Effective February 2, 2015, all 24 civil courtrooms, including the civil complex courtrooms, will shift from one-to-one assignment of court reporters to civil courtrooms for all hearings to a system where court reporters are assigned to a courtroom as needed for trials and evidentiary hearings only. Official court reporters (i.e., court   reporters employed by the Court) will only be provided for trials and matters in which oral evidence will be presented.

The expansion of this project follows a successful pilot which has been operating in 14 unlimited civil courtrooms since August 25, 2014. The pilot project has provided a significant cost savings for the Court. Also, pooled court reporter coverage has resulted in more efficient staffing assignments and the use of fewer “pro tempore” court reporters (i.e., reporters not employed by the Court).

Presiding Judge Glenda Sanders said, “Persistent pleas for adequate funding for the California Courts have failed. Our Court’s current budget allocation for fiscal year 2014-2015 is insufficient, and the picture for 2015-2016 is even bleaker with an anticipated funding deficit of $5.7 million. Because of this, our Court must find ways to operate more efficiently.”

For hearings other than trials and matters in which oral evidence will be presented, a Court-Approved List of Official Reporters Pro Tempore, which includes names and contact information of reporters who can be privately retained and appointed as an official court reporter pro tempore without stipulation of the parties, is posted online. Alternatively, by stipulation of the parties and appointment by the judge, parties may privately retain a   certified shorthand reporter not on the court-approved list to serve in a proceeding as an official court reporter pro tempore. Forms, policies, and additional information are available on the Court’s website.

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