TBD | Rule 2.535 Fla. R. Civ. P.
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Rule 2.535 Fla. R. Jud. Admin.. Download

RULE 2.535 | COURT REPORTING

(a) Definitions.
(1) “Approved court reporter” means a court employee or contractor who performs court reporting services, including transcription, at public expense and who meets the court’s certification, training, and other qualifications for court reporting.
(2) “Approved transcriptionist” means a court employee, contractor, or other individual who performs transcription services at public expense and who meets the court’s certification, training, and other qualifications for transcribing proceedings.
(3) “Civil court reporter” means a court reporter who performs court reporting services in civil proceedings not required to be reported at public expense, and who meets the court’s certification, training, and other qualifications for court reporting.
(4) “Court reporting” means the act of making a verbatim record of the spoken word, whether by the use of written symbols, stenomask equipment, stenographic equipment, or electronic devices, in any proceedings pending in any of the courts of this state, including all discovery proceedings conducted in connection therewith, any proceedings reported for the court’s own use, and all proceedings required by statute to be reported by an approved court reporter or civil court reporter. It does not mean the act of taking witness statements not intended for use in court as substantive evidence.
(5) “Electronic record” means the audio, analog, digital, or video record of a court proceeding.
(6) “Official record” means the transcript, which is the written or electronically stored record of court proceedings and depositions prepared in accordance with the requirements of subdivision (f).

(b) When Court Reporting Required. Any proceeding shall be reported on the request of any party. The party so requesting shall pay the reporting fees, but this requirement shall not preclude the taxation of costs as authorized by law.

(c) Record. When trial proceedings are being reported, no part of the proceedings shall be omitted unless all of the parties agree to do so and the court approves the agreement. When a deposition is being reported, no part of the proceedings shall be omitted unless all of the parties and the witness so agree. When a party or a witness seeks to terminate or suspend the taking of a deposition for the time necessary to seek a court order, the court reporter shall discontinue reporting the testimony of the witness.

(d) Ownership of Records. The chief judge of the circuit in which a proceeding is pending, in his or her official capacity, is the owner of all records and electronic records made by an official court reporter or quasi-judicial officer in proceedings required to be reported at public expense and proceedings reported for the court’s own use.

(e) Fees. The chief judge shall have the discretion to adopt an administrative order establishing maximum fees for court reporting services. Any such order must make a specific factual finding that the setting of such maximum fees is necessary to ensure access to the courts. Such finding shall include consideration of the number of court reporters in the county or circuit, any past history of fee schedules, and any other relevant factors.

(f) Transcripts. Transcripts of all judicial proceedings, including depositions, shall be uniform in and for all courts throughout the state and shall be stored in an electronic format sufficient to communicate the information contained in proceedings in a readable format, and capable of being transmitted electronically as set forth in rule 2.525. Any transcripts stored in electronic form must be capable of being printed in accordance with this rule. The form, size, spacing, and method of printing transcripts are as follows:
(1) All proceedings shall be printed on paper 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches in size and bound on the left.
(2) There shall be no fewer than 25 printed lines per page with all lines numbered 1 through 25, respectively, and with no more than a double space between lines.
(3) Font size or print shall be 9 or 10 pica, 12-point courier, or 12-point Times New Roman print with no less than 56 characters per line on questions and answers unless the text of the speaker ends short of marginal requirements.
(4) Colloquy material shall begin on the same line following the identification of the speaker, with no more than 2 spaces between the identification of the speaker and the commencement of the colloquy. The identification of the speaker in colloquy shall begin no more than 10 spaces from the left margin, and carry-over colloquy shall be indented no more than 5 spaces from the left margin.
(5) Each question and answer shall begin on a separate line no more than 5 spaces from the left margin with no more than 5 spaces from the “Q” or “A” to the text. Carry-over question and answer lines shall be brought to the left margin.
(6) Quoted material shall begin no more than 10 spaces from the left margin with carry-over lines beginning no more than 10 spaces from the left margin.
(7) Indentations of no more than 10 spaces may be used for paragraphs, and all spaces on a line as herein provided shall be used unless the text of the speaker ends short of marginal requirements.
(8) One-line parentheticals may begin at any indentation. Parentheticals exceeding 1 line shall begin no more than 10 spaces from the left margin, with carry-over lines being returned to the left margin.
(9) Individual volumes of a transcript, including depositions, shall be no more than 200 pages in length, inclusive of the index.
(10) Deviation from these standards shall not constitute grounds for limiting use of transcripts in the trial or appellate courts.

