§ 6-708. Investigation of complaints and imposition of sanctions.

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§ 6-708. Investigation of complaints and imposition of sanctions.

   (A) Grounds for Imposition of Sanctions. Any of the following may be grounds for imposition of sanctions against a certified or registered interpreter:

   (1) Unprofessional or unethical conduct that violates the Code of Professional Responsibility (see Appendix 1);

   (2) Conviction of a criminal charge, either misdemeanor or felony, which is deemed by the Supreme Court to evidence moral turpitude, dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. Dispositions of criminal charges other than by acquittal or dismissal (e.g., pretrial diversion) may also constitute grounds for suspension or revocation; and

   (3) Incompetence as an interpreter.

   (B) Investigation and Notification of Grounds for Imposition of Sanctions. Upon receipt by the State Court Administrator of a complaint in writing against a certified or registered interpreter, or upon the initiation by the office of the State Court Administrator itself of a complaint, such complaint shall be investigated, to determine if the complaint warrants formal action. In any case where formal action is deemed necessary, written notice of the complaint shall be sent by certified mail to the interpreter, and that interpreter shall have 15 days to file a written response with the Office of the State Court Administrator. Upon receipt and review of any such written response, the State Court Administrator may take any of the following actions:

   (1) immediately suspend the certification of the interpreter and schedule a hearing;

   (2) dismiss the complaint; or

   (3) schedule a hearing to consider the complaint formally.

   (C) Scheduling of Formal Hearing. If the State Court Administrator elects to schedule a formal hearing, such hearing shall be held within 30 days of the receipt by the State Court Administrator of the written response. A panel of three individuals shall be responsible for the conduct of the formal hearing: one of the judge members of the Interpreter Advisory Committee shall preside over the hearing, together with two interpreters from the Interpreter Advisory Committee to be appointed by the judge presiding over the hearing. If requested, any individual whose attendance is sought at the formal hearing shall be permitted to appear telephonically and/or by video connection. Notice of the time and place of the formal hearing shall be given by certified mail to the interpreter under complaint, at least 15 days prior thereto.

   (D) Conduct of Formal Hearing. The hearing panel shall receive such information and/or documentation as it sees fit, including, if deemed appropriate by the panel, the taking of testimony. At the conclusion of the hearing, the panel may take any such action as it determines appropriate, including the immediate suspension or revocation of the interpreter under complaint, the dismissal of the complaint, or the imposition of any of the other sanctions described in § 6-708(E) below. The rules of evidence do not apply to these hearings.

   (E) Sanctions. If sufficient cause exists, the State Court Administrator may impose one or more of the following sanctions:

   (1) Issue a written reprimand;

   (2) Specify corrective action with which the interpreter must comply in order to remain on the statewide register of interpreters, including the completion of educational courses and/or re-taking one or more parts of the legal interpreting competency examination;

   (3) Suspend the interpreter from serving as an interpreter in the Nebraska courts for a specified period of time, or until corrective action is completed; and

   (4) Revoke the standing of and permanently prohibit the interpreter from serving as an interpreter in Nebraska courts.

   (F) No interpreter who has been suspended or revoked shall be utilized as an interpreter in any judicial proceeding in the State of Nebraska, nor shall such interpreter be entitled to any compensation from the State Court Administrator’s Office, during his or her suspension or revocation.

   (G) Complaints made against a sign language interpreter shall be processed pursuant to the procedure set forth in Rules and Regulations Relating to Sign Language Interpreters adopted by the Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

§ 6-707 adopted October 21, 2009; § 6-707 renumbered to § 6-708 March 16, 2011.