STATE OF NEW JERSEY
PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2010 SESSION
Senator ROBERT W. SINGER
District 30 (Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean)
Senator LORETTA WEINBERG
District 37 (Bergen)
Concerns regulation of court reporting firms.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
As reported by the Senate Commerce Committee with technical review.
An Act concerning court reporting firms and amending and supplementing P.L.1940, c.175.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. (New section) As used in this act:
“Court reporting firm” means a business entity that provides court reporting services in this State by certified court reporters or persons registered with the board to engage in the practice of court reporting on a temporary basis pursuant to section 9 of P.L.1940, c.175 (C.45:15B-9).
"Operator" means any person in control of, or exercising responsibility for, the daily operations of a court reporting firm.
“Owner” means a person who has any equity interest in a court reporting firm, whether as a sole proprietor, partner, shareholder, or member, or other form of equity ownership.
2. (New section) a. The owner or operator of a court reporting firm shall hold a valid registration certificate granted by the board pursuant to the provisions of this section.
b. The board shall issue a registration certificate, which shall be renewed biennially, to the owner or operator of a court reporting firm which qualifies pursuant to the provisions of this section and submits a properly completed registration form with the prescribed fee. The registration form shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:
(1) The name and address of the owner or operator of the court reporting firm, and any other similar information regarding the owner or operator that the board may require; and
(2) The name and address of the court reporting firm for which the registration is requested.
c. Any change in the information required by the board for registration shall be reported to the board by the court reporting firm within 10 days after the change occurs.
d. The registration forms for owners or operators who are holders of a certificate granted by the board pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1940, c.175 (C.45:15B-3) shall be included as a part of the owner’s or operator’s application for certification or certification renewal, as the case may be, except that no additional fee shall be imposed for applications that include a registration form.
e. The registration fees for owners or operators who are not holders of a certificate granted by the board pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1940, c.175 (C.45:15B-3) shall be $100, and may be increased by the board at the same time and by the same percentage as other fees imposed by the board are increased.
f. In providing court reporting services, the owner or operator of a court reporting firm shall hire and employ only certified court reporters, whose certifications are not suspended or revoked, or persons registered with the board to engage in the practice of court reporting on a temporary basis pursuant to section 9 of P.L.1940, c.175 (C.45:15B-9).
g. A court reporting firm registered pursuant to this section shall be subject to all rules and regulations adopted by the board.
3. Section 1 of P.L.1940, c.175 (C.45:15B-1) is amended to read as follows:
1. There is hereby established in the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety the State Board of Court Reporting (herein referred to as the board) to be composed of [six] seven members to be appointed by the Governor, three of whom shall be certified court reporters, [two] one of whom shall be an owner or operator, or a designee of an owner or operator, of a court reporting firm that is not owned or operated by a certified court reporter, two of whom shall be public members appointed pursuant to the provisions of section 2 of P.L.1971, c.60 (C.45:1-2.2), and one of whom shall be a State executive department member appointed pursuant to the provisions of P.L.1971, c.60 (C.45:1-2.1 et seq.). The members of the board, other than the [public members] member who is an owner or operator, or the designee of an owner or operator, of a court reporting firm that is not owned or operated by a certified court reporter, the public members and the State executive department member, with the exception of the members first to be appointed, shall be holders of certificates issued under the provisions of this act. Notwithstanding the foregoing, nothing in this section shall prohibit the members appointed as certified court reporters from owning or having ownership interest in, or being a corporate officer of, a court reporting firm. The members first appointed shall be skilled in the art and practice of court reporting and shall have been actively and continuously engaged as professional court reporters within the State of New Jersey for at least five years preceding their appointments. The members, except for the State executive department member, shall hold office for a term of three years, except that, (1) any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which his predecessor was appointed shall be appointed for the remainder of such term, and (2) the terms of office of the members first taking office after the date of enactment of this act shall expire, as designated by the Governor at the time of nomination, one at the end of one year, one at the end of two years, and one at the end of three years after such date. The board shall elect one of its members as chairman and one as secretary-treasurer, who shall hold their respective offices for one year. The secretary-treasurer shall give bond to the State in such sum as may be determined by the board. The board shall make all necessary rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this act. A majority of members appointed to the board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The board shall keep a complete record of all its proceedings and shall file an annual report with the office of the Secretary of State.
(cf: P.L.2005, c.308, s.1)
4. (New section) Notwithstanding any other provision of this law to the contrary, a court reporting firm may provide incentives, gifts or rewards, which advertise its business, to an attorney, client, or their representative or agent, in an amount of not more than $25 per transaction and not more than $100 per recipient per year, and a court reporting firm providing such incentives, gifts or rewards and the recipient of that incentive, gift or reward shall comply with any State or federal tax requirements with respect to the disclosure of these payments.
5. (New section) Within one year of the enactment of this act, the board shall adopt, pursuant to the provisions of the "Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.) any rules and regulations necessary for the implementation of this act.
6. This act shall take effect one year following the date of enactment, except that section 5 shall take effect immediately.