Jameson v. DestaAnnotate this Case
As applied to in forma pauperis litigants who are entitled to a waiver of official court reporter fees, the San Diego Superior Court’s general policy of not providing official court reporters in most civil trials while permitting privately retained court reporters for parties who can afford to pay for such reporters is invalid, and an official court reporter, or other valid means to create an official verbatim record for purposes of appeal, must generally be made available to in forma pauperis litigants upon request.
Plaintiff was statutorily entitled to a waiver of official court reporter attendance fees but did not have a court reporter at a his civil trial because of the San Diego Superior Court’s policy, which provided that a court reporter would be present at a civil trial only if a private court reporter was hired and paid for by a party or the parties to the litigation. Because no court reporter was present at Plaintiff’s trial, the court of appeal rejected Plaintiff’s appeal on the ground that Plaintiff’s legal contentions could not be pursued in the absence of a reporter’s transcript. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the court policy was invalid as applied to plaintiff and other fee waiver recipients.