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TCL > July 2005 Issue > Court Business

The Colorado Lawyer
July 2005
Vol. 34, No. 7 [Page  125]

© 2005 The Colorado Lawyer and Colorado Bar Association. All Rights Reserved.

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From the Courts

Court Business

Colorado Supreme Court Rules Committee

Second Corrective Order to Rule Change 2005(2)
Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure
Appendix to Chapters 1 to 17A. Forms (See Rule 84)
Adopted

Form 31. WRIT OF GARNISHMENT FOR SUPPORT

Form 33. WRIT OF GARNISHMENT IN AID OF WRIT OF ATTACHMENT

This corrective order corrects typographical errors in form 31 and form 33. Corrective order is adopted by the Court April 22, 2005, effective immediately.

By the Court:

Nancy E. Rice
Justice, Colorado Supreme Court

 

Rule Change 2005(8)
Chapter 35. Colorado Rules for Magistrates
Amended and Adopted

Rule 1. Scope and Purpose

These rules are designed to govern the selection, assignment and conduct of magistrates in civil and criminal proceedings in the Colorado court system. Although magistrates may perform functions which judges also perform, a magistrate at all times is subject to the direction and supervision of the chief judge or presiding judge.

Rule 2. Application

These rules apply to all proceedings conducted by magistrates in district courts, county courts, small claims courts, Denver Juvenile Court and Denver Probate Court, as authorized by law, except for proceedings conducted by water referees, as defined in Title 37, Article 92, C.R.S., and proceedings conducted by masters governed by C.R.C.P. 53.

Rule 3. Definitions

The following definitions shall apply:

(a) Magistrate: Any person other than a judge authorized by statute or by these rules to enter orders or judgments in judicial proceedings.

(b) Chief Judge: The chief judge of a judicial district.

(c) Presiding Judge: The presiding judge of the Denver Juvenile Court, the Denver Probate Court, or the Denver County Court.

(d) Reviewing Judge: A judge designated by a chief judge or a presiding judge to review the orders or judgments of magistrates in proceedings to which the Rules for Magistrates apply.

(e) Order or Judgment: All rulings, decrees or other decisions of a judge or a magistrate made in the course of judicial proceedings.

(f) Consent:

(1) Consent in District Court:

(A) For the purposes of the rules, where consent is necessary a party is deemed to have consented to a proceeding before a magistrate if:

(i) The party has affirmatively consented in writing or on the record; or

(ii) The party has been provided notice of the referral, setting, or hearing of a proceeding before a magistrate and failed to file a written objection within fifteen days of such notice; or

(iii) The party failed to appear at a proceeding after having been provided notice of that proceeding.

(B) Once given, a party’s consent to a magistrate in a proceeding may not be withdrawn.

(2) Consent in County Court:

(A) When the exercise of authority by a magistrate in any proceeding is statutorily conditioned upon a waiver of a party pursuant to C.R.S. section 13-6-501, such waiver shall be executed in writing or given orally in open court by the party or the party’s attorney of record, and shall state specifically that the party has waived the right to proceed before a judge and shall be filed with the court.

(B) Once given, a party’s consent to a magistrate in a proceeding may not be withdrawn.

(3) Consent in Small Claims Court:

(A) A party will be deemed to accept the jurisdiction of the Small Claims Court unless the party objects pursuant to C.R.S. section 13-6-405 and C.R.C.P. 511(b).

(B) Once given, a party’s consent to a magistrate in a proceeding may not be withdrawn.

Rule 4. Qualifications, Appointment,
Evaluation, and Discipline

The following rules shall apply to all magistrates and proceedings before magistrates:

(a) To be appointed, a magistrate must be a licensed Colorado attorney with at least five years of experience, except in Class "C" or "D" counties the chief judge shall have the discretion to appoint a qualified licensed attorney with less than 5 years experience to perform all magistrate functions.

(b) All magistrates shall be attorneys-at-law licensed to practice law in the State of Colorado, except that in the following circumstances a magistrate need not be an attorney:

(1) A magistrate appointed to hear only Class A and Class B traffic infractions in a county court;

(2) A county court judge authorized to act as a magistrate in a small claims court;

(3) A county court judge authorized to act as a county court magistrate.

(c) All magistrates shall be appointed, evaluated, retained, discharged, and disciplined, if necessary, by the chief or presiding judge of the district, with the concurrence of the chief justice.

(d) Any person appointed pursuant to these rules as a district court, county court, probate court, juvenile court, or small claims court magistrate may, if qualified, and in the discretion of the chief or presiding judge, exercise any of the magistrate functions authorized by these rules.

Rule 5. General Provisions

(a) An order or judgment of a magistrate in any judicial proceeding shall be effective upon the date of the order or judgment and shall remain in effect pending review by a reviewing judge unless stayed by the magistrate or by the reviewing judge. Except for correction of clerical errors pursuant to C.R.C.P. 60 (a), a magistrate has no authority to consider a petition for rehearing.

(b) A magistrate may issue citations for contempt, conduct contempt proceedings, and enter orders for contempt for conduct occurring either in the presence or out of the presence of the magistrate, in any civil or criminal matter, without consent. Any order of a magistrate finding a person in contempt shall upon request be reviewed in accordance with the procedures for review set forth in rule 7 or rule 9 herein.

(c) A magistrate shall have the power to issue bench warrants for the arrest of non-appearing persons, to set bonds in connection therewith, and to conduct bond forfeiture proceedings.

(d) A magistrate shall have the power to administer oaths and affirmations to witnesses and others concerning any matter, thing, process, or proceeding, which is pending, commenced, or to be commenced before the magistrate.

(e) A magistrate shall have the power to issue all writs and orders necessary for the exercise of their jurisdiction established by statute or rule, and as provided in section 13-1-115, C.R.S.

(f) No magistrate shall have the power to decide whether a state constitutional provision, statute, municipal charter provision, or ordinance is constitutional either on its face or as applied. Questions pertaining to the constitutionality of a state constitutional provision, statute, municipal charter provision, or ordinance may, however, be raised for the first time on review of the magistrate’s order or judgment.

