RULES OF COURT
|IN THE MATTER OF THE ADOPTION OF THE AMENDMENTS TO LIMITED PRACTICE ADMISSION AND CERTIFICATION RULES 2, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16 AND NEW RULE 20; DISCIPLINARY RULES 1.3, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 2.6, 3.2, 8.6, 9.1 AND 11.4 AND TITLE TO DISCIPLINARY REGULATIONS||)
Now, therefore, it is hereby
(a) That the amendments as attached hereto are adopted.
(b) That the amendments will be published in the Washington Reports and will become effective July 2, 2001.
DATED at Olympia, Washington this 12th day of June 2001.
| Alexander, C. J.
| Smith, J.
| Johnson, J.
|| Bridge, J.
| Madsen, J.
|| Chambers, J.
| Ireland, J.
|| Owens, J.
C. Filing Application
Persons applying for admission to limited practice under APR 12 should submit their application, in duplicate, together with the required attachments and fee to the OFFICE OF THE ADMINISTRATOR FOR THE COURTS, PO BOX 41172, OLYMPIA WA 98504-1172. The application shall not be considered complete and will not be approved pursuant to Rule 4 unless the applicant has provided a residential address.
Intake of the application for admission will be handled by the staff of the OAC.
A cutoff date for acceptance of applications will be established by the Limited Practice Board before each scheduled examination. The date shall be disseminated to each applicant when the application packet is distributed by the staff of the OAC.
Examination Standards and Notification of Results
Reapplication for Examination
B. The prorated annual fee for LPOs who pass the qualifying examination given in the spring and who request active status prior to July 1 of that same calendar year shall be $40. Said LPOs shall pay the annual fee set forth in Rule 13.A. to retain their active status after June 30 of the calendar year of their admission.
C. An LPO shall provide his or her residential address to the Board at the time of payment of the annual fee.
Each LPO shall notify the staff of the Limited Practice Board of any cancellation or lapse in coverage. During any period that a LPO is not covered in accordance with Rules 12 and 14, or is not on inactive status pursuant to Rule 16, the license of the LPO shall be suspended. Each suspended LPO must demonstrate compliance with the requirements of Rule 12 within nine (9) months of the date of the suspension or the license of the suspended LPO shall be revoked.
Every LPO shall submit proof of compliance with the continuing education attendance requirements by filing an Affidavit of Attendance as prescribed by the Limited Practice Board through the OAC at the end of each calendar year. Failure to attend the requisite hours of approved continuing education each calendar year shall subject the LPO to disciplinary action.
y LPO who has been granted inactive status must continue to
meet all the continuing education requirements occurring during
the period of inactive status before transferring to active
status by the LPO.
y LPO awarded inactive status by the Limited Practice Board is
not required to pay the annual fee prescribed by Rule 13 or to
meet the insurance requirements prescribed by Rule 14 during the
period of inactive status.
If a LPO remains on inactive status for longer than two (2) years
from the date of transfer to inactive status, the LPO can be
returned to active status only after successfully taking the
examination required for certification under APR 12.
If an LPO does not meet the continuing education requirements or the annual fee requirement, the LPO may lose inactive status and be suspended.
An LPO awarded inactive status by the Limited Practice Board is not required to meet the insurance requirements prescribed by Rule 14 during the period of inactive status.
An LPO who has been awarded voluntary inactive status may return to active status by filing a petition to return to active status with the Board
within two (2) years from the date the LPO was
granted voluntary inactive status. To be granted active status,
the LPO must be current on the payment of the annual dues fees
prescribed by Rule 13, must have met the continuing education
requirements of Rule 15 and meet the insurance requirements
prescribed by Rule 14.
B. To the extent required to prevent an unreasonable invasion of the privacy interests set forth in this Rule or elsewhere in these Rules, the Board shall delete identifying details in a manner consistent with those rules when it makes available or publishes any public record.
C. No fee shall be charged for the inspection of public records. The fee charged for the copying of public records shall be the same fee charged by the OAC for making copies of public records.
