EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 14, THE COURT WILL PRIORITIZE OFFICIAL COURT REPORTERS FOR CRIMINAL FELONY, JUVENILE CASES AS SEVERE STAFFING SHORTAGES PERSIST DESPITE NEW STATE FUNDING

Court Reporters Currently Assigned to Family Law, Probate, and Writs and Receiver Matters will be Reassigned to Cover Statutorily-Mandated Case Types

Despite significant increases in trial court funding designated to hire court reporters, a statewide court reporter shortage requires the Court to shift its court reporter workforce from family law and probate cases and matters assigned to the writs and receiver departments to departments hearing criminal felony and juvenile matters where the law requires the court to provide an official court reporter.

Effective Monday, November 14, 2022, the Court will no longer provide official court reporters in family law and probate matters and in the writs and receiver departments due to a continually shrinking workforce of official court reporters, a staffing shortage that mirrors nationwide and California trends, among other factors. In Los Angeles County, the number of court reporters leaving court service continues to significantly outpace the number of new court reporters entering court service. The Court’s court reporter workforce has dropped from 430 in 2017 to 330 today despite efforts on the part of the Court, including monetary bonuses and generous benefits designed to attract new reporters to court service.

Effective November 14, the Court will amend its policies regarding the availability of official court reporters as follows:

  • Official court reporters are statutorily required and will continue to be provided in felony criminal and juvenile matters.
  • Official court reporters are not statutorily required to be provided in unlimited civil, family law, or probate matters, and existing court reporter coverage will end November 14 for family law, probate, and writs and receiver cases. (Court reporters were removed from Civil unlimited matters several years ago).
  • Official court reporters were removed from limited civil, misdemeanor, and infractions over the past several years. In accordance with Government Code § 69957, these proceedings are electronically recorded to make the official verbatim record.

Please note that pursuant to Government Code § 69957, electronic recording in general jurisdiction matters, including family law, probate, and writs and receivers, is not permitted. Parties will need to arrange for a court reporter to be present when their matter is called in courtrooms that will no longer have official court reporters and pay for those services.

Parties with fee waivers may request an official court reporter pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 2.956 (c)(2) and Local Rule 2.21 (see also Jameson v. Desta, 5 Cal 5th 594 (2018)). The law requires the Court to provide a court reporter when a litigant with a fee waiver has timely filed a request for a court reporter but only when a court reporter is available. Given the limited availability of official court reporters, a notice of the availability of a court reporter may not be given until the day of the hearing.

You can see the full notice here.