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AB-2664 Court reporters: official reporter pro tempore.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 09/18/2018 09:00 PM
AB2664:v95#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 2664
CHAPTER 497

An act to amend Sections 68086 and 70044 of the Government Code, relating to court reporters.

[ Approved by Governor  September 18, 2018. Filed with Secretary of State  September 18, 2018. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2664, Holden. Court reporters: official reporter pro tempore.
Existing law authorizes the court to appoint an official reporter pro tempore when needed for the judicial business of the superior court of the county to be diligently carried on and so a particular matter may proceed to trial or hearing without delay. Existing law authorizes a pro tempore official reporter to be appointed by the presiding judge of the court or the judge presiding in the department where the reporter will serve.
This bill would instead authorize a pro tempore official reporter who is present in the courtroom providing that service to be appointed by the presiding judge of the court or the judge presiding in the department where the reporter will serve. The bill would also make conforming and technical changes and would revise obsolete provisions.
Existing law requires the Judicial Council to adopt rules to ensure, among other things, that if an official court reporter is not available, a party is authorized to arrange for the presence of a certified shorthand reporter to serve as an official pro tempore reporter and that the costs are recoverable as taxable costs by the prevailing party.
This bill would additionally require the Judicial Council to adopt rules to ensure that at the arranging party’s request the court would be required to appoint the certified shorthand reporter to be present in the courtroom and serve as the official reporter pro tempore unless there is good cause shown for the court to refuse that appointment. The bill would also require that the fees and charges of the certified shorthand reporter be recoverable as taxable costs by the prevailing party.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 68086 of the Government Code is amended to read:

68086.
 The following provisions apply in superior court:
(a) In addition to any other fee required in civil actions or cases:
(1) For each proceeding anticipated to last one hour or less, a fee of thirty dollars ($30) shall be charged for the reasonable cost of the court reporting services provided at the expense of the court by an official court reporter pursuant to Section 269 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(A) The fee shall be charged to the party, or parties if filing jointly, that filed the paper that resulted in the proceeding being scheduled. If no fee has been charged, and a party subsequently requests a court reporter, that party shall be charged the fee if a reporter is to be provided by the court.
(B) All parties paying the fee shall deposit the fee with the clerk of the court as specified by the court, but not later than the conclusion of each day’s court session.
(C) The fee shall be charged once per case for all proceedings conducted within the same hour if the total time taken by those proceedings is one hour or less. If the total time taken exceeds one hour, the fee shall be charged and collected pursuant to paragraph (2).
(D) The fee shall be deposited into the Trial Court Trust Fund and distributed back to the court from which the fee was collected on a dollar-for-dollar basis.
(E) The fee shall be refunded as soon as practicable to the remitting party or parties if no court reporting services were provided.
(2) For each proceeding lasting more than one hour, a fee equal to the actual cost of providing that service shall be charged per one-half day of services to the parties, on a pro rata basis, for the services of an official court reporter on the first and each succeeding judicial day those services are provided pursuant to Section 269 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(A) All parties shall deposit their pro rata shares of these fees with the clerk of the court as specified by the court, but not later than the conclusion of each day’s court session.
(B) For purposes of this paragraph, “one-half day” means any period of judicial time, in excess of one hour, but not more than four hours, during either the morning or afternoon court session.
(b) The fee shall be waived for a person who has been granted a fee waiver under Section 68631.
(c) The costs for the services of the official court reporter shall be recoverable as taxable costs by the prevailing party as otherwise provided by law.
(d) The Judicial Council shall adopt rules to ensure all of the following:
(1) That parties are given adequate and timely notice of the availability of an official court reporter.
(2) That if an official court reporter is not available, a party may arrange for, at the party’s expense, the presence of a certified shorthand reporter to serve as an official pro tempore reporter. At the arranging party’s request, the court shall appoint the certified shorthand reporter to be present in the courtroom and serve as the official reporter pro tempore unless there is good cause shown for the court to refuse that appointment. The fees and charges of the certified shorthand reporter shall be recoverable as taxable costs by the prevailing party as otherwise provided by law.
(3) That if the services of an official pro tempore reporter are utilized pursuant to paragraph (2), no other charge shall be made to the parties.
(e) The fees collected pursuant to this section shall be used only to pay the cost for services of an official court reporter in civil proceedings.
(f) The Judicial Council shall report on or before February 1 of each year to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee on the fees collected by courts pursuant to this section and Section 68086.1 and on the total amount spent for services of official court reporters in civil proceedings statewide in the prior fiscal year.

SEC. 2.

 Section 70044 of the Government Code is amended to read:

70044.
 (a) When needed in order that the judicial business of the superior court in the county may be diligently carried on and a particular matter may proceed to trial or hearing without delay, a pro tempore official reporter may be appointed to perform the duties of a phonographic reporter in that matter, or until a regular official reporter becomes available for that service. A pro tempore official reporter who is present in the courtroom providing that service may be appointed by the presiding judge of the court or the judge presiding in the department where the reporter will serve. If the appointment is made for service in a contested matter, it shall be made only pursuant to a written stipulation of the parties appearing at the trial or hearing or other proceeding to be reported by the pro tempore reporter or pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 68086.
(b) A pro tempore official reporter who is licensed as described in Section 69942, and who has been appointed a pro tempore official reporter by the court pursuant to Section 69941, and is present in the courtroom may serve in any matter without further order of the court or stipulation of the parties.