Frequently Asked Questions about the Court Reporter
How are court proceedings recorded?
All courtrooms are equipped with microphones, and proceedings are digitally recorded using the CourtSmart recording system. In certain circumstances a stenographer may also be present, at the discretion of the presiding judge, depending on the type of case.
Is everything on the record?
Even though every courtroom, including the magistrate’s courtroom, is equipped with a digital recording system, the presiding judge or magistrate determines what proceedings are held on the record and what proceedings are off the record. Bench conferences in jury trials are recorded via two microphones on the Judge’s bench. This is done to preserve the record, while the jury only hears white noise.
I need to order a transcript. How do I do that?
Please contact the Official Court Reporter by telephone (513-732-7125). You will need the following information: Case caption, case number, hearing date, type of hearing, and the judge. There is a $4.00 per page fee as set by court entry. The court reporter will estimate the cost and that estimated amount must be put on deposit before the transcription will begin. Normal turnaround time is 2 to 3 weeks.
I need to rush a transcript. Can I do that?
Yes. Transcripts are available on an expedited basis within the constraints of the court reporter’s workload. The per page fee increases: overnight service is $8.00 per page, and 2 to 4 day service is $6.00 per page. One week expedited service is $5.00 per page.
Can I order a CD instead of a transcript?
Yes. These CDs are free and contain just the audio. It’s a computer CD and must be played on a computer, but it does not require any special software. The same case information is needed to order a CD as would be needed for a printed transcript. The audio CD can be picked up the same day it is ordered.
Can I use the free audio CD to create my own transcript for use in a trial or an appeal?
No. Attorneys should note that if a transcript is needed, it must be prepared by the Official Court Reporter. Transcripts made from an audio CD by other court reporting agencies are not the official record and cannot be used for cross-examination or appeal purposes.
How are the exhibits handled?
The presiding judge’s bailiff is the custodian of any exhibits admitted during a hearing or trial. They remain in his/her possession until an appeal is filed, in which case the exhibits will be transferred to the Court of Appeals as part of the record. If there is no appeal, after the case is concluded and the statutory time period has passed, the exhibits may be destroyed by entry of the court. Each judge may have slightly different logistics, so you might want to check with their bailiffs for specific details.
Where do I pick up transcripts or CDs?
Transcripts and CDs may be picked up at the Assignment Office which is located on the second floor.