(g) All magistrates in the performance of their duties shall conduct themselves in accord with the provisions of the Colorado Code of Judicial Conduct. Any complaint alleging that a magistrate, who is an attorney, has violated the provisions of the Colorado Code of Judicial Conduct may be filed with the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel for proceedings pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.1, et seq. Such proceedings shall be conducted to determine whether any violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct has occurred and what discipline, if any, is appropriate. These proceedings shall in no way affect the supervision of the Chief Judge over magistrates as provided in C.R.M. 1.

Rule 6. Functions of District Court Magistrates

(a) Functions in Criminal Cases: A district court magistrate may perform any or all of the following functions in criminal proceedings:

(1) No consent necessary:

(A) Conduct initial appearance proceedings, including advisement of rights, admission to bail, and imposition of conditions of release pending further proceedings.

(B) Appoint attorneys for indigent defendants and approve attorney expense vouchers.

(C) Conduct bond review hearings.

(D) Conduct preliminary and dispositional hearings pursuant to C.R.S. sections 16-5-301(1) and 18-1-404(1).

(E) Schedule and conduct arraignments on indictments, informations, or complaints.

(F) Order presentence investigations.

(G) Set cases for disposition, trial, or sentencing before a district court judge.

(H) Issue arrest and search warrants, including nontestimonial identifications under Rule 41.1.

(I) Conduct probable cause hearings pursuant to C.R.S. sections 24-60-301 to -309, the Uniform Act for Out-of-State Parolee Supervision.

(J) Any other function authorized by statute or rule.

(2) Consent necessary:

(A) Enter pleas of guilty.

(B) Enter deferred prosecution and deferred sentence pleas.

(C) Modify the terms and conditions of probation or deferred prosecutions and deferred sentences.

(b) Functions in Matters Filed Pursuant to Colorado Revised Statutes Title 14 and Title 26:

(1) No Consent Necessary

(A) A district court magistrate shall have the power to preside over all proceedings arising under Title 14, except as described in section 6 (b)(2) of this Rule.

(B) A district court magistrate shall have the power to preside over all motions to modify permanent orders concerning property division, maintenance, child support or allocation of parental responsibilities, except petitions to review as defined in C.R.M. 7.

(C) A district court magistrate shall have the power to determine an order concerning child support filed pursuant to section 26-13-101 et seq.

(D) Any other function authorized by statute.

(2) Consent Necessary: With the consent of the parties, a district court magistrate may preside over contested hearings which result in permanent orders concerning property division, maintenance, child support or allocation of parental responsibilities.

(c) Functions in Civil Cases: A district court magistrate may perform any or all of the following functions in civil proceedings:

(1) No consent necessary

(A) Conduct settlement conferences.

(B) Conduct default hearings, enter judgments pursuant to C.R.C.P. 55, and conduct post-judgment proceedings.

(C) Conduct hearings and enter orders authorizing sale, pursuant to C.R.C.P. 120.

(D) Conduct hearings as a master pursuant to C.R.C.P. 53.

(E) Hear and rule upon all motions relating to disclosure, discovery, and all C.R.C.P. 16 and 16.1 matters.

(F) Conduct proceedings involving protection orders pursuant to C.R.S. section 13-14-101 et.seq.

(G) Any other function authorized by statute.

(2) Consent Necessary: A magistrate may perform any function in a civil case except that a magistrate may not preside over jury trials.

(d) Functions in Juvenile Cases: A juvenile court magistrate shall have all of the powers and be subject to the limitations prescribed for juvenile court magistrates by the provisions of Title 19, Article 1, C.R.S.

(e) Functions in Probate and Mental Health Cases:

(1) No consent necessary:

(A) Perform any or all of the duties which may be delegated to or performed by a probate registrar, magistrate, or clerk, pursuant to C.R.P.P. 34 and C.R.P.P. 35.

(B) Hear and rule upon petitions for emergency protective orders and petitions for temporary orders.

(C) Any other function authorized by statute.

(2) Consent Necessary

(A) Hear and rule upon all matters filed pursuant to C.R.S. Title 15.

(B) Hear and rule upon all maters filed pursuant to C.R.S. Title 25 and Title 27.

Rule 7. Review of District Court Magistrate
Orders or Judgments

(a) Orders or judgments entered when consent not necessary. Magistrates shall include in any order or judgment entered in a proceeding in which consent is not necessary a written notice that the order or judgment was issued in a proceeding where no consent was necessary, and that any appeal must be taken within 15 days pursuant to Rule 7(a).

(1) Unless otherwise provided by statute, this Rule is the exclusive method to obtain review of a district court magistrate’s order or judgment issued in a proceeding in which consent of the parties is not necessary.

(2) The chief judge shall designate one or more district judges to review orders or judgments of district court magistrates entered when consent is not necessary.

(3) Only a final order or judgment of a magistrate is reviewable under this Rule. A final order or judgment is that which fully resolves an issue or claim.

(4) A final order or judgment is not reviewable until it is written, dated, and signed by the magistrate. A Minute Order which is signed by a magistrate will constitute a final written order or judgment.

(5) A party may obtain review of a magistrate’s final order or judgment by filing a petition to review such final order or judgment with the reviewing judge no later than fifteen days subsequent to the final order or judgment if the parties are present when the magistrate’s order is entered, or fifteen days from the date the final order or judgment is mailed or otherwise transmitted to the parties. If the final order or judgment is mailed or otherwise transmitted, three days shall be added pursuant to the provisions of C.R.C.P. 6(e).

(6) A request for extension of time to file a petition for review must be made to the reviewing judge within the fifteen day time limit within which to file a petition for review. A motion to correct clerical errors filed with the magistrate pursuant to C.R.C.P. 60(a) does not constitute a petition for review and will not operate to extend the time for filing a petition for review.

(7) A petition for review shall state with particularity the alleged errors in the magistrate’s order or judgment and may be accompanied by a memorandum brief discussing the authorities relied upon to support the petition. Copies of the petition and any supporting brief shall be served on all parties by the party seeking review. Within ten days after being served with a petition for review, a party may file a memorandum brief in opposition.