D. The Board shall not distinguish among persons requesting records, and such persons shall not be required to provide information as to the purpose for the request except to establish whether inspection and copying would violate a statute, court order or rule which exempts or prohibits disclosure of specific information or records.
E. The following records are exempt from public inspection and copying:
(1) Test questions, scoring keys and other examination data used by the Board to administer the qualifying examination.
(2) Preliminary drafts, notes, recommendations, and intra-Board memorandums in which opinions are expressed or policies formulated or recommended.
(3) Records which are relevant to a controversy to which the Board is a party but which records would not be available to another party under the rules of pretrial discovery for causes pending in the superior courts.
(4) The residential address and residential telephone number of a limited practice officer.
(5) Membership information; however, status, business addresses, business telephone numbers, facsimile numbers, electronic addresses, license number and dates of admission shall not be exempt.
(6) Applications for admission to limited practice and related records.
F. The disclosure of records in disciplinary files shall be governed by Disciplinary Rules 1.8 and 8.6.
G. The exemptions to disclosure set forth in this Rule shall be inapplicable to the extent that information, the disclosure of which would violate personal privacy or fall within an exemption, can be deleted from the specific records sought.
H. Responses to requests for public records shall be made promptly by the Board. Within five business days of receiving a public record request, the Board must respond by either (1) providing the record; or (2) acknowledging the request and providing a reasonable time estimate for responding to the request, or (3) denying the request. The Board may ask the requestor to clarify the request. If the requestor fails to clarify the request, the Board may deny the request. Denials of request must be accompanied by a written statement of the specific reasons therefore.
I. Whenever OAC staff concludes that a public record is exempt from inspection and copying, the person may appeal that decision to the Board.
J. The disclosure of information under this section should not violate an individual's right to privacy by amounting to a disclosure of information about that person that would be highly offensive to a reasonable person and is not of legitimate concern to the public.
C. Duties. It shall be the duty of the Disciplinary Panel to:
1. Take cognizance of any alleged or apparent violations of these rules coming to its attention, whether by
complaint grievance or otherwise, to investigate the
same promptly and to submit a report to the full Board
within sixty (60) days from the date the matter first
came to the attention of the Disciplinary Panel unless
the time is extended by the Chair of the Board; and
2. Submit reports to the Board which shall be in such form and pursuant to such procedures as may from time to time be prescribed by the Board; such reports shall form a part of the permanent records of the Board and may be used as a basis for the commencement of disciplinary proceedings.
E. Authority. The authority of the Disciplinary Panel shall include, but not be limited to, the power conditionally to settle and dispose of
complaints grievances of a trivial
nature without a hearing; provided, that a complete report
of the disposition of each complaint grievance shall be made
to the Board; upon the filing of the report with the Board,
such conditional disposition shall be deemed conclusive
unless the Board acts otherwise within sixty (60) days from
receipt of such report. Settlement of, compromise of, or
restitution in a matter shall not justify the Disciplinary
Panel in failing to undertake or complete its investigation
and report thereof to the Board.
F. Matters Involving Related Pending Civil or Criminal Liability. Processing of grievances or complaints involving material allegations which are substantially similar to the material allegations of pending criminal or civil litigation may be deferred when authorized by the Board. In such event, the respondent LPO shall make all reasonable efforts to obtain a prompt trial and disposition of such pending litigation. The acquittal of the respondent LPO on criminal charges or a verdict or a judgment in the LPO's favor in a civil litigation involving substantially similar material allegations shall not in and of itself justify abatement of a disciplinary investigation predicated upon the same material allegations.
Respondent Limited Practice Officer
A. Furnishing any papers or documents, permitting inspection and copying of his or her business records, files and accounts;
B. Furnishing, in writing, or orally if requested, a full and complete explanation covering the matter contained in such
C. Furnishing written releases or authorizations where needed to obtain access to documents or information in the possession of third parties; and
D. Appearing before the Disciplinary Panel or Board at the time and place designated;
E. An LPO may be represented by counsel during any stage of an investigation or proceeding under these rules.
A. Formal Complaint. If the Disciplinary Panel determines a hearing should be had to ascertain whether a violation of these Rules has occurred, a formal complaint shall be prepared and filed in the office of the OAC, and proceedings shall be had thereon as hereinafter provided. The formal complaint, which need not be verified, shall set forth the particular acts or omissions of the respondent LPO in such detail as to enable the LPO to know the charge and shall be signed by the Chair of the Disciplinary Panel.
