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ARIZONA CODE OF JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION

Part 7: Administrative Office of the Courts

Chapter 2: Certification and Licensing Programs

Section 7-206: Certified Reporter

A. Definitions. In addition to the definitions in ACJA § 7-201(A), the following definitions apply:

“Affiliate” means an individual or entity that directly or indirectly, through one or more intermediaries, controls, is controlled by or is under common control with the individual or entity specified.

“Board” means “the board of certified reporters” as provided in A.R.S. § 32-4002(1).

“Certify” means “board authorization to engage in activities regulated by the board” as provided in A.R.S. § 32-4002(4).

“Certification” means certification that is issued by the board that authorizes the individual to perform reporting as a certified reporter within Arizona.

“Certified reporter” means “a person who is certified by the board and who records and transcribes a verbatim record in any sworn proceeding by means of written symbols or abbreviations in shorthand, machine writing or voice writing” as provided in A.R.S. § 32-4002(3).

“Chapter” means Title 32, Chapter 40, Board of Certified Reporters, Arizona Revised Statutes.

“Conditional initial certification” means certification granted by the board prior to receipt of state and federal record check results that authorizes the individual certified to perform reporting services only as an official reporter employed by a superior court located in Arizona.

“Registered reporting firm” means an individual or entity that is registered pursuant to this section and for compensation offers to provide or provides reporting services or related services but does not personally provide the service as a certified reporter.

“Report” means “to stenographically or by voice writing record and transcribe sworn proceedings” as provided in A.R.S. § 32-4002(5).

“Voice writing” means “the making of a verbatim record of the spoken word by means of repeating words of the speaker into a device that is capable of digital translation into text” as provided in A.R.S. § 32-4002(6).

B. Applicability.

1. This section applies to the standard certification of reporters pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 32, Chapter 40 and 43, and to temporary certification pursuant to Laws 1999, Ch. 335, § 3 and Laws 2000, Ch. 41, § 13. It addresses all components of the certification process including application, fees, criteria for approval or denial of certification, resolution of complaints concerning certified reporters and the discipline and administrative hearing process and is read in conjunction with ACJA § 7-201: General Requirements. In the event of any conflict ACJA § 7-206 shall govern. In the event of any conflict between the applicable statutes and the ACJA sections, the statutes shall govern.

2. A.R.S. § 32-4001 provides “This chapter applies to persons, entities or courts that use stenographic or voice writing means of recording but does not apply to other means of recording. This chapter does not limit the contempt powers of the court or the authority of the court to discipline court employees.”

C. Purpose. A.R.S. § 32-4003(A) provides “A person shall not report proceedings in any court in this state and shall not report depositions in this state for use in any court in this state unless the person is certified pursuant to this chapter.” A.R.S. § 32-4003(D) provides: “It is unlawful for any person who is not certified pursuant to this chapter to represent oneself as a certified reporter.” For eligibility to report a verbatim record in any sworn proceeding in this state for use in any court in this state, all persons shall hold a valid certificate and comply with the requirements of this section. The certified reporter’s transcript is an important document before, during and after a trial. The paper transcript and its electronic version are used for trial preparation, briefs, impeachment purposes and appellate review. Property, freedom and life all can depend on a clear and accurate record. Certified reporting is integrally related to the prompt, effective and impartial operation of the judicial system.

D. Administration.

1. Role and Responsibilities of the Supreme Court. In addition to the requirements of ACJA § 7-201(D), A.R.S. § 32-4007(A) and (C) establishes the certified reporters fund and specifies “The supreme court shall administer the fund” and “The supreme court may receive and expend monies from the fund . . . .”

