Court Reporter fees
Due to the fact that many civil courtrooms throughout California no longer have court reporters, and attorneys need to bring in a pro tem court reporter for hearings and trials, some of the procedures in regards to filing appeal transcripts are new to both attorneys and the pro tem court reporters, and there has been some confusion because of the language used by law firms when requesting the preparation of appeal transcripts.
If a person Googles “fee waiver California appeals court, ” you will find a definition of fee waiver that is not related to what court reporters are asked to provide to attorneys when attorneys need a court reporter’s transcript for their appeal. A fee waiver in the context of California courts is defined in Government Code Section 68631 relates to a Court granting waiving of fees because a person is indigent.
Reading through the 2015 California Rules of Court, Rule 8.130, Reporter’s transcript, I found 8.130(b)(3)(A) which references a reporter’s written waiver of a deposit. Many attorneys refer to this provision as a “fee waiver” when asking the court reporter to bill them directly for a transcript and not ask the clerk to collect the money to save time in filing the appeal. The court reporter is not being asked to waive their transcript fees.
2015 California Rules of Court, 8.130 reads as follows:
(1)A notice under rule 8.121 designating a reporter’s transcript must specify the date of each proceeding to be included in the transcript and may specify portions of designated proceedings that are not to be included. The notice must identify any proceeding for which a certified transcript has previously been prepared by checking the appropriate box on Appellant’s Notice Designating Record on Appeal (Unlimited Civil) (form APP-003) or, if that form is not used, placing an asterisk before that proceeding in the notice.
(2)If the appellant designates less than all the testimony, the notice must state the points to be raised on appeal; the appeal is then limited to those points unless, on motion, the reviewing court permits otherwise.
(3)If the appellant serves and files a notice designating a reporter’s transcript, the respondent may, within 10 days after such service, serve and file a notice in superior court designating any additional proceedings the respondent wants included in the transcript. The notice must identify any proceeding for which a certified transcript has previously been prepared by checking the appropriate box on Respondent’s Notice Designating Record on Appeal (Unlimited Civil Case) (form APP-010) or, if that form is not used, placing an asterisk before that proceeding in the notice.
(4)If the appellant elects to proceed without a reporter’s transcript, the respondent cannot require that a reporter’s transcript be prepared. But the reviewing court, on its own or the respondent’s motion, may order the record augmented under rule 8.155 to prevent a miscarriage of justice. Unless the court orders otherwise, the appellant is responsible for the cost of any reporter’s transcript the court may order under this subdivision.
(5)Except when a party submits a certified transcript that contains all the designated proceedings under (b)(3)(C) with the notice of designation, the notice of designation must be served on each known reporter of the designated proceedings.
(b) Deposit or substitute for cost of transcript
(1)With its notice of designation, a party must deposit with the superior court clerk the approximate cost of transcribing the proceedings it designates and a fee of $50 for the superior court to hold this deposit in trust. The deposit must be either:
(A)The amount specified in the reporter’s written estimate; or
(B)An amount calculated as follows:
(i)For proceedings that have not previously been transcribed: $325 per fraction of the day’s proceedings that did not exceed three hours, or $650 per day or fraction that exceeded three hours.
(ii)For proceedings that have previously been transcribed: $80 per fraction of the day’s proceedings that did not exceed three hours, or $160 per day or fraction that exceeded three hours.
(2)If the reporter believes the deposit is inadequate, within 15 days after the clerk mails the notice under (d)(1) the reporter may file with the clerk and mail to the designating party an estimate of the transcript’s total cost at the statutory rate, showing the additional deposit required. The party must deposit the additional sum within 10 days after the reporter mails the estimate.
(3)Instead of a deposit under (1), the party may substitute:
(A)The reporter’s written waiver of a deposit. A reporter may waive the deposit for a part of the designated proceedings, but such a waiver replaces the deposit for only that part.
(B)A copy of a Transcript Reimbursement Fund application filed under (c)(1).
(C)A certified transcript of all of the proceedings designated by the party. The transcript must comply with the format requirements of rule 8.144.