Court Reporter Availability to be Reduced in Family Law Hearings Due to Court Reporter Shortage

Sep 30,2021
San Diego Superior Court Services Update

Due to staffing shortages, the San Diego Superior Court will no longer provide official court reporters in most family law matters, effective November 30, 2021. 

Previously, court reporters were eliminated from many Family Court cases in 2012 and further reduced in 2017 as the San Diego Superior Court faced unprecedented budget cuts. Court reporter services were restored in Family Court in early 2020; however, several recent retirements have left the Court with vacancies that remained unfilled despite recruitment efforts. 

Felony criminal and juvenile matters are required by law to have court reporters present. Accordingly, court reporters formerly assigned to family law hearings are filling vacancies in other courtrooms to comply with legal requirements.

“Though we have cast a wide net for recruitment of new court reporters to join our team, we currently do not have enough applicants to sustain coverage in family law matters,” said San Diego Superior Court Executive Officer Mike Roddy. “We are hopeful that we can again restore court reporter services in family law matters in the future, but must prioritize court reporter presence in criminal and juvenile matters in the meantime.” 

Family Support Division and contempt hearings will continue to have court reporters at the Court’s expense. Litigants have the option to hire private court reporters for all other family law hearings, if desired. Information on how to hire a private certified shorthand reporter for a hearing and how to request a refund if a court reporter fee for an upcoming hearing was already paid is posted at sdcourt.ca.gov/CourtReporter. Once in effect, the revised Policy Regarding Normal Availability and Unavailability of Official Court Reporters (SDSC Form #ADM-317) will be posted on the website as well.

A party who has been granted a waiver of court fees and costs may request the services of an official court reporter for a proceeding for which a reporter is not normally available using the Request for Court Reporter by a Party with a Fee Waiver form (SDSC Form #ADM-379) at least 10 days before the proceeding or at the time the proceeding is scheduled if less than 10 days away.