.3) and an open meeting exemption for the Board's discussion of disciplinary matters (§ 2.2-3701.1).
- Amends § 8.01-405 to authorize licensed court reporters to administer oaths and affirmations.