(8) The reviewing judge shall consider the petition for review on the basis of the petition and briefs filed, together with such review of the record as is necessary. The reviewing judge also may conduct further proceedings, take additional evidence, or order a trial de novo in the district court.

(9) Findings of fact made by the magistrate may not be altered unless clearly erroneous. The failure of the petitioner to file a transcript of the proceedings before the magistrate is not grounds to deny a petition for review but, under those circumstances, the reviewing judge shall presume that the record would support the magistrate’s order.

(10) The reviewing judge shall adopt, reject, or modify the initial order or judgment of the magistrate by written order, which order shall be the order or judgment of the district court.

(11) Appeal of an order or judgment of a district court magistrate may not be taken to the appellate court unless a timely petition for review has been filed and decided by a reviewing court in accordance with these Rules.

(12) If timely review in the district court is not requested, the order or judgment of the magistrate shall become the order or judgment of the district court. Appeal of such district court order or judgment to the appellate court is barred.

(b) Orders or judgments entered when consent is necessary. Any order or judgment entered with consent of the parties in a proceeding in which such consent is necessary is not subject to review under Rule 7(a), but shall be appealed pursuant to the Colorado Rules of Appellate Procedure in the same manner as an order or judgment of a district court. Magistrates shall include in any order or judgment entered in a proceeding in which consent is necessary a written notice that the order or judgment was issued with consent, and that any appeal must be taken pursuant to Rule 7(b).

Rule 8. Functions of County Court Magistrates

(a) Functions in Criminal Cases: A county court magistrate may perform any or all of the following functions in a criminal proceeding:

(1) No consent necessary:

(A) Appoint attorneys for indigent defendants and approve attorney expense vouchers.

(B) Conduct proceedings in traffic infraction matters.

(C) Conduct advisements and set bail in criminal and traffic cases.

(D) Issue mandatory protection orders pursuant to C.R.S. section 18-1-1001.

(E) Any other function authorized by statute.

(2) Consent necessary:

(A) Conduct hearings on motions, conduct trials to court, accept pleas of guilty, and impose sentences in misdemeanor, petty offense, and traffic offense matters.

(B) Conduct deferred prosecution and deferred sentence proceedings in misdemeanor, petty offense, and traffic offense matters.

(C) Conduct misdemeanor and petty offense proceedings pertaining to wildlife, parks and outdoor recreation, as defined in Title 33, C.R.S.

(D) Conduct all proceedings pertaining to recreational facilities districts, control and licensing of dogs, campfires, and general regulations, as defined in Title 29, Article 7, C.R.S. and Title 30, Article 15, C.R.S.

(b) Functions in Civil Cases: A county court magistrate may perform any or all of the following functions in a civil proceeding:

(1) No consent necessary:

(A) Conduct proceedings with regard to petitions for name change, pursuant to C.R.S. section 13-15-101.

(B) Perform the duties which a county court clerk may be authorized to perform, pursuant to C.R.S. section 13-6-212.

(C) Serve as a small claims court magistrate, pursuant to C.R.S. section 13-6-405.

(D) Conduct proceedings involving protection orders, pursuant to C.R.S. sections 13-14-101 et seq. and conduct proceedings pursuant to C.R.C.P. 365.

(E) Any other function authorized by statute.

(2) Consent necessary:

(A) Conduct civil trials to court and hearings on motions.

(B) Conduct default hearings, enter judgments pursuant to C.R.C.P. 355, and conduct post-judgment proceedings.

Rule 9. Review of County Court and Small Claims CourtMagistrate Orders or Judgments

(a) An order or judgment of a county or small claims court magistrate shall be the order or judgment of the county or small claims court.

(b) Any party to a proceeding before a county court magistrate shall appeal an order or judgment entered by the magistrate in that proceeding in the manner authorized by statute or rule for the appeal of orders or judgments of the county court.

(c) Any party to a proceeding before a small claims court magistrate shall appeal an order or judgment entered by the magistrate in that proceeding in the manner authorized by statute or rule for the appeal of orders or judgments of the small claims court.

Rule 10. Preparation, Use, and
Retention of Record

(a) Record of Proceedings: Except as provided in C.R.C.P. 16.2(c)(2)(e), a verbatim record of all proceedings and trials conducted by magistrates shall be maintained by either electronic devices or by stenographic means. The magistrate shall be responsible for maintaining such record and, in the event of subsequent review, for certifying its authenticity.

(b) Use of the Record: If otherwise admissible, a certified transcript of the testimony of a witness at a trial or other proceeding before a magistrate may be admitted as evidence in a later trial or proceeding.

(c) Custody and Retention of Record: A reporter’s notes or the electronic recordings of trial or other proceedings conducted by a magistrate shall be the property of the state, and shall be retained by the appropriate court for a period prescribed in the Colorado Judicial Department Records Management manual. During the period of retention, notes and recordings shall be made available to the reporter of record, or to any other reporter or person the court may designate. During the trial or the taking of other matters on the record, the notes and recordings shall be considered the property of the state, even though in custody of the reporter, judge, or clerk. After the trial and review or appeal period, the reporter shall list, date and index all notes and recordings and shall properly pack them for storage. Where no reporter is used, the clerk of the court shall perform this function. The court shall provide storage containers and space.

Rule 11. Title of Rules and Abbreviation

The title to these rules shall be Colorado Rules for Magistrates and may be abbreviated as C.R.M.

Amended and adopted by the Court, En Banc, May 12, 2005, effective July 1, 2005.

By the Court:

Nancy E. Rice
Justice, Colorado Supreme Court

Rule Change 2005(9)
Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure
Chapter 18. Rules Governing Admission to the Bar
Rule 227. Registration Fee
Amended and Adopted

A. Registration Fee of Attorneys and
Attorney Judges

(1) General Provisions

(a) Fees. On or before February 28 of each year, every attorney admitted to practice in Colorado (including judges, those admitted on a provisional or temporary basis and those admitted as judge advocate) shall annually file a registration statement and pay a fee of $225.00; provided that the fee of any attorney whose first admission to practice is within the preceding three years shall be $180.00. The annual fee for an attorney on inactive status shall be $95.00. All persons first becoming subject to this rule shall file a statement required by this rule at the time of admission, but no annual fee shall be payable until the first day of January following such admission.

