A proposed amendment to Indiana’s Rules of Trial Procedure would require all courts, including city and town courts, to record audio of hearings in all case types and would prohibit recording through shorthand or stenography.
The amendment proposed this month would rewrite Trial Rule 74 to state: “The judge of each court in this state shall arrange for the recording of all evidentiary hearings in all case types. The recording shall include all oral evidence and testimony, including both questions and answers, all rulings of the judge in respect to the admission and rejection of evidence and objections thereto, and any other oral matters occurring during the hearing.”
Under the rule’s amended subsection B, “shorthand or stenography” would be “prohibited.”
The current version of the rule says the judges of circuit, criminal, superior, probate or juvenile courts “may” arrange for a recording, which could be created through stenography.
The proposed amendment would also delete the current subsections C and D and replace them with the following:
“(C) A party shall request a transcript for appeal by a Notice of Appeal complying with the Indiana Rules of Appellate Procedure. Any person requesting a transcript for any other purpose shall file a written request for transcript, specifically setting out the matters to be transcribed. The court reporter or a designee shall produce the transcript in accordance with Indiana statutes, the Indiana Office of Court Services’ Court Reporter Handbook, and Administrative Rule 5.”
“(D) An audio recording of matters occurring during a hearing or trial may be requested by filing a written request. The court reporter or a designee shall produce a copy of the audio in accordance with Indiana statutes, the Indiana Office of Court Services’ Court Reporter Handbook, and Administrative Rule 5.”
Finally, a new subsection E would provide,”(E) The powers, duties, and salaries of court reporters shall be as provided in Indiana Code 33- 41.”
Two other proposals for Indiana’s Trial Rules have also been presented this month.
The proposed amendment to Rule 81.1 would preclude guardianship case types from being given a common case number under the family procedures case consolidation. According to the proposal, the change would be made because “having a separate ‘GU’ case type for each protected person is necessary for the case to be accessible in the guardianship registry.”
Finally, an amendment has been proposed for Rule 79(J), regarding senior judges. Under the proposal, “79(J) would align with changes made to the senior judge program (appointing senior judges as available across the state) and Administrative Rule 5.”
The Supreme Court is inviting public comment on the proposed amendments until noon on Feb. 6.
Comments may be submitted online or mailed to Office of Judicial Administration, Indiana Office of Court Services, 251 N. Illinois St., Suite 800, Indianapolis, 46204.