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In CA Civil Appeals about the court reporter's fee...set in stone?

Newport Beach, CA |

In CA the fee waiver for the civil appellate court does not cover the court reporter's transcript of the proceeding. They state the cost is $325 for half a day (3 hours) and $650 for each full day.
I only need a transcript of the oral argument for my record. It is about maybe an hour total. Not that I am expecting them to do their job for free, but I am just wondering if they ever agree to accept a lower price, free would be wonderful, but a sliding scale isn't too out of the question, especially if only one hour's worth of transcribing. Would it be rude to ask and would I ask the reporter directly?

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Attorney answers 4


You can ask the court reporter directly, but don't expect any deals. If you are not represented in your appeal, you most definitely should be. See a lawyer.

"The law" is a very complex profession, and all specific legal questions will depend on a variety of facts that you may not think to include in your questions on this forum. I am not your attorney, and in answering your question you must understand that I cannot and do not give you legal advice upon which you are entitled to rely. At best, I hope that my answer, and others you find here, will give you a basis for better understanding of the issues you face so that you can provide complete information to a lawyer that you retain to give you advice and representation on which you can confidently rely.



Please don't take this wrong but if I had an attorney I would not be flooding this site with questions. I am trying to find help but considering this is now at the appellate level, most attorneys worth their salt will not even consider this case, not that they have reviewed it and said "no" but that it involves a matter of a low income government funded rental assistance, even worse, about the only possibility if they prevail, financially is mere attorney fees. Most of the cases similar to my own are handled either as admin mandamus petitions or at the federal level on a due process violation and when they hit the appeals Court's the majority of the attorneys were with some pro-bono or Legal Aid Society. My County's Legal Aid Society won't help- they stopped assisting housing cases awhile back! It is an extremely frustrating situation, I have yet to even sit down with someone who will look at my options. I have known I needed legal assistance from the start, yet when left no option I know their is no evidence for the actions taken that I just wish someone would take the time to look at! I can understand it at the agency level, I was disappointed that a court of law pretty much passed it over how it has.

William G Blair

William G Blair


If you haven't already tried this, contact the Public Counsel Law Center in LA. Website: They have an appellate law project that provides assistance to pro se civil appellants.


The reporter's fee isn't set in stone, but it would be rare for the reporter to reduce the price of the transcript. Nevertheless, it wouldn't be rude to ask the reporter directly.

Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.


You can explain your circumstances and always ask, let them know it will be difficult for you to proceed with your appeal if they do not sell you the transcript for less, maybe they would even accept a credit card or payment plan?

Legal disclaimer:This message does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Any statements are made for general informational purposes and do not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client privilege is created by this communication. Attorney is licensed in California only.


The amount their requesting is a deposit. If it is one hour then they will charge you by the page. The $325 is fee for being their. The actual transcripts cost much more. An hour will probably be close to $300 anyways. If you get an estimate for the reporter then you can deposit that amount instead of the $325.

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Does it ever occur to others that the court reporters are already paid to "be there" and charging to transcribe their notes at such a large cost is well WRONG! Especially unfair towards self represented individuals who already can not afford an attorney but need something corrected?! Is this common practice in most state courts or does CA have another "special" fee to add to it's list? Sorry just venting, this entire process can be infuriating. :)

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