Amended and adopted by the Court, En Banc, April 14, 2005, effective January 1, 2006. Justice Rice would not adopt the rule.

By the Court:

Michael L. Bender
Justice, Colorado Supreme Court
Nathan B. Coats
Justice, Colorado Supreme Court


Colorado Judicial Department
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Directives

Notice of Availability

A full set of the Chief Justice Directives may be purchased from the Colorado Judicial Department for $15, which includes copying, handling, and postage costs. Checks should be made payable to Colorado Judicial Department and should be mailed to: Court Services Division, Office of the State Court Administrator, 1301 Pennsylvania St., #300, Denver, CO 80203. Individual Chief Justice Directives will be assissed a $5 charge, pursuant to Chief Justice Directive 96-01, concerning standard research fees. Chief Justice Directives also are available from the Colorado Supreme Court homepage at: http://www.colorado.gov/dpa/doah/.

Publication in The Colorado Lawyer

Chief Justice Directives will be published on a space available basis in this "Court Business" section of The Colorado Lawyer. Some attachments may be omitted due to space restrictions. To obtain a copy of attachments, contact: Court Services Division, Office of the State Court Administrator, 1301 Pennsylvania St., #300, Denver, CO 80203.

Chief Justice Directive 05-01
Supreme Court of Colorado, Office of the Chief Justice
Directive Concerning Access to Court Records
Supersedes CJD 98-05
Directive Concerning Access to Court Records

The purpose of this directive is to provide reasonable access to court records while simultaneously ensuring confidentiality in accordance within existing laws, policies and procedures. In addition, this directive is intended to: provide direction to Judicial Branch personnel, promote the accuracy and validity of the information in court records that is released to the public, and provide guidance regarding the content of the Judicial Branch web sites.

A public access committee has been created to recommend policies and procedures as necessary to facilitate the release of and provide for the accuracy of court records while protecting the privacy interests of persons about whom information exists. The committee also recommends policies and procedures for the cost recovery of making court records available to the public and standards for Judicial Branch web sites. Requests to inspect or obtain copies of court records of the Judicial Branch shall be made pursuant to the procedures identified in the policy. The policy procedures shall govern the completion of court record requests.

The policy and procedures recommended by the committee may be adopted as an order of the Colorado Supreme Court by the Justice appointed by the Chief Justice as chair of that committee. This policy shall be entitled "Public Access to Court Records," and shall be available to Judicial Branch personnel and to the public. The policy may be amended in the same manner as provided for its adoption.

This directive supersedes Chief Justice Directive 98-05.

Done at Denver, Colorado, April 27, 2005.

 

Mary J. Mullarkey,
Chief Justice, Colorado Supreme Court

[Note: For information about the "Public Access to Court Records" policy, contact Linda Bowers, Public Acces Manager: (303) 837-3617 or linda.bowers@judicial.state.co.us.]


Chief Justice Directive 05-02
Supreme Court of Colorado, Office of the Chief Justice
Directive Concerning Electronic Document Format Under C.R.C.P. 121, 1-26
Adopted

Standards for electronically filed documents are hereby adopted set forth in Attachment A to this Directive.  Attachment A, developed by the Integrated Information Services Standing Committee of the State Court Administrator’s Office, may be updated as needed. 

Done at Denver, Colorado, May 17, 2005.

Mary J. Mullarkey
Chief Justice, Colorado Supreme Court

Attachment A
Adopted by the SCAO-IIS Standing Committee
May 10, 2005

To facilitate the efficient processing of electronically filed documents within the courts, the Integrated Information Services Standing Committee hereby adopts the following document format standards for E-Filed documents:

Electronic Document Size: The size limit for each document filed electronically is 1.5 megabytes.1 For the purpose of this procedure, each electronically filed pleading, motion, brief, or other paper is a separate document. The electronic filing system shall preclude a filer from submitting a document larger than 1.5 megabytes to the court.

Oversize Documents: Any document which exceeds 1.5 megabytes shall be separated into electronic files of 1.5 megabytes or less each.

Color or Graphics: Documents scanned in color, grey scale, or containing graphics result in larger file sizes and take longer to download. Therefore, filers should configure scanners to scan documents at 200dpi (dots per inch) and not in color or grey scale.

Subject to the above format standards, C.R.C.P. 10 and C.R.C.P. 121, 1-26 apply to all E-Filed Documents.

Note

1. 1.5 megabytes may be equivalent to approximately 50 pages of plain, typed text or 25 pages of scanned information.

 

Chief Justice Directive 05-03
Supreme Court of Colorado, Office of the Chief Justice
Management Plan for Court Reporting and Recording Services
Adopted and Approved

Management Plan for Court Reporting
And Recording Services

Background

An accurate record of all court proceedings is an essential requirement of due process of law and is required by Article VI and Article II, Section 25 of the Colorado Constitution.

This plan is adopted to promote the effective use of court reporters and electronic record operators (ERO) in the Colorado Judicial Branch and is applicable to all official court reporters and other personnel, as well as any contract court reporter or transcriber directly employed by the Judicial Branch.

The preferred method of making an accurate record of court proceedings is a court reporter; therefore all proceedings conducted before a District Court judge may be recorded by a court reporter using a stenograph machine as well as on a "real time" basis. Proceedings can also be recorded by an electronic record operator using electronic sound recording (analog or digital) equipment. This provision shall in no way prohibit a judge or magistrate from operating the equipment needed to make an accurate record of any proceeding.

The Office of the State Court Administrator (SCAO), as funding allows, shall examine the expansion of the state case management system (ICON / ECLIPSE the name for the GUI version of ICON) to allow for information sharing and transfer of information between ICON/ECLIPSE and the various court reporter reporting systems. The SCAO shall also consider attaching electronic text files directly to court cases stored in ICON / ECLIPSE.

