Court Reporters: General Order No. 16

16.01 Court Reporting Employees

16.01 Court Reporting Employees

  1. Employees
    1. All court reporting employees are under the authority of the Chief Judge and the Court Reporter Supervisor designated by the Chief Judge and serve at the pleasure of the Chief Judge.
    2. The number of court reporting employees designated to serve the circuit shall be determined by the Chief Judge, with the aid and concurrence of the Chief Judge's Court Reporting Executive Committee of Court Reporting Services of the State of Illinois.
    3. The Chief Judge shall appoint employees to vacant court reporting positions, consistent with Supreme Court Rule 46 and the rules set forth by the Chief Judge's Court Reporting Executive Committee of Court Reporting Services of the State of Illinois.
  2. Hours and Attendance of Court Reporting Employees
    1. Court reporting services employees will observe hours as determined by the Chief Judge.
      1. A workweek shall consist of a minimum of 35 hours worked per week. The salary paid to full time reporting services employees is for all hours worked up to a maximum of 40 hours per workweek.
      2. A workday consists of 7 hours, plus 1 hour for lunch break.
      3. Scheduled daily work hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; or from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., as determined by the assigned work schedule.
      4. Official court reporters assigned to a courtroom must be in the courtroom, set up and ready to start at scheduled times.
      5. Lunch breaks shall not exceed 1 hour without the consent of the supervisor.
      6. Any employee who in not available to work as scheduled or will be late for work or unable to report to work, must contact his or her supervisor as soon as possible by telephone or email. Voicemail messages or unconfirmed email messages will not be accepted as valid confirmation.
      7. Even if court does not start on time or if it is adjourned early, an employee is still required to start and complete his or her scheduled work hours at the courthouse unless the approval of the supervisor is sought and granted.
      8. Absences other than emergencies should be scheduled in advance with the approval of the supervisor. Excessive tardiness and/or absenteeism may be cause for disciplinary action.
  3. Assignment of Court Reporting Employees
    1. The Chief Judge, or the Court Reporter Supervisor designated by the Chief Judge, shall assign all such employees their duties, consistent with Supreme Court Rule 46 and the rules set forth by the Chief Judge's Court Reporting Executive Committee of Court Reporting Services of the State of Illinois, and as set forth by the rules stated in paragraph (B).
    2. The Court will provide for an official court record, either through a court reporter or through electronic recording, in the following proceedings:
      1. All criminal proceedings under Supreme Court Rules 401 and 402 in which an official court record is required.
      2. All felony proceedings.
      3. All misdemeanor jury or bench trials and sentencing hearings in which incarceration may result.
      4. Post-conviction proceedings.
      5. Juvenile Court proceedings.
      6. Indirect criminal contempt proceedings.
    3. Unless required upon the Court's own motion, the Court will not provide a court reporter for the following proceedings, but may provide for an official court record through electronic recording:
      1. Any civil proceeding, except matters being heard in a Juvenile Court.
      2. Traffic, misdemeanor, conservation and ordinance cases.
      3. Proceedings for the or enforcement of judgments, fines or costs.
    4. In proceedings where no court reporter or electronic recording is provided by the Court under paragraph (3), parties may employ a private court reporter upon approval of the Court and under the following conditions:
      1. When parties provide more than one court reporter, the Judge shall determine which court reporter shall be making the official court record.
      2. The party utilizing the court reporter shall inform the clerk of the court reporter's name, address, court reporting firm and State of Illinois license number before commencing.
      3. The court reporter station in the courtroom shall be used.
      4. Any disagreement among the parties concerning qualifications of or which party's court reporter shall be used shall be presented to the Court for ruling as in all other motions.
      5. Such other terms and conditions as the Court deems appropriate.
  4. Electronic Recording
    1. Electronic reporting systems have been approved for use and installed in this Circuit. Pursuant to subparagraph (B)(1) above, court reporting employees shall be assigned to be trained and to operate the electronic recording systems.
    2. The production of the physical medium storing the electronic recording of any court proceedings shall be monitored by trained court reporting employees who shall certify that each retained electronic recording was fully and accurately recorded at the time and place indicated. Said certification shall be affixed to and accompany the electronic recording medium, and the medium shall be securely preserved in an unaltered and unalterable condition.
    3. Digital computer recordings of testimony are created for only one purpose. That purpose is to preserve the words spoken in formal courtroom proceedings, hearings and trials in a particular case, so that a written transcript of the official court record may be subsequently produced. The digital computer recordings are owned by the Circuit Court of the 17th Judicial Circuit and may only be used pursuant to this Order.
    4. Any spoken words in the courtroom that are not a part of a proceeding, hearing or trial of a specific case are not intended recordings; other than by authorized operators of the electronic recording system to orient themselves on recording content, they may not be listened to or used in any way.
    5. Playback of any portion of the computer recording of a proceeding, hearing or trial of a specific case is authorized in only four situations:
      1. During the proceeding, hearing or trial at the direction of the Judge, if such playback in the courtroom is available;
      2. By a court reporting employee for the purpose of creating a transcript as the Official Record;
      3. At the direction of the Court for the use of the Court;
      4. Pursuant to the procedure outlined in (E)(3) below.
    6. In all other instances, the contents of the electronic recording medium shall be disseminated by written transcript only, which transcript and not the medium, shall be the official court record. Only the Chief Judge may authorize exceptions to these rules upon good cause shown.
  5. Transcripts
    1. A request for a transcript, from either the electronic recording systems or from a court reporting employee, is obtained by completing a "A Transcript Request Form" available in the Court Reporter Supervisor's office or the Circuit Clerk's Office.
    2. Transcripts generated from the electronic recording systems shall be prepared in accordance with applicable statutory authority, rule and administrative regulation and shall utilize the following certification:

      , __________, certify the foregoing to be a true and accurate transcript of the electronic recording of the proceeding of the above entitled cause, which recording contained the operator's certification as required by General Order 16.01(C)

      ___________________ ____________________________________(Signature) (License or Restricted License Number)

      Date: ______________

    3. If the accuracy of a certified transcript generated from the electronic recording system is questioned, the following procedure shall be used:
      1. Every challenged portion of the transcript shall be identified in writing and provided to the Court Reporter Supervisor. A copy of the challenged portion of the transcript shall be given to the certifying court reporting employee to make the necessary corrections.
      2. If the certifying court reporting employee and the person challenging the transcript's accuracy cannot agree upon the challenged portions, those portions shall be identified in writing and provided to the Court Reporter Supervisor.
      3. The Court Reporter Supervisor shall cause identified portions to be reviewed against the archived electronic recording for accuracy and designate necessary corrections to be made by the certifying court reporting employee.
      4. If the certifying court reporting employee, in good faith, is unable to certify the corrections designated, the dispute will be placed before the judge that heard the transcribed proceeding with notice to all necessary parties.
      5. The certifying court reporting employee shall personally appear and present the questioned transcript. The Court Reporter Supervisor shall present the disputed corrections, along with a digital recording of the proceedings. The judge shall review the material presented, make any necessary changes in the certifying reporter's transcript and issue a court order certifying the transcript as accurate.
    4. Transcripts generated from stenographic notes shall be prepared and certified by qualified official court reporting employees pursuant to relevant statute, regulation and rule and are not affected by subparagraphs (D), (E)(2) and (E)(3) above.
    5. Unless specifically authorized by court order to the contrary, only a transcript certified by one of the official court reporting employees of this Circuit is the Official Court Record. The Official Court Record shall be given preference for use in all courtrooms and as a part of the Record on Appeal for any case from this Circuit.

Amended 02/14/2014

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