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In re Amendment of Rules of Pennsylvania Rules of Judicial Administration

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

May 25, 2018

IN RE: AMENDMENT OF RULES OF THE PENNSYLVANIA RULES OF JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION

          JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION DOCKET

          ORDER

          PER CURIAM

         AND NOW, this 25th day of May, 2018, it is Ordered pursuant to Article V, Section 10 of the Constitution of Pennsylvania that Rules 4001, 4002, 4004, 4007, 4008, 4012 and 4014 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Judicial Administration are amended in the attached form.

         This Order shall be processed in accordance with Pa.R.J.A. No. 103(b), and shall be effective July 1, 2018.

         Additions to the rule are shown in bold and are underlined. Deletions from the rule are shown in bold and in brackets.

         UNIFORM RULES GOVERNING COURT REPORTING AND TRANSCRIPTS

         Rule 4001. Scope of Rules and Policy

(A) These rules shall govern the making, preserving and transcribing of the record of proceedings in the judicial districts within the Unified Judicial System.
(B) Because complete and verbatim notes of testimony and transcripts are integral to the official record of court proceedings, it is the policy of the Unified Judicial System to ensure that (1) qualified court reporting services are available in each judicial district and that court reporters are fairly compensated, (2) transcripts are timely produced and are affordable to all parties [litigants], and (3) efficient technologies are employed to reduce litigation costs and conserve public resources.

Comment: These rules are promulgated pursuant to the administrative and supervisory authority granted to the Supreme Court by Article V, § 10 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. See also 42 Pa.C.S.A. §1724(a)(10).

         Pursuant to Order No. 466 Judicial Administration Docket (August 12, 2016), Pa.R.J.A. Nos. 4001-4016 shall become effective in the First Judicial District and the Fifth Judicial District on July 1, 2017. For the period from January 1, 2017 through July 1, 2017, the First Judicial District and Fifth Judicial District shall be governed by Pa.R.J.A. Nos. 5000.1-5000.13, which are rescinded as to all other judicial districts as of January 1, 2017.

         Rule 4002. Definitions

         Condensed transcript means a miniaturized copy of the original transcript printed in such a way as to place more than one page of transcript on a single sheet of paper.

         Court Administrator means the Court Administrator of Pennsylvania.

         Court recorder means an individual employed, contracted or utilized by a court to record testimony by electronic means (audio or audio-visual).

         Court reporter means an individual employed, contracted or utilized by a court to record testimony whether through use of a stenotype machine, stenomask equipment, written symbols, or otherwise.

         Court reporter's dictionary is a computer file that matches a court reporter's steno strokes with English text. A court reporter's [personal] dictionary is an essential part of a computer aided transcription (CAT) system.

          Court reporting personnel includes court reporters, court recorders, transcriptionists and any others [personnel] whether employed or contracted who make the court record for use in any Pennsylvania court.

         Daily transcript means a transcript delivered within eighteen (18) hours of an official request, not including weekends or official court holidays. For the purposes of additional payment, a transcript is a daily transcript only if it is in fact delivered within the above time limit.

         Digital audio files are those files created by digital recording systems and saved in a format that allows storage and playback through computer applications.

         District Court Administrator means the County Court Administrator. Electronic transcript means a[n official] transcript delivered in an electronic, non-paper medium.

         Expedited transcript means a transcript delivered within seventy-two (72) hours of an official request, not including weekends or official court holidays. For the purposes of additional payment, a transcript is an expedited transcript only if it is in fact delivered within the above time limit.

         Filing office refers to an office without regard to title that has the responsibility and function in each judicial district to maintain the official dockets and case files of the court.

         Notes of testimony means the official recording of an oral proceeding made whether through use of an electronic device, stenomask equipment, stenotype machine, written symbols, or otherwise; and includes the dictionary, media storage files, and other documentation needed to prepare a transcript.

         Ordinary transcript means a transcript necessary for an appeal or to otherwise advance litigation and required under a time frame set by a Pennsylvania Rule of Court regarding the delivery of court transcripts or by court order. An example of a non-ordinary transcript is one requested by a [litigant] party when no matters are open before the court or where the transcript is ordered by a [third] non-party.

         Original transcript means the transcript prepared and certified by the court reporter for filing with the court.

         President Judge means the president judge in each judicial district, his or her designee, or any judicial officer recognized by the Court Administrator as having administrative authority.

         [Rough draft transcript (computer diskette, hard paper copy, or electronically distributed) is an unedited and uncertified transcript that may contain untranslated or mistranslated stenotype symbols. This also includes notes that appear on paper, unedited electronic data, tapes or other media in the original state in which they existed when they were taken at the time of testimony.]

          Same day delivery means transcripts delivered within 6 hours of the close of the court session, divided by morning and afternoon with the line of demarcation being lunch or mid-day recess.

         Transcript means a certified, written, verbatim record of a proceeding.

         Transcriptionist means any person employed, contracted or utilized by a court to prepare a transcript of a proceeding from an electronic or other recording. A court recorder and a court reporter may also serve as a transcriptionist.

         Rule 4004. Qualifications of Court Reporters and Court Recorders

         (A) No person shall be employed or utilized by a court as a court reporter or court recorder unless approved by the president judge or his or her designee as meeting the minimum criteria set forth in subdivision (B)(1), (B)(2), or (C) except:

(1) those persons already employed or utilized by a court at the time of the adoption of these rules or
(2) those court reporters who hold and maintain a professional certification.

         (B) The minimum criteria for qualification of a court reporter, for both stenographic and voice writing, are the following:

         (1) stenographic requirements: the court reporter is capable of recording proceedings at a 95% ...


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