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AB-1469 Court reporters: registration: nonshorthand reporting corporation entities.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 09/14/2019 04:00 AM
AB1469:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  September 13, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1469


Introduced by Assembly Member Low

February 22, 2019


An act to add Section 9815 to amend Section 8050 of, and to add Section 8051 to, the Business and Professions Code, relating to professions and vocations. court reporters, and making an appropriation therefor.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1469, as amended, Low. Electronic and appliance repairers: trade standards: review. Court reporters: registration: nonshorthand reporting corporation entities.
Existing law provides for the licensure and regulation of shorthand reporters by the Court Reporters Board of California, which is within the Department of Consumer Affairs. Existing law subjects a person or entity to certain penalties if the person or entity engages in specified acts relating to shorthand reporting, including any act that constitutes shorthand reporting, except if the person or entity is a licensed shorthand reporter, a shorthand reporting corporation, or one of specified other persons or entities not subject to those provisions. Existing law requires all fees and other revenues received by the board to be deposited into the Court Reporters’ Fund, which is continuously appropriated to carry out the provisions for the licensure and regulation of shorthand reporters. Existing law makes a violation of these provisions a misdemeanor.
This bill, on and after January 1, 2021, would authorize an entity that is not a shorthand reporting corporation to engage in those specified acts if the entity is registered with the board as a corporate court reporter provider. The bill would require an entity seeking registration to provide the board with certain information and satisfy specified requirements, including paying an annual registration fee not to exceed $500 to the board and designating a board-certified reporter-in-charge, as specified. By requiring such an entity to pay a fee that is deposited into a continuously appropriated fund and by expanding the purposes of that fund, the bill would make an appropriation. The bill would require the board to approve an entity’s registration or deny the entity’s application upon making specified findings. The bill would make a registration valid for 5 years and would also provide for the suspension and revocation of a registration by the board under specified circumstances. The bill would require the board to make available on its internet website a directory of registered entities.
Because a violation of the provisions regulating short hand reporting is a crime, by expanding the provisions to include a new class of certificate holders, the bill would expand the scope of a crime and impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Existing law, the Electronic and Appliance Repair Dealer Registration Law, provides for the registration and regulation of service dealers and service contractors by the Bureau of Household Goods and Services within the Department of Consumer Affairs. Existing law authorizes the Director of Consumer Affairs to deny, suspend, revoke, or place on probation the registration of a service dealer for specified acts or omissions done by the service dealer or associated person, including that the service dealer or associated person willfully departed from or disregarded accepted trade standards for good and workmanlike installation or repair. Existing administrative law adopted by the bureau defines the term “accepted trade standards for good and workmanlike repair” for these purposes.

This bill would require, by July 1, 2021, the Bureau of Household Goods and Services, in consultation with stakeholders, to conduct a review of its accepted trade standards for good and workmanlike repair to determine whether additional regulations need to be adopted concerning privacy and security implications of connected devices, as defined.

Vote: MAJORITY2/3   Appropriation: NOYES   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NOYES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 8050 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

8050.
 (a) It is the intent of the Legislature to enhance the regulation of licensed shorthand reporters and shorthand reporting corporations pursuant to this section, by imposing specific penalties in addition to other remedies permitted by this chapter that seek to discourage practices that are inconsistent with the integrity and impartiality required of officers of the court and court, to promote competition based upon the quality and price of shorthand reporting services. services, and to ensure consistent regulation of corporations owned by certificate holders and those not owned by certificate holders.
(b) This section shall apply to an individual or entity that does any of the following:
(1) Any act that constitutes shorthand reporting that occurs wholly or partly in this state.
(2) Employs, independently contracts with, or recruits a licensed shorthand reporter to report or transcribe deposition testimony in a court proceeding or in a deposition.
(3) Contracts with a resident of this state by mail or otherwise that requires either party to perform licensed shorthand reporting wholly or partly in this state.
(4) Independently contracts with or is employed by an entity that does any of the acts described in paragraphs (1) to (3), inclusive.
(c) (1) This section does not apply to an individual, whether acting as an individual or as an officer, director, or shareholder of a shorthand reporting corporation, as defined in Section 8040, who possesses a valid license, issued pursuant to Section 8018, 8018 or a valid registration issued pursuant to Section 8051, that may be revoked or suspended by the board, or to a shorthand reporting corporation that is in compliance with Section 8044.
(2) This section does not apply to a court, a party to litigation, an attorney of the a party, or a full-time employee of the a party or the attorney of the a party, who provides or contracts for certified shorthand reporting for purposes related to the litigation.
(d) An individual or entity described in subdivision (b) shall not do any of the following:
(1) Seek compensation for a transcript that is in violation of the minimum transcript format standards set forth in Section 2473 of Article 8 of Division 24 of Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations.
(2) Seek compensation for a certified court transcript applying fees other higher than those set out in Section 69950 of the Government Code.
(3) Make a transcript available to one party in advance of other parties, as described in subdivision (d) of Section 2025.510 of the Code of Civil Procedure, or offer or provide a service to only one party as described in subdivision (b) of Section 2025.320 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(4) Fail to promptly notify a party of a request for preparation of all or any part of a transcript, excerpts, or expedites for one party without the other parties’ knowledge, as described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) of Section 2475 of Article 8 of Division 24 of Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations.
(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a licensed shorthand reporter, shorthand reporting corporation, or an individual or entity described in subdivision (b), from offering or providing long-term or multicase volume discounts or services ancillary to reporting and transcribing a deposition, arbitration, or judicial proceeding in contracts that are subject to laws related to shorthand reporting.
(f) An individual or entity that violates this section shall be subject to a civil fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per violation.
(g) The Attorney General, a district attorney, a city attorney, or the board may bring a civil action for a violation of this section, including an action for injunctive relief and any other appropriate relief, and shall be entitled if he or she is they are the prevailing party, to recover reasonable attorney’s fees.

