Rule 8.108 Court Reporters and Recorders

(A) Scope of Rule. This rule prescribes the duties of court reporters and recorders, the procedure for certifying them, the effect of noncertification, objections to certification, and display requirements.

(B) Attendance at Court; Taking Testimony.

(1) The court reporter or recorder shall attend the court sessions under the direction of the court and take a verbatim record of the following:

(a) the voir dire of prospective jurors;

(b) the testimony;

(c) the charge to the jury;

(d) in a jury trial, the opening statements and final arguments;

(e) the reasons given by the court for granting or refusing any motion made by a party during the course of a trial; and

(f) opinions and orders dictated by the court and other matters as may be prescribed by the court.

This subrule does not apply to actions tried in the small claims division of the district court or in the municipal courts. In the probate court proceedings, the reporter or recorder shall take a verbatim record of proceedings as required by law and chapter 5 of these rules.

(2) The court reporter or recorder who begins to record a case shall take the record of the entire case unless he or she shows good cause for failure to do so or is otherwise excused by the court.

(C) Records Kept. All records, as defined in MCR 8.119(F) and regardless of format, that are created and kept by the court reporter or recorder belong to the court, must remain in the physical possession of the court, and are subject to access in accordance with MCR 8.119(H). The court reporter or recorder who takes the testimony on the trial or the hearing of any case shall prefix the record of the testimony of each witness with the full name of the witness and the date and time the testimony was taken. At the conclusion of the trial of the case the reporter or recorder shall secure all of the records and properly entitle them on the outside, and shall safely keep them in the court according to the Michigan Trial Court Case File Management Standards. If the court reporter or recorder needs access to the records for purposes of transcribing off-site, the reporter or recorder may take only a reproduction of the original recording, which must be returned to the court upon filing of the transcript.

(D) Transfer of Records; Inspection. If the court reporter or recorder dies, resigns, is removed from office, or leaves the state, records he or she created and kept in each case pursuant to subrule (C) must be transferred to the clerk of the court in which the case was tried. The clerk shall safely keep the records in accordance with the Michigan Trial Court Case File Management Standards and MCR 8.119(F). On order of the court, a transcript shall be made from the records and filed as a part of the public record in the case.

(E) Furnishing Transcript. The court reporter or recorder shall furnish without delay, in legible English, a transcript of the records taken by him or her (or any part thereof) to any party on request. The reporter or recorder is entitled to receive the compensation prescribed in the statute on fees from the person who makes the request.

(F) Filing Transcript.

(1) On order of the trial court, the court reporter or recorder shall make and file in the clerk’s office a transcript of his or her records, in legible English, of any civil or criminal case (or any part thereof) without expense to either party; the transcript is a part of the records in the case.

(2) Except when otherwise provided by contract, the court reporter or recorder shall receive from the appropriate governmental unit the compensation specified in the statute on fees for a transcript ordered by a court.

(G) Certification.

(1) Certification Requirement.

(a) Only reporters, recorders, or voice writers certified pursuant to this subrule may record or prepare transcripts of proceedings held in Michigan courts or of depositions taken in Michigan pursuant to these rules. This rule applies to the preparation of transcripts of videotaped courtroom proceedings or videotaped or audiotaped depositions, but not to the recording of such proceedings or depositions by means of videotaping. An operator holding a CEO certification under subrule (G)(7)(b) may record proceedings, but may not prepare transcripts.

(b) Proceedings held pursuant to MCR 6.102 or 6.104 need not be recorded by persons certified under this rule; however, transcripts of such proceedings must be prepared by court reporters, recorders, or voice writers certified pursuant to this rule.

(c) An indigent party who is represented by a nonprofit legal aid program providing free civil legal services to the indigent may use persons who are not certified pursuant to this rule to transcribe and file depositions taken by videotaping or audiotaping. Such depositions shall be otherwise prepared and certified in accordance with this rule.

(d) Any person who acts in the capacity of a court reporter or recorder shall not maintain an action in the courts of this state for the collection of compensation for the performance of an act for which certification is required by this rule without alleging and proving that the person was certified under this rule at the time of the performance of the act. “Person” refers to both individuals and the entity or entities for which a court reporter or recorder performs services.

(e) Any other court rule notwithstanding, an objection to the status of a court reporter’s or recorder’s certification or lack thereof must be placed on the record at the outset of the court proceeding or deposition or that objection is waived. If the objection is waived, the use of transcripts of the court proceeding or deposition for any purpose provided in these rules shall be allowed.