Pursuant to this directive, the chief judge of each district shall determine which methods of recording court proceedings are to be used based upon current economic issues, availability of reporters, and other relevant factors.

Until recently, a confidential court reporter was assigned to each district court judge. Due to the factors outlined below, the current system can no longer continue to function in this manner.

Several areas of the state (mainly rural or high cost of living areas) are facing an insufficient supply of court reporters. This situation has forced some Judicial Districts to use recording equipment and electronic recording operators rather than court reporters.

The workload associated with transcript preparation by court reporters is sometimes not distributed equitably, resulting in late transcripts for the court of appeals, public defenders, alternate defense counsel, district attorneys, and attorney general’s office. This creates appellate delays.

Significant technological advances have occurred in this area resulting in a wide variance in the skill level of reporters.

It is difficult to reassign court reporters to provide coverage for other judge(s) as they are confidential employees assigned to specific district court judges.

Budget constraints have required some districts to reduce the number of court reporter positions, requiring the use of electronic recording devices.

I. Responsibilities of Chief Judge
A.
Prioritization of Reported vs. Recorded Cases

Each judicial district shall establish a case type priority that shall be reported, if district resources permit, by court reporters. For example, such a priority listing would allow for electronic recording of uncontested domestic hearings, some probate matters or other case types that are unlikely to be appealed. Under this scenario, a court reporter would be used for all felony matters, all district civil court (CV) and jury trials, termination of parental rights trials and water cases, if available or economically feasible within the district’s budget.

B. Supervision of Court Reporters/Recorders

The chief judge is ultimately responsible for the administration of any court reporting services in her or his district as well as the timeliness of the production of transcripts whether on appeal or for other purposes.

1. All reporters (current and future) shall be employees under the direction and management of the chief judge of each district. Some of the functions assigned to the chief judge may be delegated but the chief judge has ultimate authority and responsibility for the supervision of court reporters and the implementation and enforcement of this plan.

2. All court reporters shall be non-exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act and shall provide on a monthly basis to their supervisors  timesheets of hours worked each workweek.

3. The chief judge shall ensure that all judges provide court reporters regularly scheduled breaks during the work day.

4. The chief judge shall have the sole authority to assign or reassign court reporters and electronic recorder operators to courtrooms as necessary and appropriate in his or her discretion.

5. The chief judge shall have the authority to hire and designate court reporters and electronic recorder operators (including contract staff); however, each chief judge shall develop policies and procedures for hiring that include the district judges and any staff designated by the chief judge. In districts where court reporters or electronic recorder operators will be primarily assigned to a particular district judge, the chief judge shall include that district judge in the hiring process; however, the chief judge shall make the ultimate hiring decision.

6. The chief judge shall have the sole authority to reassign, correct, discipline or terminate court reporters and electronic recorder operators.

7. The chief judge shall be the ultimate supervisor of the district’s managing court reporter, if appointed. This duty to supervise the district’s managing court reporter may be delegated, in part by the chief judge. The person supervising the managing court reporter shall have duties that include but are not limited to the following:

a. Reviewing state paid transcript billings to assure that authorized transcript rates are charged and in proper form. (See Appendix A for rates and Appendix C for information required to be included on all billings.

b. Monitoring the timeliness of the transcription of the record, or such parts thereof, as a judge, party or attorney may request. This applies to the transcript being prepared by a court reporter, transcriptionist, or outside firm preparing transcripts on behalf of the court.

c. Monitoring transcripts produced by transcription services to assure compliance with the transcript format and fee requirements of this Chief Justice Directive (CJD) or applicable contract.

d. Preserving the audio (tape or digital or other electronic) records or court reporter transcript or notes according to the current Colorado Judicial Department Retention and Disposition Schedules.

C. Managing Court Reporter

1. Each district with two or more court reporters shall have a managing court reporter selected in a manner designated by the chief judge, or the chief judge shall assign these duties to administrative staff.

2. Districts may elect to rotate the responsibilities of the managing court reporter among all reporters on a regular basis.

3. The managing court reporter shall be a non-exempt employee under the supervision of the chief judge.

4. The managing court reporter shall be responsible for:

a. Assigning and reassigning court reporters and EROs within the district for the purpose of distributing fairly and equitably the workload and transcript preparation of all court reporting services and transcribers, with goals of minimizing travel and assuring the lowest overall cost to the Judicial Branch and State of Colorado.

b. Supervising the business relationship among attorneys, litigants, other parties, and court reporters/EROs /transcribers.

c. Developing with the chief judge a form to monitor and keep a record of transcript orders and requests and, if necessary, tape and /or digital recording orders and requests made in district court. In larger districts this portion of the workload may be distributed between the managing court reporter and other administrative staff.

d. Coordinating any transcript requests involving court reporters who no longer work for the Judicial Branch or work in another judicial district.

e. Reporting to the chief judge on a monthly basis any late or deficient transcripts.

D. Cross Training and Backup

To assure that the needs of the judicial district are met, the chief judge or designee shall provide cross training for the EROs and court reporters so that they can perform work for any division. EROs and court reporters may be assigned to cover other division work as may be necessary.

II. COURT REPORTER RESPONSIBILITIES

A. Certification

It is recommended that all reporters hired be certified. However, availability and other factors may affect the district’s ability to hire only certified reporters. Therefore, all uncertified court reporters shall become certified within one year of the effective date of this CJD or within one year of the reporter’s date of employment whichever comes later. The newly hired uncertified reporters shall have a total of five years from their dates of hire to become real-time certified as set below.

B. Real-Time Certification

In times of continued staff shortages, real-time reporting can help to alleviate the problems of late transcripts; assist trial judges in deciding issues faster by seeing and keeping the real-time notes for review and having text files for their use for the preparation of their orders; allow reporters to get the bulk of transcript work done as they are transcribing; and enable all reporting staff to be at the same or similar level of skill. Therefore:

1. All current certified court reporters shall become real-time certified within 4 years of the effective date of this CJD.

2. All current uncertified court reporters shall become real-time certified within 5 years of the effective date of this CJD.