1. Prior Record of a Separate Count. Prior disciplinary proceedings and complaints grievances against a respondent LPO, excluding dismissals after a hearing before the Disciplinary Panel or Board, shall be made a separate count of the complaint if they indicate conduct demonstrating unfitness to act as an LPO.
2. - 5. [Unchanged.]
B. - C. [Unchanged.]
B. Transcript Required for Suspension or Revocation. No suspension or revocation shall be recommended by the Board unless and until a transcript of the testimony before the Disciplinary Panel shall have been reduced to writing and settled as provided in Rule 2.5.
C. Dissent. If any member or members of the Board shall dissent from the findings, conclusions and recommendation of the majority, the member or members shall state briefly the reasons therefore and such dissent or dissents shall be made a part of the record.
D. Disposition Not Requiring Supreme Court Action. If the formal complaint is dismissed or if there is no recommendation of discipline by the Board or if the recommendation is that the respondent LPO be admonished, censured or reprimanded, the record of the proceeding shall be retained in the office of the OAC.
E. Disposition Requiring Supreme Court Action. If the recommendation of the Board is that the respondent LPO be suspended or revoked, that recommendation along with the record shall be transmitted to the Supreme Court.
F. Chair Not Disqualified. Neither the Chair of the Board nor a member or members of the Board who also serve on the Disciplinary Panel are, by virtue of that office or service, disqualified from participating in the review before the Board of that Disciplinary Panel's findings, conclusions and recommendation or from participating in that Board's vote on the matter.
G. Information to Grievant. The grievant
complainant in all
cases shall be advised by the Board of the final disposition
of the grievance or complaint.
Suspended or Revoked LPOs
B. The revoked or suspended LPO, after entry of the revocation or suspension order, shall not accept any new clients or engage in work as an LPO in any matter.
C. Within ten (10) days after the effective date of the revocation or suspension order, the revoked or suspended LPO shall file with the Clerk of the Supreme Court an affidavit showing:
1. That the LPO has fully complied with the provision of the order and with these rules;
2. The residence or other address of the revoked or suspended LPO where communications may hereafter be directed to the LPO; and
3. Attaching to such affidavit a copy of the form of letter of notification sent to clients, together with a list of the names and addresses of all clients to whom such notice was sent.
D. The Board shall cause a notice of the suspension or revocation to be published in the Washington State Escrow Association newsletter and a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the disciplined LPO worked. However, if the Board determines that the LPO no longer resides in Washington State at the conclusion of the disciplinary process, then the notice may be published solely on the electronic website maintained by the OAC for the courts of the State of Washington.
E. A revoked or suspended LPO shall keep and maintain written records of the various steps taken by the LPO under these rules so that, upon any subsequent proceeding instituted by or against the LPO, proof of compliance with these rules and with the revocation or suspension order will be available. Proof of compliance with these rules shall be a condition precedent to any petition for reinstatement.
1. The respondent LPO or the LPO's counsel may have access to the file consisting of the formal complaint, and all other pleadings, documents and instruments filed in the proceeding subsequent thereto.
2. When requested by the official disciplinary body of another state in connection with a pending disciplinary action in that state, the Clerk of the Supreme Court will certify and transmit to the official disciplinary body of that state the record of the LPO involved.
B. Disclosure. Notwithstanding all existing rules relating to confidentiality of these proceedings, the Board may inform the public of disciplinary investigation or proceedings against any LPO when, in the judgment of the Board, it is determined that the matters involved are of such grave importance that the public interest is affected thereby.
C. Notice of Disciplinary Action Taken.
1. If an LPO be permitted to resign during the pendency of disciplinary hearings, or upon suspension or revocation, the fact of such resignation, suspension or revocation, including the LPO's name, shall be published in the Washington State Escrow Association publication.
