Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Substitute Bill No. 5472

    February Session, 2018

 

*_____HB05472APP___043018____*

AN ACT CONCERNING THE CERTIFICATION OF SHORTHAND REPORTERS AND CONCERNING A STUDY OF VIDEO COURT APPEARANCES BY DEFENDANTS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2019) As used in this section and sections 2 to 6, inclusive, of this act, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Consumer Protection;

(2) "Certified shorthand reporter" means any person who holds a certification to practice shorthand reporting in this state pursuant to sections 3 and 4 of this act; and

(3) "Shorthand reporting" means making a verbatim record of the spoken word by the use of written symbols, either manually or by the use of a stenotype machine or computer-aided stenotype transcription machine, for the purpose of reporting arbitration proceedings, administrative hearings, depositions or other proceedings or matters for the use of the courts of this state.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2019) Except as provided in section 6 of this act, on and after January 1, 2019, no person shall, unless such person is certified in accordance with the provisions of sections 3 and 4 of this act, (1) use the title "shorthand reporter", "court reporter" or similar designation, or display or use any words, letters, figures, title, advertisement or other device to indicate that such person is a shorthand reporter, or (2) practice shorthand reporting for compensation in this state.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2019) (a) Any person seeking a certification to practice shorthand reporting in this state shall apply to the commissioner, in writing, on a form provided by the commissioner. Such application shall include the applicant's name, residence address, business address and such other information as the commissioner may require.

(b) Each application for a certification to practice shorthand reporting in this state shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee of one hundred dollars and a certification fee of one hundred ninety dollars. The fee for the renewal of such certification shall be one hundred ninety dollars.

Sec. 4. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2019) (a) No person shall receive a certification to practice shorthand reporting in this state under this section and section 3 of this act unless such person has passed an examination which is substantially similar to the examination of the National Court Reporters Association, or has submitted evidence satisfactory to the Department of Consumer Protection that such person is a Registered Professional Reporter of the National Court Reporters Association or its equivalent.

(b) If the applicant satisfies the requirements of this section and pays the fee required by section 3 of this act, the commissioner shall issue a certification to the applicant, showing that the person named in such certification is authorized to practice shorthand reporting in this state. Any such certification shall be valid for a period of three years.

(c) Any certification issued under the provisions of this section and section 3 of this act may be renewed every three years upon payment of the fee required under section 3 of this act.

(d) A person who has failed to renew such certification for a period of over two years from the date of expiration of such certification may have such certification reinstated only upon complying with the examination requirements of subsection (a) of this section.

(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (d) of this section, upon application and fee, the commissioner may reinstate a lapsed certification without examination, provided such application for reinstatement is accompanied by a notarized letter and supporting documentation attesting to the applicant's related experience in the field of shorthand reporting or similar work practice satisfactory to the commissioner from the time such applicant's certification lapsed. Such applicant, upon approval by the commissioner, shall pay such applicant's back certification and late fees.

Sec. 5. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2019) (a) The commissioner, after a hearing conducted in accordance with chapter 54 of the general statutes, may suspend or revoke the certification of a shorthand reporter if the holder of such certification: (1) Has been convicted of a felony, subject to the provisions of section 46a-80 of the general statutes, or (2) has been found by the commissioner to have knowingly made a false, misleading or deceptive representation relating to his or her work as a shorthand reporter.

(b) Any person who has had a certification suspended or revoked pursuant to subsection (a) of this section may reapply to the commissioner for reinstatement of such person's certification immediately after the certification suspension period has elapsed or not earlier than ninety days after the certification has been revoked.

(c) In addition to any action that may be taken by the commissioner pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the commissioner may suspend or revoke the certification of a shorthand reporter for:

(1) Failing to deliver a transcript to a client or a court in a timely manner;

(2) Producing an incomplete transcript, unless such incomplete transcript was produced upon the order of a court, agreement of the parties or request of a party;

(3) Failing to charge all parties or their attorneys the same rate or charge for like services performed in a proceeding, including any charge for a copy of the transcript;

(4) Failing to notify all parties or their attorneys of a request for all or part of a transcript in sufficient time for other parties or their attorneys to request copies to be prepared and delivered to such other parties or attorneys simultaneously with the delivery of the original request;

(5) (A) Giving, directly or indirectly, any gift, incentive, reward or other thing of value to an attorney, the attorney's clients, or the representatives or agents of such attorney or clients, or (B) directly or indirectly benefiting from any gift or being employed as a result of any incentive, reward or other thing of value given by any person to an attorney, the attorney's clients, or the representatives or agents of such attorney or clients;

(6) The reporting of any proceeding where the certified shorthand reporter is a relative of a party to the proceeding or an attorney representing a party to the proceeding within the second degree by affinity or consanguinity;

(7) The reporting of any proceeding where the certified shorthand reporter has a financial interest in the proceeding or is associated with a firm which has a financial interest in the proceeding; or

(8) Producing a materially inaccurate transcript.

(d) A shorthand reporter certified pursuant to sections 3 and 4 of this act shall display his or her shorthand reporter certified number on any business card, stationery, transcript, advertisement or other document used by such reporter and pertaining to his or her practice of shorthand reporting.

(e) The commissioner may, after a hearing conducted in accordance with chapter 54 of the general statutes, impose a civil penalty of not more than one thousand dollars on any person who violates any provision of this section or sections 2 to 4, inclusive, of this act or any person who wilfully employs or supplies for employment or as an independent contractor a person who engages in the practice of shorthand reporting in this state in violation of section 2 of this act.

Sec. 6. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2019) The provisions of sections 2 to 5, inclusive, of this act do not apply to: (1) Any person who is employed by this state as a court reporter or shorthand reporter, whether compensated on a salary or a per diem basis, but only to the extent such person performs such court reporting or shorthand reporting in the course of such person's employment with the state; and (2) any person who is employed by the United States as a court reporter for the federal courts located in this state.

Sec. 7. (Effective from passage) (a) The Commissioner of Correction and the executive director of the Court Support Services Division of the Judicial Branch shall jointly study the concept of permitting or requiring a defendant in a criminal matter who is in the custody of the Department of Correction to attend hearings on motions in such matter by means of video conference from the correctional facility in which such defendant is being held. Such study shall consider (1) which types of hearings could be attended by a defendant by means of video conference, (2) how to maintain and secure sufficient video conferencing capabilities to permit or require such defendants to attend such hearings by means of video conference, and (3) any other topic the commissioner and executive director deem relevant to such issues.

(b) Not later than January 1, 2019, the Commissioner of Correction and the executive director of the Court Support Services Division of the Judicial Branch shall jointly report, in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes, their findings pursuant to subsection (a) of this section and recommendations for legislation, if any, to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the judiciary.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

January 1, 2019

New section

Sec. 2

January 1, 2019

New section

Sec. 3

January 1, 2019

New section

Sec. 4

January 1, 2019

New section

Sec. 5

January 1, 2019

New section

Sec. 6

January 1, 2019

New section

Sec. 7

from passage

New section

JUD

Joint Favorable Subst.

 

APP

Joint Favorable