2. Role and Responsibilities of the Director. These responsibilities are contained in ACJA § 7-201(D).

3. Role and Responsibilities of the Deputy Director. These responsibilities are contained in ACJA § 7-201(D).

4. Role and Responsibilities of Division Staff. These responsibilities are contained in ACJA § 7-201(D).

5. Board of Certified Reporters.

a. Composition. Pursuant to A.R.S. § 32-4004:

A. The board of certified reporters is established consisting of the following members:

1. The chief justice of the supreme court or the chief justice's designee.

2. One judge of the court of appeals who is appointed by the chief justice of the supreme court.

3. One superior court judge who is appointed by the chief justice of the supreme court.

4. Two certified reporters who are residents of this state, who have been official court reporters for at least five years and who are appointed by the chief justice of the supreme court.

5. Two certified reporters who are residents of this state, who have been freelance reporters for at least five years and who are appointed by the chief justice of the supreme court.

6. One attorney who is a resident of this state, who has been licensed to practice law in this state for at least five years and who is appointed by the chief justice of the supreme court.

7. One public member who is appointed by the chief justice of the supreme court.

B. Members who are appointed pursuant to subsection A, paragraphs 2 through 7 serve five year terms. The chief justice shall fill a vacancy for any unexpired portion of a term in the same manner as the original appointment.

C. A majority of the members shall elect a chairperson.

b. Term of Chief Justice or Chief Justice Designee. The member appointed pursuant to § 32-4004(A)(1) shall serve at the pleasure of the chief justice.

c. Duties. These duties are contained in A.R.S. §§ 32-4004(E) and -4005(B). In addition, this subsection should be read in conjunction with ACJA § 7-201(D) which is consistent with A.R.S. §§ 32-4004(E) and -4005(B).

E. Initial Certification.

1. Eligibility for Application. An applicant may apply for initial certification by either:

a. Meeting the following minimum requirements:

(1) Be at least eighteen years of age.

(2) Be a citizen or legal resident of the United States.

(3) Satisfy the requirements of A.R.S. § 32-4022.

(4) Be of good moral character.

(5) Possess a high school diploma or a general equivalency diploma or a similar document or certificate.

(6) Pursuant to rules adopted by the supreme court demonstrate reasonable proficiency in making verbatim records of trial or judicial or related proceedings.

(7) Comply with the laws and rules and orders adopted by the supreme court governing certified reporters in this state.

(8) Pay the fees established pursuant to A.R.S. § 32-4008.

(9) Provide proof of passing the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) registered professional reporter's examination (RPR) written knowledge test (WKT) and skills knowledge test (SKT) or the National Verbatim Reporters Association (NVRA) certified verbatim reporter’s examination (CVR) and also passing the Arizona Written Examination pursuant to ACJA §§ 7-201(E) and subsection (E)(3) of this section.

b. Meeting reciprocity requirements:

(1) Notwithstanding requirements set forth under Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 32, Chapters 40 and subsection (E)(1)(a) of this section, if an applicant is currently licensed or certified as a reporter in another jurisdiction, certification may be granted if the requirements under A.R.S. § 32-4302 are met.

(2) To be certified pursuant to this subsection, the applicant must hold a certificate or license comparable to a “certified reporter” as defined under A.R.S. § 32-4002(3).

(3) The applicant must comply with the laws and rules and orders adopted by the supreme court governing certified reporters in this state.

(4) The applicant must pay the fees established pursuant to A.R.S. § 32-4008.

2. Fingerprint Requirement for Initial Certification. Applicants for certification shall submit a full set of fingerprints with the fee prescribed in A.R.S. § 41-1750 to the supreme court for the purpose of obtaining a state and federal criminal records check pursuant to A.R.S. § 41-1750 and Public Law 92-544.

3. Examination Requirements for Initial Certification.

a. All applicants shall pass a written knowledge test of rules of the supreme court of Arizona and statutes of this state relating to certified reporters.

b. An applicant who fails to pass the written examination may apply for reexamination at any time.

4. An applicant shall perform the duties of the profession using only the method of reporting the applicant used to obtain certification.