3. Certified court reporters hired after the effective date of this CJD shall become real-time certified within 4 years.

4. Non-certified court reporters hired after the effective date of this CJD shall become real-time certified within 5 years.

5. Court Reporters who are able to perform real-time services may attain official status as a Colorado Certified Real-time Reporter by meeting one of the two following requirements:

a. Pass the National Court Reporters Association CRR test, which among other things, requires completion at 96 percent accuracy and meet all requirements to take the test (the federal standard) or:

b. Take the National Court Reporters Association CRR test and complete it at 94 percent accuracy and meet all requirements to take the test (the Colorado standard).

A court reporter who fails to meet these requirements within the time limits provided and who is otherwise an exemplary court reporter and has made significant efforts to become real time certified may petition the State Court Administrator for extraordinary relief.

C. Status—Personnel Rules

All court reporters shall be employees under the direction and management of the chief judge of each district, allowing the districts to pool their reporters. Pooling of reporters allows the district to manage the reporters and move them from courtroom to courtroom (thus case type to case type) and allows them to substitute for each other. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the chief judge from delegating some of this responsibility so long as the chief judge remains ultimately responsible for the direction and management of the reporting personnel.

D. Compensation

Based upon available funding, reporters who gain certified federal or Colorado status by meeting the real-time standard set forth herein shall be designated a Court Reporter III and will receive such additional compensation as established by the judicial branch compensation plan.

E. Other Duties

Reporters shall perform other court functions as directed by the chief judge or designee, including but not limited to any duty included in the job description for a judicial assistant or any other duty assigned by the chief judge.

F. Conduct of Court Reporter

1. The court reporter shall present himself or herself to the judge in charge of the proceedings in accordance with the assignment made by the chief judge or designee.

2. The reporter shall observe, comply with, and be bound by all of the assigned judge’s instructions in matters affecting the composition of the record, the marking of exhibits and maintenance of the evidence, the public or private nature of the proceeding, the adjournment of the proceeding to other times or places, the appropriate demeanor of the reporter, and other like matters.

3. The court reporter shall report by appropriate equipment all of the proceedings which he or she attends.

4. The court reporter shall take all the testimony, rulings of the court, exceptions taken, oral instructions given, and any other proceedings during the trial of any cause, and in such causes as the court may designate.

G. Hours of Employment

1. Court Reporters are subject to the Colorado Judicial System Personnel Rules with regard to hours of work and attendance, including all leave policies.

2. When requested by the trial judge, court reporters shall work past established work hours.

3. The work hours and compensation of court reporters beyond the normal work week, are governed by 29 USC 207 (o) 6.

4. In the event that a court reporter works more than forty hours per week (excluding any per page compensated transcript preparation time outside of established work hours) the court reporter shall track time and be given compensatory time pursuant to the Colorado Judicial System Personnel Rules.

5. Court reporters shall, upon the effective date of this CJD, maintain time records for all hours worked and leave taken.

H. Records to be Maintained by Court Reporters

1. In order to permit the routine audit and inspection of records, court reporters shall maintain accurate, legible, and up-to-date records of their transcript requests, transcript orders, invoices, payments for transcripts, expenses, and attendance in court.

2. Such records shall be maintained on forms prescribed by the State Court Administrator’s Office. The chief judge may inspect these forms at any time during normal business hours.

3. Court reporters shall provide the chief judge and designee a copy of any request for an extension to provide an appellate record.

I. Reports Required to be Filed

At regular intervals as specified by the chief judge but no less than monthly, each court reporter shall file with the chief judge or designee a leave report and such other reports as the chief judge may require. (This form may combine all leave taken that month so as to require only one form in Appendix E.)

III. Electronic Recording Operators Responsibilities

A. Conduct of Electronic Record Operator

1. The ERO shall present himself or herself to the judge in charge of the proceedings in accordance with the assignment made by the chief judge or designee.

2. The ERO shall observe, comply with, and be bound by all of the assigned judge’s instructions in matters affecting the composition of the record, the marking of exhibits and maintenance of the evidence, the public or private nature of the proceeding, the adjournment of the proceeding to other times or places, the appropriate demeanor of the ERO(s), and other like matters.

3. The ERO shall record with appropriate equipment all of the proceedings which he or she attends.

4. The ERO shall record all the testimony, rulings of the court, exceptions taken, oral instructions given, and other proceedings had during the trial of any cause, and in such causes as the court may designate.

B. Hours of Employment

1. EROs are subject to the Colorado Judicial System Personnel Rules with regard to hours of work and attendance, including all leave policies.

2. When requested by the trial judge, EROs shall work past established work hours and shall track their time and be given compensatory time pursuant to the Colorado Judicial System Personnel Rules.

C. Records to be Maintained by EROs

1. In order to permit the routine audit and inspection of records, EROs shall maintain accurate, legible, and up-to-date records of their transcript requests, transcript orders, invoices, payments for transcripts, expenses and attendance in court.

2. Such records shall be maintained on forms prescribed by the State Court Administrator’s Office. The chief judge may inspect these forms at any time during normal business hours.

D. Reports Required to be Filed

At regular intervals as specified by the chief judge but no less than monthly, each ERO shall file with the chief judge or designee a leave report and such other reports as the chief judge may require. (This form may combine all leave taken that month so as to require only one form in Appendix E.)

IV. TRANSCRIPTS

A. Persons Authorized to Prepare Transcripts

1. Court reporters and contract transcript service companies may prepare transcripts, as determined by each judicial district policy.

2. If a judicial district enters into an agreement with a transcript service provider company, such contract must be in the format prescribed by the State Court Administrator.

3. Judicial Branch employees shall not be allowed to transcribe court transcripts unless they are a member of an independent contracting firm that provides contract transcript services as a company that has been selected by the district to do transcripts. This is in compliance with the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act, PERA rules and IRS regulations and audit issues regarding the issuance of a 1099 and W-2 to the same employee.

