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Rule 15-511. Proceedings subsequent to finding ofprobable cause.

(a) Commencement of action.If the screening panel finds probable cause to believe that there are groundsfor public discipline and that a formal complaint is merited, OPC counsel shallprepare and file with the district court a formal complaint setting forth inplain and concise language the facts upon which the charge of unprofessionalconduct is based and the applicable provisions of the Licensed ParalegalPractitioner Rules of Professional Conduct. The formal complaint shall besigned by the Committee chair or, in the chair's absence, by the Committee vicechair or a screening panel chair designated by the Committee chair.

(b) Venue. The action shallbe brought and the trial shall be held in the county in which an allegedoffense occurred or in the county where the respondent resides or practices lawas a licensed paralegal practitioner or last practiced law as a licensedparalegal practitioner in Utah; provided, however, that if the respondent isnot a resident of Utah and the alleged offense is not committed in Utah, thetrial shall be held in a county designated by the Chief Justice of the SupremeCourt. The parties may stipulate to a change of venue in accordance withapplicable law.

(c) Style of proceedings.All proceedings instituted by the OPC shall be styled "In the Matter ofthe Discipline of (name of respondent and respondent's license number),Respondent."

(d) Change of judge as amatter of right.

(d)(1) Notice of change. Therespondent or OPC counsel may, by filing a notice indicating the nameof the assigned judge, the date on which the formal complaint was filed, andthat a good faith effort has been made to serve all parties, change the judgeassigned to the case. The notice shall not specify any reason for the change ofjudge. The party filing the notice shall send a copy of the notice to theassigned judge and to the presiding judge. The party filing the notice mayrequest reassignment to another district court judge from the same district,which request shall be granted. Under no circumstances shall more than onechange of judge be allowed to each party under this rule.

(d)(2) Time. Unless extendedby the court upon a showing of good cause, the notice must be filed within 30days after commencement of the action or prior to the notice of trial setting,whichever occurs first. Failure to file a timely notice precludes any change ofjudge under this rule.

(d)(3) Assignment of action.Upon the filing of a notice of change, the assigned judge shall take no furtheraction in the case. The presiding judge shall promptly determine whether thenotice is proper and, if so, shall reassign the action. If the presiding judgeis also the assigned judge, the clerk shall promptly send the notice to theChief Justice of the Supreme Court, who shall determine whether the notice isproper and, if so, shall reassign the action.

(d)(4) Rule 63 and Rule 63Aunaffected. This rule does not affect any rights a party may have pursuant toRule 63 or Rule 63A of the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure.

(e) Actions tried to thebench; findings and conclusions. All actions tried according to this articleshall be tried to the bench, and the district court shall enterfindings of fact and conclusions of law. Neither masters nor commissionersshall be utilized.

(f) Sanctions hearing. Upona finding of misconduct and as soon as reasonably practicable, within a targetdate of not more than 30 days after the district court enters its findings offact and conclusions of law, it shall hold a hearing to receive relevantevidence in aggravation and mitigation, and shall within five days thereafter,enter an order sanctioning the respondent. Upon reasonable notice to theparties, the court, at its discretion, may hold the sanctions hearingimmediately after the misconduct proceeding.

(g) Review. Any disciplineorder by the district court may be reviewed by the Supreme Court through apetition for review pursuant to the Utah Rules of Appellate Procedure.

 

Effective November 1, 2018