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NEW JERSEY REGISTER
RULE PROPOSALS
VOLUME 41, ISSUE 19
ISSUE DATE: OCTOBER 5, 2009
LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY
DIVISION OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS
STATE BOARD OF COURT REPORTING

Proposed Amendments: N.J.A.C. 13:43-5.4

Prohibited Practices

Authorized By: State Board of Court Reporting, Dianne Tamaroglio, Executive Director.

Authority: N.J.S.A. 45:1-15 through 15.1 and 45:15B-1.

Calendar Reference: See Summary below for explanation of exception to calendar requirement.

Proposal Number: PRN 2009-306.

Submit written comments by December 4, 2009 to:

Dianne Tamaroglio, Executive Director

State Board of Court Reporters

124 Halsey Street

P.O. Box 45019

Newark , NJ 07101

The agency proposal follows:

Summary

The State Board of Court Reporting is proposing to amend N.J.A.C. 13:43-5.4, Prohibited practices, to clarify N.J.A.C. 13:43-5.4(a)1 and add new paragraphs (a)4 and 5. Currently, N.J.A.C. 13:43-5.4(a)1 prohibits certain practices by court reporters and temporary registered reporters related to incentives and rewards. However, the provision allows distribution of promotional items of "nominal value" to advertise the reporter's business. The Board proposes to amend that section to clearly define "nominal value" as items not exceeding $ 25.00. In addition, the proposed amendment limits the distribution of promotional items to $ 100.00 per recipient per year. The Board believes that if it remains silent on the yearly limit, a reporter may influence a client that he or she transacts business with on a regular basis by providing a substantial number of gifts.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:43-5.4(a)4 prohibits the offering of any services to any party that are not identical both in quality and price to the services offered to any and all other parties. Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:43-5.4(a)5 prohibits a reporter from dealing directly with any party, except when the party is pro se. In all other cases, the reporter may deal only with the party's attorney or representative. The Board has proposed these new regulations to avoid any appearance of partiality on the part of the reporter. A violation of the proposed rule amendments may result in Board action under N.J.A.C. 13:43-5.4(b).

The Board has determined that the comment period for this notice of proposal is 60 days; therefore, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 1:30-3.3(a)5, this notice is excepted from the rulemaking calendar requirement.

Social Impact

The Board anticipates that the proposed rule amendments will have a positive social impact on all parties to the litigation or judicial or quasi-judicial matter in two ways: first, by eliminating any partiality in the reporter's transactions with different parties; and second, by improving the business relationship between the reporters and the parties.

Economic Impact

Requiring reporters to deal fairly and impartially with all parties to the litigation or judicial or quasi-judicial matter may have a positive economic impact on the non-hiring party, since the proposed rule will require reporters to charge the same prices to all parties. The general public should not be impacted by the proposed rule amendments.

Federal Standards Statement

A Federal standards analysis is not required because the proposed rule amendments are subject to State statutory requirements and are not subject to any Federal requirements.

Jobs Impact

The Board does not anticipate that there will be a gain or loss of jobs under the proposed rule amendments.

Agriculture Industry Impact

The proposed rule amendments will have no impact on the agriculture industry in the State.

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

If for purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, N.J.S.A. 52:14B-16 et seq., the 1,100 certified court reporters and the 200 temporary register reporters are considered "small businesses," then the following analysis applies. The proposed rule amendments do not contain any recordkeeping or reporting requirements; however, the amendments do require reporters to comply with the rules or face disciplinary action under N.J.A.C. 13:43-5.4(b). The Board does not anticipate that there will be any costs associated with compliance nor will professional services be required to comply. All affected reporters will be treated similarly.

Smart Growth Impact

The Board does not anticipate that the proposed rule amendments will have any impact on the achievement of smart growth or on implementation of the State Development and Redevelopment Plan, otherwise known as the State Plan.

Housing Affordability Impact

The proposed rule amendments will have an insignificant impact on affordable housing in New Jersey and there is an extreme unlikelihood [page=3783] that the regulation would evoke a change in the average costs associated with housing because the proposed rule amendments concern the practice of court reporting in the State of New Jersey.

Smart Growth Development Impact

The proposed rule amendments will have an insignificant impact on smart growth and there is an extreme unlikelihood that the regulation would evoke a change in housing production in Planning Areas 1 or 2 or within designated centers under the State Development and Redevelopment Plan in New Jersey because the proposed rule amendments concern the practice of court reporting in the State of New Jersey.

Full text of the proposal follows (additions indicated in boldface thus ; deletions indicated in brackets [thus]):

SUBCHAPTER 5. GENERAL PROVISIONS

13:43-5.4 Prohibited practices

(a) Certified court reporters and temporary registered reporters shall not:

1. Provide incentives or rewards to attorneys, clients or their representatives or agents to use the services of a certified court reporter or a temporary registered reporter. Certified court reporters and temporary registered reporters may distribute promotional items of nominal value[, which] that advertise their business , but do not exceed $ 25.00 per transaction and $ 100.00 in the aggregate per recipient per year ;

2. Provide or arrange to provide reporting services, in a judicial or quasi-judicial matter and/or a deposition, if he or she:

i.-iii. (No change.)

iv. Is related to an agent or is an employee of a person or entity with a financial interest in the action or its outcome; [or]

3. Enter into or arrange any contract or financial relationship that compromises the impartiality of the certified court reporter or the temporary registered reporter or that may result in the appearance that the impartiality of the certified court reporter or the temporary registered reporter has been compromised[.] ;

4. Enter into or arrange any contractual agreement that fails to offer comparable services, in both quality and price, to all parties or otherwise requires the court reporter to provide special financial terms or other services that are not offered at the same time and on the same terms to all other parties to the litigation, judicial or quasi-judicial matter; or

5. Deal directly with a party in interest, which includes any and all parties to the litigation or judicial or quasi-judicial matter, except to provide invoices. If a party to the litigation or judicial or quasi-judicial matter is pro se, the certified court reporter or temporary registered reporter may deal directly with the party in the same manner that he or she would deal with a party's attorney or representative.

(b)-(c) (No change.)

   
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