5. Conditional Initial Certification. Conditional initial certification may be granted prior to receipt of state and federal record check results only for employment by the superior court as an official court reporter and authorizes the individual to provide reporting services only while acting in the course and scope of that employment. The board, upon a request from the Division, shall promptly meet to consider the request for conditional initial certification.

a. Except as otherwise set forth in this section, an individual granted conditional initial certification is subject to the professional and ethical responsibilities required by this code section.

b. Conditional initial certification terminates upon the occurrence of any of the following:

(1) Final action by the board granting or denying certification;

(2) Identification by division staff of any arrests or convictions that were not disclosed on the initial application; or

(3) Termination of superior court employment.

c. Conditional initial certification can be granted only if the applicant has submitted:

(1) A complete application for initial certification that contains no information that would preclude certification, with the initial certification fees required by ACJA § 7-206(K);

(2) Satisfactory evidence that the applicant is or will be employed by a superior court;

(3) Satisfactory proof of compliance with ACJA § 7-206(E)(1)(a) or (b), and (E)(3);

(4) A full set of fingerprints as required by ACJA § 7-206(E)(2) and A.R.S. § 32-4021(A)(9);

(5) Written acknowledgement that the issuance of conditional initial certification has no precedential or evidential value in the Board’s determination to grant or to deny the person’s application for certification; and

(6) Written acknowledgment that the conditional initial certification immediately becomes null and void if the continuing background investigation identifies any arrests or convictions that were not disclosed on the initial application.

d. Applications for initial certification for individuals who have been granted conditional initial certification shall be considered at the next board meeting following receipt of the state and federal record check results and completion of the background check.

6. Decision Regarding Certification. In addition to the requirements contained in ACJA § 7-201(E), the procedures for the decision regarding certification are pursuant to A.R.S. §§ 32-4021(B), -4024(A), -4024(B), and -4302.

a. Approval of Initial Certification. These requirements are contained in ACJA § 7-201(E).

b. Denial of Initial Certification. The requirements are contained in ACJA § 7-201(E).

F. Role and Responsibilities of Certified Reporters . In addition to the requirements of ACJA § 7-201(F), the following requirements apply:

1. Code of Conduct. Each certified reporter shall adhere to the code of conduct adopted pursuant to A.R.S. § 32-4005 and subsection (J).

2. Identification. A.R.S. § 32-4003(C) provides “A certified reporter shall include the title ‘certified reporter’ or the abbreviation ‘CR’ and the reporter’s certificate number on the title or cover page of any transcript, on any business card, advertisement or letterhead and on the certificate of any transcript.”

3. Certification of Transcripts, Billings and Business Terms. A certified reporter and registered reporting firm (if the certified reporter is engaged by a registered reporting firm) shall sign and certify each transcript that the certified reporter prepares before the transcript may be used in court, except for transcripts that the reporter prepares for proceedings that occurred before July 1, 2000. Certification shall provide that the certified reporter and registered reporting firm, if applicable, have complied with the ethical obligations set forth in (J)(1)(g)(1) and (2). A certified reporter or registered reporting firm shall also certify each bill or invoice and said certification shall provide that all aspects of the bill and invoice and other business terms comply with the ethical obligations set forth in (J)(1)(g)(3) through (6).

4. Transcript Production. The following requirements apply to transcript production:

a. Transcript Format. A certified reporter shall prepare transcripts in a format consistent with the standards in subsection (M).

b. Production after Expiration of Certificate, Inactive Status or Voluntary Resignation. A reporter who is no longer certified, or who is in inactive status may not practice as a reporter or produce transcripts except for those proceedings that took place while their certificate was valid and active. The reporter shall use the same certificate number on the title or cover page of any transcript and letterhead that was used while the reporter was certified.

5. Oaths and Affirmations. A.R.S. § 32-4025 provides: “A certified reporter may administer oaths and affirmations.”

G. Renewal of Certificate . In addition to the requirements contained in ACJA § 7-201(G) the following requirements apply:

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