2. If an admonition or censure is given to an LPO who has previously been suspended or revoked or reprimanded, notice of such admonition or censure, including the LPO's name, shall be published in the publication of the Washington State Escrow Association.
3. Notice of all reprimands, including the LPO's name, shall be published in the publication of the Washington State Escrow Association.
D. Disciplinary Records. The disciplinary record of an LPO shall consist of a brief summary of any grievance made against the LPO and the disposition or status thereof. Information with reference thereto may be released by the Board when:
1. Specified by these rules;
2. Requested in writing by the LPO;
3. Requested by the Chair of the Disciplinary Panel;
4. Requested by a licensing authority or law enforcement agency;
45. Directed by the Board in the public interest; or
56. Directed by the Supreme Court.
E. Contempt. Disclosure, except as herein provided, of any matter made confidential by these rules by any person whomsoever shall subject such person to a proceeding as for contempt.
Exoneration from Liability
B. Complainants and Witnesses. Communications to the Board, Disciplinary Panel, OAC staff, or any other individual acting under authority of these rules, are absolutely privileged and no lawsuit predicated thereon may be instituted against any grievant, witness or other person providing information.
Declaration or Questionnaire
Noncompliance. Failure to file the declaration or
questionnaire on or before the date specified in Section A
shall be grounds for discipline. If an active LPO fails to
comply with the requirements of Rule 11.4.A., compliance may
still be accomplished by:
1. Submitting to OAC by April 30 the completed declaration or questionnaire called for by Rule 11.4.A., AND
2. Paying at the time of filing such declaration or questionnaire a special $50 service fee.
C. Noncompliance. An active LPO who has failed to file the declaration or questionnaire on or before the date specified in Section B may be removed (or conditionally removed) from the roll of certified LPOs and suspended until in compliance with Rule 11.4.
1. To effect such removal, the Board shall send to the non-complying LPO by certified mail, directed to the LPO's last known address as maintained on the records of the Office of the Administrator for the Courts, a written notice of non-compliance. The notice shall advise such active LPO of the pendency of removal proceedings unless within ten (10) days of receipt of such notice such active LPO completes and returns to the Board an accompanying form of petition, to which supportive affidavit(s) may be attached for extension of time for, or waiver of, compliance with the requirements of Rule 11.4 or for a ruling by the Board of substantial compliance with the requirements.
2. If such petition is not filed, such lack of action shall be deemed acquiescence by the active LPO in the finding of non-compliance. The Board shall take such action as it deems appropriate.
3. If such petition is filed, the Board may, at its discretion, approve the same without hearing or may enter into an agreement on terms with such active LPO as to time and other requirements for achieving compliance with Rule 11.4.
4. If the Board does not approve such petition or enter into such agreement, the affected LPO may request a hearing before the Board. At the discretion of the Chair of the Board, the hearing may be held before the entire Board or panel thereof. The Board or panel thereof shall enter written findings of fact and an appropriate order, a copy of which shall be transmitted by certified mail to the active LPO affected at the address of such member on file with the Office of the Administrator for the Courts. Any such order shall be final and, in case of an adverse determination, shall be transmitted to the Supreme Court.
5. An adverse decision of the Board may be appealed by the active LPO affected to the Supreme Court in accordance with the applicable provisions of APR 12. As to such appeals, the Board shall be represented by counsel as the Board may designate.
D. Such failure shall also subject the LPO who has failed to comply with this rule to a full audit of his or her books and records as provided in Rule 11.1(C) upon request of the Board Chair. A copy of the request made under this section shall be served upon the LPO involved. The request shall be granted upon a showing that the LPO has failed to comply with Section A of this rule. If the LPO shall later comply, the Chair of the Board shall have discretion to determine whether an audit should be conducted, and if so the scope of the audit. An LPO audited pursuant to this section shall be liable for the actual costs of conducting such audit.
REGULATIONS 101 - 106
Reviser's note: The brackets and enclosed material in the above text occurred in the copy filed by the State Supreme Court and appear in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040.
Reviser's note: The typographical errors in the above material occurred in the copy filed by the State Supreme Court and appear in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040.