Bar Rules

RULE 14-7.1 PROCEEDINGS FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF

State Bar Programs / Part XIV - Rules Governing the Investigation and Prosecution of the Unlicensed Practice of Law / 14-7. PROCEEDINGS BEFORE A JUDGE / RULE 14-7.1 PROCEEDINGS FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF

(a) Filing Complaints. In accordance with O.C.G.A. ยง 15-19-58, complaints for civil injunctive relief shall be by petition filed in the Superior Court in which the respondent resides or where venue might otherwise be proper by the State Bar of Georgia in its name.

(b) Petitions for Injunctive Relief. Except as provided in sub-paragraphs (1) through (7) of this Rule 14-7.1(b) such petition shall be processed in the Superior Court in substantial compliance with Georgia law:

(1) The petition shall not be framed in technical language, but shall with reasonable clarity set forth the facts constituting the unlicensed practice of law. A demand for relief may be included in the petition but shall not be required.

(2) The Superior Court, upon consideration of any petition so filed, may issue its order to show cause directed to the respondent commanding the respondent to show cause, if there be any, why the respondent should not be enjoined from the unlicensed practice of law alleged, and further requiring the respondent to file with the Superior Court and serve upon staff counsel within 30 days after service on the respondent of the petition and order to show cause a written answer admitting or denying each of the matters set forth in the petition. The order and petition shall be served upon the respondent in the manner provided for service of process by Georgia law, and service of all other pleadings shall be governed by the procedures applicable under Georgia law.

(3) If no response or defense is filed within the time permitted, the allegations of the petition shall be taken as true for purposes of that action. The Superior Court will then, upon its motion or upon motion of any party, decide the case upon its merits, granting such relief and issuing such order as might be appropriate.

(4) If a response or defense filed by a respondent raises no issue of material fact, any party, upon motion, may request summary judgment and the Superior Court may rule thereon as a matter of law.

(5) The Superior Court may, upon its motion or upon motion of any party, enter a judgment on the pleadings or conduct a hearing with regard to the allegations contained in the petition.

(6) Subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and the production of documentary evidence shall be issued in the name of the Superior Court upon request of a party. Failure or refusal to comply with any subpoena shall be contempt of court.

(7) The Georgia Rules of Civil Procedure, including those provisions pertaining to discovery, not inconsistent with these rules shall apply in injunctive proceedings before the Judge. The powers and jurisdiction generally reposed in the Superior Court under those rules may in this action be exercised by the Judge. The State Bar of Georgia may in every case amend its petition one time as a matter of right, within 60 days after the filing of the petition. All proceedings under these rules shall be heard by a Judge sitting without a jury. There shall be no right to a trial by jury with regard to any proceeding conducted under these rules.

(c) Judge's Order.

(1) At the conclusion of the hearing, the Judge shall determine as a matter of fact and law whether the respondent has engaged in the unlicensed practice of law, whether the respondent's activities should be enjoined by appropriate order, whether costs should be awarded, and whether further relief shall be granted. Copies of the Judge's order shall be served upon all parties.

(2) The Judge shall have discretion to recommend the assessment of costs. Taxable costs of the proceeding shall include only:

(A) investigative costs;
(B) court reporters' fees;
(C) copy costs;
(D) telephone charges;
(E) fees for translation services;
(F) witness expenses, including travel and out-of-pocket expenses;
(G) travel and out-of-pocket expenses of the Judge; and
(H) any other costs which may properly be taxed in civil litigation.

(3) Should the parties enter into a stipulated injunction prior to the hearing, the stipulation shall be filed with the Judge. The Judge may approve the stipulation or reject the stipulation and schedule a hearing as provided elsewhere in these rules.

(d) Review by the Supreme Court of Georgia.

(1) Objections to the order of the Judge shall be filed with the Court by any party aggrieved, within 30 days after the filing of the order. If the objector desires, a brief or memorandum of law in support of the objections may be filed at the time the objections are filed. Any other party may file a responsive brief or memorandum of law within 20 day of service of the objector's brief or memorandum of law. The objector may file a reply brief or memorandum of law within 10 days of service of the opposing party's responsive brief or memorandum of law. Oral argument will be allowed at the court's discretion.

(2) Upon the expiration of the time to file objections to the Judge's order, the Court shall review the order of the Judge, together with any briefs or memoranda of law or objections filed in support of or opposition to such order. After review, the Court shall determine as a matter of law whether the respondent has engaged in the unlicensed practice of law, whether the respondent's activities should be enjoined by appropriate order, whether costs should be awarded, and whether further relief shall be granted.

Issuance of Preliminary or Temporary Injunction. Nothing set forth in this rule shall be construed to limit the authority of the Superior Court, upon proper application, to issue a preliminary or temporary injunction, or at any stage of the proceedings to enter any such order as the Superior Court deems proper when public harm or the possibility thereof is made apparent to the Superior Court, in order that such harm may be summarily prevented or speedily enjoined.



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