4. If Judicial Branch employees (other than court reporters) prepare transcripts during established working hours, this task shall be included in the individual’s normal work assignment and compensation and such individual shall not be paid the per-page rate. (C.R.S. 13-5-128)

B. Compensation

1. Transcripts requested by Judges

a. Judicial Branch court reporters and other employees who prepare transcripts as part of their regular duties shall provide transcripts requested by and used only by the judge who presided over the matter or the chief judge and shall not be paid the transcript page rate in addition to their regular salary.

b. Judicial Branch court reporters and other employees who prepare transcripts as a part of their regular duties requested by and used only by the judge shall be allowed to prepare those transcripts during work hours.

2. State-Paid Transcripts

a. State-paid transcripts are all transcripts requested by the District Attorney, Public Defender, Office of the Child’s Representative and the Alternate Defense Counsel and state-paid respondents’ attorneys in dependency and neglect cases.

b. Judicial Branch court reporters and other employees who prepare transcripts as a normal part of their job and compensation shall be allowed to prepare state-paid transcripts during work hours. Copy costs for state-paid transcripts are eliminated and the per-page cost is $2.35. The court reporter shall provide a state-purchased disk or may email an ASCII version of the transcript to an attorney or party requesting a copy of a transcript as long as that party or attorney has provided an email address.

3. Private-Paid Transcripts

a. Private-paid transcripts are all transcripts requested by all parties, attorneys, media and entities not listed in 2 (a)above.

b. Judicial Branch court reporters and other employees who prepare transcripts shall not be allowed to use state time, equipment, supplies or copiers to prepare private-paid transcripts; except that a court reporter may prepare private-pay transcripts during regular working hours in the following circumstances:

1) Criminal transcripts requested by non-state paid attorneys

2) Juvenile court transcripts requested by non-state paid attorneys

3) Transcripts ordered in an appellate proceeding

4) Transcripts of an oral ruling of a trial court ordered for the preparation of the written order at the request of the trial court.

c. The per page rate is $2.35. The copy rate of $.50 per page is allowed for private-paid transcripts.

4. Non-Appellate Transcripts

The full price may be charged only if the transcript is delivered within the contract’s required time frame, including any extensions which have been authorized by the chief judge.

5. Appellate Transcripts

The full price may be charged only if the transcript is delivered within the time frame prescribed by the chief judge of the district court or the appellate court. A transcript delivered within the time allowed by a timely extension granted for good cause pursuant to CAR 11(a) and (d) is entitled to full payment. (See Appendix D for computation of transcript delivery dates and reductions in per page rates for late transcripts.)

C. Hourly/Daily/Expedited Transcript

Unless otherwise ordered by the trial judge assigned to the case, there shall be no hourly, daily or expedited transcripts delivered to any party or attorney.

1. If any person desires such services, he or she must seek permission of the court to have a real time court reporter present for a hearing or trial.

2. Hourly, daily or expedited transcripts must be requested and approved in advance by the trial judge and chief judge or designee and arrangements must be made by the person so requesting to pay the court reporter at a rate approved by CJD for these services.

3. The use of an unedited or "rough" transcript as a working document shall be permitted if allowed and approved by the trial judge and the court reporter, or as permitted by rule such as CAR 3.4(e)(6). Such transcript shall not be the official record of the court unless so certified by the court reporter. The rate for the unedited or rough transcript in is $1.00 per page. If an unedited or "rough" transcript is ordered by someone paying the state transcript rate as set forth in this CJD then the reporter shall bill $1.35 per page for the final version. If the person ordering is not a person under IV B. 2. A. above, the reporter may charge $2.35 per page for the final version. Pursuant to CAR 3.4 the reporter may require a signed waiver of liability for any errors in the unedited transcript.

D. Ordering of Transcripts, Tapes or Digital Recording Disks

Each judicial district shall determine and post on the Colorado judicial web site a policy that outlines the procedures for that particular district for ordering of transcripts, tapes or digital recording disks.

1. Transcripts may be ordered from the court following the procedure below:

a. The requesting party should use the request forms for transcript of a hearing or trial approved by the State Court Administrator. Blank forms can be procured from the clerk of the court or district administrator as set forth by each judicial district. The completed form should be sent to the address listed on the form for the appropriate judicial district.

b. Persons ordering transcripts will be contacted directly by the court reporter/transcriber concerning payment of the appropriate fees. Transcripts will not be started and the time limits stated for delivery of transcripts will not commence until satisfactory arrangements are made with the transcriber for the payment of required fees.

c. It is the requestor’s responsibility to properly pay or obtain a court order approving waiver of the fees in ordering of the transcripts. The requestor also must obtain and the reporter/transcriber must produce a dated receipt for the payment. This is to avoid any dispute as to the date, manner of payment and whether payment has in fact been made or not.

2. Copies of all or part of tapes or digital records (CD-ROM) may be ordered in those districts that are able to provide this service. The court may, based upon each Judicial

District policy, reproduce tapes or create CDs on its own duplicating equipment and may sell copies of electronic sound recording tapes made. The district may sell a whole or partial copy of the proceeding if available on CD, disk or tape to the public at the prevailing rate prescribed by this CJD. The rate shall be that rate in effect at the time of ordering.

a. Orders for copies should be submitted to the court on the request forms for tapes or CDs approved by the SCAO. Blank forms can be obtained from the clerk of the court or district administrator as set forth by each judicial district. The completed form should be sent to the address that is listed on the form for the appropriate judicial district.

b. Copies of tapes or CDs shall not be used as the official record for purposes of appeal, motion or other court proceedings. Only signed and certified transcripts by reporters or authorized transcriptionists shall be used as the official records of court proceedings.

c. In those districts that do not provide this service, parties shall request a transcript using the procedure outlined in #1 above.

3. Due to staff shortages as well as lack of sufficient, secure facilities, judicial districts shall not accommodate requests to listen to recorded proceedings (tapes or CDs).

E. Standards for the Production of Transcripts

The following standards apply to the production of all transcripts for Colorado courts:

1. All transcripts shall be produced in the format required by this CJD. (Appendix B)

2. No court reporter/transcriber employed by the Judicial Branch shall charge fees for transcripts of official proceedings that exceed those set forth in this CJD, except as approved by the chief judge in writing for extraordinary circumstances.

