Assembly Member Wagner Pushes (Again) for ER in Superior Courts
Having failed in the spring of 2011 to get his bill to pass that would have phased in ER in California’s Superior Courts, Assembly Member Donald P. Wagner (R) returns two years later with the exact same bill.
Wagner’s bill seeks to “implement electronic recording in 20% of all superior court courtrooms” at a minimum and provides for an additional 20% phase-in annually thereafter.
The following text regarding the bill was taken from the legislative counsel’s digest.
AB 251, as introduced, Wagner. Electronic court reporting. Existing law authorizes a court to use electronic recording equipment in a limited civil case, a misdemeanor or infraction case, or for the internal purpose of monitoring judicial officer performance. Existing law requires a court to obtain advance approval from the Judicial Council prior to purchasing equipment. Existing law also requires each superior court to report semiannually to the Judicial Council, and the Judicial Council to report semiannually to the Legislature, regarding all purchases and leases of electronic recording equipment that will be
used to record superior court proceedings.
This bill would instead require the Judicial Council, by July 1, 2014, to implement electronic court reporting in 20% of all superior court courtrooms, and to implement electronic reporting in at least an additional 20% of all superior court courtrooms annually thereafter. This bill would also require the Judicial Council to report to the Governor and the Legislature on the efforts undertaken to implement electronic court reporting, as provided, by January 1, 2016. The provisions of the bill would not apply to felony cases.
COCRA’s legislative advocate, Shane Gusman of Broad & Gusman, Sacramento, is currently monitoring the situation and will be filing an official opposition to both bills.
COCRA representatives will be providing the latest Preserving Access to Justice Task Force report to the legislators and will also continue to work with all parties involved in the fight to protect the court reporting profession, and more importantly, protect the public’s access to justice.
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