(g) Officers of the Court. Approved court reporters, civil court reporters, and approved transcriptionists are officers of the court for all purposes while acting as court reporters in judicial proceedings or discovery proceedings or as transcriptionists. Approved court reporters, civil court reporters, and approved transcriptionists shall comply with all rules and statutes governing the proceeding that are applicable to court reporters and approved transcriptionists.

(h) Court Reporting Services at Public Expense.
(1) When Reporting Is Required. All proceedings required by law, court rule, or administrative order to be reported shall be reported at public expense.
(2) When Reporting May Be Required. Proceedings reported for the court’s own use may be reported at public expense.
(3) Circuit Plan. The chief judge, after consultation with the circuit court and county court judges in the circuit, shall enter an administrative order developing and implementing a circuit-wide plan for the court reporting of all proceedings required to be reported at public expense using either full or part time court employees or independent contractors. The plan shall ensure that all court reporting services are provided by approved court reporters or approved transcriptionists. This plan may provide for multiple service delivery strategies if they are necessary to ensure the efficient provision of court reporting services. Each circuit’s plan for court reporting services shall be developed after consideration of guidelines issued by the Office of the State Courts Administrator.
(4) Electronic Recording and Transcription of Proceedings Without Court Reporters. A chief judge may enter a circuit-wide administrative order, which shall be recorded, authorizing the electronic recording and subsequent transcription by approved court reporters or approved transcriptionists, of any judicial proceedings, including depositions, that are otherwise required to be reported by a court reporter. Appropriate procedures shall be prescribed in the order which shall:
(A) set forth responsibilities for the court’s support personnel to ensure a reliable record of the proceedings;
(B) provide a means to have the recording transcribed by approved court reporters or approved transcriptionists, either in whole or in part, when necessary for an appeal or for further use in the trial court; and
(C) provide for the safekeeping of such recordings.

(5) Safeguarding Confidential Communications When Electronic Recording Equipment Is Used in the Courtroom.
(A) Court personnel shall provide notice to participants in a courtroom proceeding that electronic recording equipment is in use and that they should safeguard information they do not want recorded.
(B) Attorneys shall take all reasonable and available precautions to protect disclosure of confidential communications in the courtroom. Such precautions may include muting microphones or going to a designated location that is inaccessible to the recording equipment.
(C) Participants have a duty to protect confidential information.

(6) Grand Jury Proceedings. Testimony in grand jury proceedings shall be reported by an approved court reporter, but shall not be transcribed unless required by order of court. Other parts of grand jury proceedings, including deliberations and voting, shall not be reported. The approved court reporter’s work product, including stenographic notes, electronic recordings, and transcripts, shall be filed with the clerk of the court under seal.

(i) Court Reporting Services in Capital Cases. The chief judge, after consultation with the circuit court judges in the circuit, shall enter an administrative order developing and implementing a circuit-wide plan for court reporting in all trials in which the state seeks the death penalty and in capital postconviction proceedings. The plan shall prohibit the use of digital court reporting as the court reporting system and shall require the use of all measures necessary to expedite the preparation of the transcript, including but not limited to:
(1) where available, the use of an approved court reporter who has the capacity to provide real-time transcription of the proceedings;
(2) if real-time transcription services are not available, the use of a computer-aided transcription qualified court reporter;
(3) the use of scopists, text editors, alternating court reporters, or other means to expedite the finalization of the certified transcript; and
(4) the imposition of reasonable restrictions on work assignments by employee or contract approved court reporters to ensure that transcript production in capital cases is given a priority.

(j) Juvenile Dependency and Termination of Parental Rights Cases. Transcription of hearings for appeals of orders in juvenile dependency and termination of parental rights cases shall be given priority, consistent with rule 2.215(g), over transcription of all other proceedings, unless otherwise ordered by the court based upon a demonstrated exigency.

Committee Notes

The definitions of “electronic record” in subdivision (a)(5) and of “official record” in subdivision (a)(6) are intended to clarify that when a court proceeding is electronically recorded by means of audio, analog, digital, or video equipment, and is also recorded via a written transcript prepared by a court reporter, the written transcript shall be the “official record” of the proceeding to the exclusion of all electronic records. While the term “record” is used within Rule 2.535 and within Fla. R. App. P. 9.200, it has a different meaning within the unique context of each rule. Accordingly, the meaning of the term “record” as defined for purposes of this rule does not in any way alter, amend, change, or conflict with the meaning of the term “record” as defined for appellate purposes in Fla. R. App. P. 9.200(a).

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