(f) Prior to the beginning of any deposition taken under these rules, the court reporter or recorder must display to all counsel initially present, and to each other person attending the deposition who is not represented by counsel, proof that the reporter or recorder has been certified as required by this rule. Proof of such certification, by certification number, shall also be displayed on the title page and certificate page of each court and deposition transcript and on the stationery and business cards, if any, of each court reporter or recorder required to be certified by this rule.

(2) Court Reporting and Recording Board of Review.

(a) The Supreme Court shall appoint a Court Reporting and Recording Board of Review, composed of

(i) a Court of Appeals judge, to be the chairperson;

(ii) a circuit judge;

(iii) a probate judge;

(iv) a district judge;

(v) a court reporter who is an employee of a Michigan court;

(vi) a court recorder who is an employee of a Michigan court;

(vii) a court reporter who is not an employee of a Michigan court;

(viii) a court recorder who is not an employee of a Michigan court; and,

(ix) an attorney.

(b) Appointments to the board shall be for terms of 4 years. A board member may be reappointed to a new term. Initial appointments may be of different lengths so that no more than 3 terms expire in the same year. The Supreme Court may remove a member at any time.

(c) If a position on the board becomes vacant because of death, resignation, or removal, or because a member is no longer employed in the capacity in which he or she was appointed, the board shall notify the Supreme Court Clerk and the Court shall appoint a successor to serve the remainder of the term.

(d) The state court administrator shall assign a staff person to serve as board secretary.

(3) Certification by Testing.

(a) At least twice each year the board shall administer an examination testing knowledge and speed, and, as to a recorder, operator, or voice writer, familiarity with basic logging techniques and minor repair and maintenance procedures. The board shall determine the passing score.

(b) In order to be eligible for registration for an examination, an applicant must

(i) be at least 18 years of age,

(ii) be a high school graduate, and

(iii) not have been under sentence for a felony for a period of two years.

(c) In addition, an applicant for the certified shorthand reporter examination must have satisfactorily completed a post-high school approved, accredited, or recognized course of study in court reporting and submit documentation of same prior to testing.

(d) An applicant for the CER/CSMR/CEO examination must have satisfactorily completed a post-high school board-approved workshop or course of study, or other board-approved curriculum and submit documentation of same prior to testing.

(e) All CERs/CSMRs/CEOs who are fully certified by December 31, 2005, are exempt from the requirements of subparagraph (d).

(f) The registration fee is $60.

(4) Reciprocal Certification. A reporter, recorder, operator, or voice writer certified in another state may apply to the board for certification based on the certification already obtained.

(5) Temporary Certification. A new reporter, recorder, operator, or voice writer may receive one temporary certification to enable him or her to work until the results of the next test are released. If the person does not take the test, the temporary certification may not be extended unless good cause is shown. If the person takes the test and fails, the board may extend the temporary certification.

(6) Renewal, Review, and Revocation of Certification.

(a) Certifications under this rule must be renewed annually. The fee for renewal is $30. Renewal applications must be filed by August 1. A renewal application filed after that date must be accompanied by an additional late fee of $100. The board may require certified reporters, recorders, operators, and voice writers to submit, as a condition of renewal, such information as the board reasonably deems necessary to determine that the reporter, recorder, operator, or voice writer has used his or her reporting or recording skills during the preceding year.

(b) The board must review the certification of a reporter, recorder, operator, or voice writer who has not used his or her skills in the preceding year, and shall determine whether the certification of such a reporter, recorder, operator, or voice writer may be renewed without the necessity of a certification test.

(c) The board may review the certification of a reporter, recorder, operator, or voice writer and may impose sanctions, including revoking the certification, for good cause after a hearing before the board.

(d) If, after a reporter’s, recorder’s, operator’s, or voice writer’s certification is revoked or voided by the board and the reporter, recorder, operator, or voice writer applies to take the certification examination and passes, the board may issue a conditional certification for a prescribed period imposing restrictions or conditions that must be met for continued certification. At the end of the conditional period, an unconditional certification may be issued.

(7) Designations. The board shall assign an identification number to each person certified. A court reporter, recorder, operator, or voice writer must place the identification number assigned on his or her communications with the courts, including certificates, motions, affidavits, and transcripts. The board will use the following certification designations:

(a) certified electronic recorder (CER);

(b) certified electronic operator (CEO);

(c) certified shorthand reporter (CSR);

(d) certified voice writer/stenomask reporter (CSMR).

The designations are to be used only by reporters, recorders, operators, or voice writers certified by the board. A reporter, recorder, operator, or voice writer may be given more than one designation by passing different tests.