SEC. 2.

 Section 8051 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

8051.
 (a) On and after January 1, 2021, an entity that is not a shorthand reporting corporation may, wherever incorporated in the United States, engage in the conduct described in subdivision (b) of Section 8050 if it is approved for registration by the board after meeting all of the following requirements:
(1) The entity pays an annual registration fee, in an amount determined by the board, not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500), to the board. The fee shall not exceed the board’s cost of administering this section.
(2) The entity has designated a board-certified reporter-in-charge who is a full-time employee of the registered entity, a resident of this state, and holds a currently valid California license at all times as a certified shorthand reporter where the certificate holder has no restrictions on their license and is not subject to a pending board accusation or investigation at the time of the entity’s application for registration. The reporter-in-charge shall be responsible to the board for an entity’s compliance with all state laws and regulations pertaining to and within the scope of the practice of certified shorthand reporting and any acts of the entity pertaining to and within the scope of the practice of a certificate holder shall be deemed acts of the reporter-in-charge. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as permitting the board to restrict, suspend, or revoke the license of a reporter-in-charge for conduct committed or directed by another person unless the reporter-in-charge had knowledge of or knowingly participated in such conduct.
(3) The entity agrees in the registration to abide by the laws, regulations, and standards of practice applicable to businesses that render shorthand reporting services pursuant to Section 13401 of the Corporations Code, except for the requirements of Sections 8040 and 8044.
(b) An entity shall provide the board with all of the following information for consideration of initial registration pursuant to subdivision (a):
(1) The name and certificate number of the entity’s certified reporter-in-charge.
(2) Whether the entity, a controlling officer or parent corporation of the entity, the entity’s reporter-in-charge, or any of its officers, employees, or independent contractors, had been subject to any enforcement action, relating to the provision of court reporting services, by a state or federal agency within five years before submitting the initial registration. If so, the entity shall provide the board a copy of the operative complaint with the initial registration.
(3) Whether the entity, within five years before submitting the registration, has settled, or been adjudged to have liability for, a civil complaint alleging the entity or the entity’s reporter-in-charge engaged in misconduct relating to the provision of court reporting services for more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).
(4) Any additional documentation the board reasonably deems necessary for consideration in the initial registration process.
(c) Within 90 days of receiving a completed application for initial registration, including any disclosures made pursuant to subdivision (b), the board shall either approve the entity’s registration or deny the application upon a finding that a substantial risk would be posed to the public, which shall be subsequently provided to the applicant in writing with specificity as to the basis of that finding.
(d) A registration issued by the board pursuant to this section shall be valid for five years, at which time it may be approved for renewal by the board upon meeting the requirements of subdivision (a).
(e) A registered entity shall notify the board in writing within 30 days of the date when a reporter-in-charge ceases to act as the reporter-in-charge and propose another certificate holder to take over as the reporter-in-charge. The proposed replacement reporter-in-charge shall be subject to approval by the board. If disapproved, the entity shall propose another replacement within 15 days of the date of disapproval and shall continue to name proposed replacements until a reporter-in-charge is approved by the board.
(f) The board shall revoke the registration of an entity if the board determines the entity:
(1) Engages, in whole or in part, through officers, employees, or independent contractors that are not certificate holders, in acts that are within the scope of practice of a certificate holder, unless otherwise permitted by law.
(2) Directs or authorizes the reporter-in-charge to violate state laws or regulations pertaining to shorthand reporting or offering financial incentives to the reporter-in-charge for engaging in acts that violate state law.
(g) In addition to revoking an entity’s registration as required by subdivision (f), a registration issued under this section may be revoked, suspended, denied, restricted, or subjected to other disciplinary action as the board deems fit for violations of the laws or regulations pertaining to shorthand reporting by the entity’s officers, employees, or independent contractors, including the issuance of citations and fines.
(h) The board shall consider suspending the registration of an entity for a minimum of one year if the license of its reporter-in-charge is suspended or revoked for violating this section more than twice in a consecutive five-year period.
(i) An entity shall have the right to reasonable notice and opportunity to comment to and before the board regarding any determination to deny or revoke registration before that determination becomes final. An entity may seek review of a board decision to deny or revoke registration under this section either in an administrative hearing under Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code or through an action brought pursuant to Section 1085 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(j) A certificate holder shall not engage in the practice of shorthand reporting on behalf of an entity that the reporter knows or should know is not registered with the board and shall verify whether a person or entity is registered with the board before engaging in the practice of shorthand reporting on behalf of that person or entity.
(k) The board shall create and make available on its internet website a directory of registered entities. The board shall not take action against a certificate holder solely for a violation of subdivision (j) if the certificate holder reasonably relied on the board’s directory stating that the entity was registered at the time.

SEC. 3.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.
SECTION 1.Section 9815 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:
9815.

Not later than July 1, 2021, the Bureau of Household Goods and Services, in consultation with stakeholders, shall conduct a review of its accepted trade standards for good and workmanlike like repair, as defined in Section 2741 of Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations, to determine whether additional regulations should be adopted concerning privacy and security implications of connected devices, as defined in Section 1798.91.05 of the Civil Code.