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RULE 20-8.3 COMPLAINT PROCESSING

20 FLORIDA REGISTERED PARALEGAL PROGRAM
20-8 REVOCATION OF REGISTRATION

RULE 20-8.3 COMPLAINT PROCESSING

(a) Complaints. All complaints against a Florida Registered Paralegal may be initiated either by a sworn complaint asserting a violation of these rules or by The Florida Bar on its own motion.

(b) Review by Bar Counsel. Bar counsel shall review the complaint and determine whether the alleged conduct, if proven, would constitute a violation of these rules. Bar counsel may conduct a preliminary, informal investigation to aid in this determination and, if necessary, may employ a Florida Bar staff investigator to aid in the preliminary investigation. If bar counsel determines that the facts, if proven, would not constitute a violation, bar counsel may decline to pursue the complaint. The complainant shall be notified of a decision not to pursue a complaint and shall be given the reasons therefor.

(c) Closing by Bar Counsel and Committee Chair. Bar counsel may consult with the appropriate district paralegal committee chair to determine whether the alleged conduct of a complaint, if proven, would constitute a violation of these rules. If bar counsel and the district committee chair concur in a finding that the case should be closed, the complaint may be closed on such finding without referral to the district paralegal committee.

(d) Referral to District Paralegal Committee. Bar counsel may refer a file to the appropriate district paralegal committee for further investigation or action as authorized elsewhere in these rules.

(e) Notification of Violation. If a majority of the district paralegal committee finds probable cause to believe that a violation of these rules has occurred, bar counsel or the chair of the district paralegal committee will send written notice thereof to the Florida Registered Paralegal identifying the alleged violation. The notice shall be sent by certified U.S. mail directed to the last mailing address on file.

(f) Response to Notice of Violation. Within 30 days from the receipt of the notification, the Florida Registered Paralegal shall file a written response. If the Florida Registered Paralegal does not respond, the violations identified in the finding of probable cause shall be deemed admitted.

(g) Committee Review. After the filing of the written response to the finding of probable cause or following the expiration of the time within which to file a response if none is filed, the district paralegal committee shall review the complaint, the finding of probable cause, the response (if any), and any other pertinent materials, and decide whether to dismiss the proceeding or issue a proposed disposition. The committee shall promptly send written notice of its decision to the Florida Registered Paralegal by certified U.S. mail directed to the last mailing address on file.

[Revised: 03/01/2008]