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Highlights on Trial Court performance and Accountability

 Sunday, June 26th, 2016

In a report that was done for the provision of court reporting services in Florida, you will find that revision 72 article V states the following:

Florida constitution mandated that due process costs, such as court reporting services, be funded by the state. Both prior to and following the July 1, 2004 effective date of Revision 7, Florida’s State Courts System has made continual progress towards ensuring the effective and efficient delivery of court reporting services.

This revision changed the face of court reporting services throughout the state. In an effort to propose policies and procedures that would result in efficient and effective management, performance, and accountability for Florida’s trial courts. That article had a specific focus on the purpose, legal, delivery, costs and performance of court reporting services.

The goal for this ruling was to ensure accuracy and quality of record court proceedings. Those proceedings were required to follow appropriate court reporting methods and ensuring timely production to be delivered of transcripts so that legal counsel would be able to review. There was also a strict focus on cost efficiency for court reporting services.

Standards of operation and best practices are coded statewide. This was all due to the advance in technology and digital court reporting.

In 2002 approximately $30 million was spent annually for the provision of court reporting services. In an effort to standardize when and how digital recording technology was utilized and used as an alternative to a transcript.

It was at this time that qualifications for employees and contractors became regulated for the production of those transcripts.

A workgroup was selected to recommend statute and rule revisions as well as standard of operation within the trial courts. This workgroup used several sources which included the following:

Statutes, court rules, court opinions, circuit administrative orders and profiles, reports issued by the TCP&A and the Florida Courts Technology Commission (FCTC), and Trial Court Budget Commission (TCBC) policies.

After meeting for a selected time in 2007 the workgroup and legal subcommittee presented their suggested mandatory practice to be adopted by all judicial circuits within the state.

Although every circuit court operates their court reporting program differently those variations are now required to be carefully considered when formulating legal and operational recommendations.

Mostly the recommendations were designed to improve effectiveness and efficiency for court reporting.

The court reporting process recommended for state expense for circuit criminal, County criminal, delinquency, dependency, termination of parental rights, domestic violence’s injunction, Baker act, Marchman act, guardianship, and child-support hearing proceedings are as follows:

  1. Schedule proceedings
  2. Assign coverage
  3. Monitor proceedings
  4. Store notes/recordings
  5. Request for transcript/recording
  6. Create or retrieve transcript/recording
  7. Transmit transcript/recording

The suggested changes help prevent legal challenges and the use of digital recording technology. It is crucial practice to have trained transcriptionists that will prepare accurate recordings that are kept confidential and prohibits intentional interception of communication.

It is highly advisable when seeking court reporters, stenographers and transcriptionists to hire educated individuals that can be accountable.

To read the full report, click onto this link. https://www.flcourts.org/core/fileparse.php/260/urlt/TCPACtReportingFinalReport.pdf

 

For more information on court reporters, please contact our offices for further assistance.

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