A Court Reporter Is Not Automatic in Civil Court
Video Transcribed: A court reporter is not automatic in civil court. Do I want a court reporter for my family court proceedings? Well, that’s the question we’re going to answer today. My name is Brian L. Jackson. I am a Tulsa Fathers Rights Attorney here at dads.law, and we’re going to talk about do you want a court reporter for your family law case? Well, let’s talk about that.
Whether or not you want to pay for a court reporter depends in part on why you’re going to court. I don’t generally think it’s necessary to have a court reporter if you’re talking about non-contested matters that are just little procedural niceties, things like status conferences, pretrial conferences, usually you don’t need a court reporter. If you’re entering an agreed order, I think it depends on whether or not what’s in the minute if there’s a minute, but you may want to record it in that situation. If there’s not going to be a real detailed court minute, you may want to record.
If you’re dealing with anything contested though, and when I say contested, I mean if you’re talking about anything where you and the other side are not just agreeing to do something, 99% of the time you want a court reporter. And here’s a couple of reasons why.
Anytime you’re talking about a contested matter, there are no guarantees as to what the court might do, that is the judge. And judges sometimes can be unpredictable. You may think you have a good case and you’re going to get a particular outcome and the judge might surprise you. Some judges more than others, but a judge might surprise you.
Another reason you might want a court reporter is if you are announcing a deal of some kind and there’s not going to be a detailed minute. And some judges don’t do detailed minutes. Some courts don’t do… Depending on what county you’re in, they may not do a detailed minute. And that record is all-important in that situation because that’s the only evidence you have of what was agreed to. Then you want to announce it on the record.
Another good reason too is if you’re getting denied something by a court that you really object to, you may want to make a record of the fact that you objected to it so that if you ever need to go back and appeal that later, you have the record there to appeal it. Or if you’re going to ask for some other extraordinary relief like a writ of mandamus.
Another good reason to have a court record is if there’s any possible chance you’re going to want to appeal. Basically, if you are afraid the court might do something that you don’t like and you want the option of having a higher court review that decision, like for example, the state supreme court, the court of civil appeals, you really need that court record to do that. And that’s when you need the court reporter. Trials should always be done on the record. Temporary orders generally speaking should always be done on the record.
Really in those situations, the only time I would say you might not want a court reporter is if you’re being forced to do a hearing and you’re facing a criminal charge where the facts of the alleged crime are going to be brought up or maybe brought up in the context of the hearing you’re having.
Now, in that situation obviously, your attorney is probably going to tell you to take them, but in the event that you slip up and say something, obviously, you do not want that on the record where a DA can use it against you later.
So that’s one situation where you may not want a court reporter, but as a general rule, anytime you’re going in for something contested, you want that court reporter.
And I’ll tell you, the fee isn’t very high. It’s like $20 for a court reporter in Tulsa County. So there’s really no good reason not to have one. And it stacks up the option at least of appealing if you decide you want to later.
If you don’t get the court reporter, then it many times will foreclose the option of an appeal. And that sucks. So you generally speaking do want a court reporter to answer the question of this video. And if you have questions about that or need help in any way, you should go to dads.law.