3. Each court reporter/transcriber is required to certify on each invoice that the fees charged and page format used conform to this CJD.

4. If transcripts of proceedings are prepared by contract transcription services and paid for by the state:

a. All format, delivery time schedule, and fee requirements adopted by this CJD apply as if the transcript was produced by one of the court’s reporters or other judicial branch employee unless the contract entered into provides otherwise.

b. The transcriber designated to transcribe the proceedings recorded by electronic sound recording must authenticate the original transcript and each copy with a certification on the last page. [Sample certification. "I (we) certify that the foregoing is a correct transcript from the electronic sound recording of the proceedings in the above-entitled matter. Signature of transcriber and date]. Each transcriber may charge and collect fees for transcripts requested at rates prescribed by this CJD.

F. Time Limits for Delivery of Transcripts

1. Original transcripts ordered by judicial officers shall be provided to the judicial officer within the time prescribed by the order.

2. All transcripts of official proceedings prepared for the purpose of appeal shall be delivered to the ordering party, if a copy is requested, and the original filed with the clerk of court within the prescribed time limits of the Colorado Appellate Rules.

3. Extension of time for appellate transcripts must be sought from the Court pursuant to the appropriate rule. The chief judge shall be advised in writing by the reporter or transcriptionist at any time the reporter/transcriber requests an extension of time on any transcript. These written records shall be maintained at the direction of the chief judge.

G. Distribution of Transcripts

1. For state-paid transcripts, the court reporter shall provide a state-purchased disk or may email an ASCII version of the transcript to an attorney or party requesting a copy of a transcript as long as that party or attorney has provided an email address.

2. Any requests by private parties for transcripts involving state agencies, as delineated in IV(B)(2)(a), including requests from the media, must be forwarded to the district administrator and chief judge who shall make the decision as to whether any other entity shall receive an electronic copy prior to the court reporter agreeing to arrangements for the provision of an electronic copy. No reporter shall create a distribution list for anyone other than parties or attorneys of record.

V. OWNERSHIP, CUSTODY, USE DETENTION AND FILING OF THE NOTES AND ELECTRONIC RECORDINGS

1. A reporter’s paper and/or electronic notes or the electronic recordings of trial or other proceedings shall be the property of the Judicial Branch and shall be retained by the appropriate court for a period prescribed by the Colorado Judicial Department Retention and Disposition Schedules.

2. The work of all court reporters shall be "note-readable" and shall remain in the ultimate control of the chief judge or designee so that another reporter, if necessary, can read the notes of a court reporter.

3. Each court reporter shall be required to sign a statement recognizing the ownership of the notes and recognition of the dictionary provision below.

a. When a court reporter leaves the employment of the Judicial Branch, the court reporter shall provide the chief judge with paper or disk notes, electronic recordings and a copy of their dictionary for the cases they have done while a state employee.

b. The court reporter leaving employment with the branch shall be given a first right of refusal regarding preparation of any outstanding transcripts on those cases so long as she or he provides the district with the reporter’s address, phone number and other contact information and keeps that information current with the district administrator and chief judge.

c. In the event that another court reporter must prepare any such outstanding transcripts, that court reporter shall not use the departing court reporter’s dictionary for any purpose other than preparation of the outstanding transcripts.

4. During the trial or the taking of other matters on the record, the notes and recordings shall be considered the property of the Judicial Branch, even though in custody of the reporter, judge, or clerk.

5. After the trial and review or appeal period, the reporter shall list, date and index all of her/his notes and recordings and shall properly pack them for storage. Where no reporter is used, the clerk of the court or ERO, if one exists, shall perform this function.

6. The court shall provide storage containers and make arrangements for storing such records.

7. There shall be no additional charges for securing the record of a proceeding and for transporting the record to the clerk of court. The costs of these services are included in the schedule of rates for transcripts.

8. During the period of retention, notes and recordings shall be made available to the reporter of record, or to any other reporter or person the court may designate.

9. An electronic ASCII version of any final transcripts prepared in all criminal and juvenile cases by any court reporter or transcriber shall be filed with the clerk of the combined or district court.

10. Copies of these transcripts may be obtained from the court reporter at the customary rate.

11. The court may provide additional copies of these state-paid transcripts without any additional expense to the Attorney General, District Attorney, Public Defender, Alternate Defense Counsel, Office of the Child Representative and state-paid Respondent Parent Counsel.

12. If a court reporter is no longer a full, part-time or contract employee of the Judicial Branch, individuals may obtain copies of these transcripts at the rate set forth in the Colorado Judicial Department Fiscal Rules.

VI. TRANSCRIPT BACKLOGS

The chief judge or designee is authorized to take necessary steps to reduce backlog transcript, tape, or disk copy production delays. Such steps may include, but are not necessarily limited to the following:

1. Adjusting the workload of the court reporter/transcriber to reduce backlogs.

2. Terminating a contract with an outside vendor of transcription services and/or adding contract vendors of transcription services.

VII. RESPONSIBILITIES of the Court of Appeals

The chief judge of the Court of Appeals and/or the Clerk of the Court of Appeals shall submit on a monthly basis:

1. An electronic report to the chief judge and District Administrator of each judicial district summarizing any late transcript issues (by email if possible).

2. A copy of any extension granted or denied to a court reporter/transcriber shall be submitted to the chief judge of the appropriate district.

Chief Justice Directives 98-07 and 85-10 and the Chief Justice Order Public Access to Tapes of County Court Procedures (April 17, 1991) are hereby REPEALED and REPLACED by CJD 05-03.

CJD 05-03 is adopted, approved and effective July 1, 2005

Done at Denver, Colorado, May 19, 2005.

Mary J. Mullarkey
Chief Justice, Colorado Supreme Court

 

© 2005 The Colorado Lawyer and Colorado Bar Association. All Rights Reserved. Material from The Colorado Lawyer provided via this World Wide Web server is protected by the copyright laws of the United States and may not be reproduced in any way or medium without permission. This material also is subject to the disclaimers at http://www.cobar.org/tcl/disclaimer.cfm?year=2005.


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