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Rule 15-523. Proceedings in which licensed paralegalpractitioner is declared to be incompetent or alleged to be incapacitated.

 

(a) Involuntary commitmentor adjudication of incompetency. If a licensed paralegal practitioner has beenjudicially declared incompetent or is involuntarily committed on the grounds ofincompetency, OPC counsel, upon proper proof of the fact, shall file a petitionwith the district court for the immediate transfer of the licensed paralegalpractitioner to disability status for an indefinite period until further orderof the district court. A copy of the order shall be served by OPC counsel uponthe licensed paralegal practitioner or the licensed paralegal practitioner?sguardian or, if no guardian or legal representative has been appointed, uponthe director of the institution to which the licensed paralegal practitionerhas been committed.

(b) Inability to properlydefend. If a licensed paralegal practitioner alleges in the course of adisciplinary proceeding an inability to assist in the defense due to mental orphysical incapacity, the district court shall immediately transfer the licensedparalegal practitioner to disability status pending determination of theincapacity.

(b)(1) If the district courtdetermines the claim of inability to defend is valid, the disciplinaryproceeding shall be deferred and the licensed paralegal practitioner retainedon disability status until the district court subsequently considers a petitionfor transfer of the licensed paralegal practitioner to active status. If thedistrict court considering the petition for transfer to active statusdetermines the petition should be granted, the interrupted disciplinaryproceedings may resume.

(b)(2) If the district courtdetermines the claim of incapacity to defend to be invalid, the disciplinaryproceeding shall resume.

(c) Proceedings to determineincapacity. Information relating to a licensed paralegal practitioner?sphysical or mental condition which adversely affects the licensed paralegalpractitioner?s ability to practice law as a licensed paralegal practitionershall be investigated, and if warranted, shall be the subject of formalproceedings to determine whether the licensed paralegal practitioner shall betransferred to disability status. Hearings shall be conducted in the samemanner as disciplinary proceedings, except that all of the proceedings shall beconfidential. The district court shall provide for such notice to the licensedparalegal practitioner of proceedings in the matter as it deems proper andadvisable and may appoint counsel to represent the licensed paralegalpractitioner if the licensed paralegal practitioner is without adequaterepresentation. The district court may take or direct whatever action it deemsnecessary or proper to determine whether the licensed paralegal practitioner isso incapacitated, including the examination of the licensed paralegalpractitioner by qualified experts designated by the district court. If, upondue consideration of the matter, the district court concludes that the licensedparalegal practitioner is incapacitated from continuing to practice law as alicensed paralegal practitioner, it shall enter an order transferring thelicensed paralegal practitioner to disability status for an indefinite periodand until the further order of the district court. Any pending disciplinaryproceedings against the licensed paralegal practitioner shall be held inabeyance.

(d) Reinstatement fromdisability status.

(d)(1) Court order. Nolicensed paralegal practitioner transferred to disability status may resumeactive status except by order of the district court.

(d)(2) Petition. Anylicensed paralegal practitioner transferred to disability status shall beentitled to petition for transfer to active status once a year, or at whatevershorter intervals the district court may direct in the order transferring thelicensed paralegal practitioner to disability status or any modificationsthereof.

(d)(3) Examination. Upon thefiling of a petition for transfer to active status, the district court may takeor direct whatever action it deems necessary or proper to determine whether thedisability has been removed, including a direction for an examination of thelicensed paralegal practitioner by qualified experts designated by the districtcourt. In its discretion, the district court may direct that the expense of theexamination be paid by the licensed paralegal practitioner.

(d)(4) Waiver of privilege.With the filing of a petition for reinstatement to active status, the licensedparalegal practitioner shall be required to disclose the name of eachpsychiatrist, psychologist, physician or other health care provider andhospital or other institution by whom or in which the licensed paralegalpractitioner has been examined or treated related to the disability since thetransfer to disability status. The licensed paralegal practitioner shallfurnish written consent to each listed provider to divulge information andrecords relating to the disability if requested by the district court or districtcourt's appointed experts.

(d)(5) Learning in law;Licensed Paralegal Practitioner Examination. The district court may also directthat the licensed paralegal practitioner establish proof of competence andlearning in law, which proof may include certification by the Bar of successfulcompletion of an examination for licensure to practice as a licensed paralegalpractitioner.

(d)(6) Granting petition fortransfer to active status. The district court shall grant the petition fortransfer to active status upon a showing by clear and convincing evidence thatthe disability has been removed.

(d)(7) Judicial declarationof competence. If a licensed paralegal practitioner transferred to disabilitystatus on the basis of a judicial determination of incompetence is subsequentlyjudicially declared to be competent, the district court may dispense withfurther evidence that the licensed paralegal practitioner?s disability has beenremoved and may immediately order the licensed paralegal practitioner?s reinstatementto active status upon terms as are deemed proper and advisable.

 

Effective November 1, 2018