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Transcripts for Appeal: Reviving the Lower Court Hearing

A recent blog discussed how an appellant (person initiating an appeal) gathers documents from the lower court hearing being appealed in an appendix to provide the Court of Appeals with the relevant information litigated to give a background into the matter. Additionally, the appellant will order a transcript of the lower court hearings for review by the parties and the Court of Appeals.

A transcript is a verbatim written recording of the events of the trial court. If a hearing went on for multiple days with multiple witnesses, all of that testimony will be delineated exactly in the transcript. If a hearing only lasted fifteen minutes, everything that was said and noted on the record will be in the transcript. Exhibits presented in the lower court are also included along with a transcript.

How does an appellant obtain a transcript? When a notice of appeal is filed, one of the persons served with the notice of appeal is the court reporter from the lower court. The court reporter is the person in charge of keeping the record and transcribing the events from the trial court. Once the court reporter is notified and the logistics are discussed, he or she begins or continues the process of transcribing the hearing.

Once a notice of appeal is filed, the transcript is set to be completed in ninety (90) days1. Upon completion of the transcript, the court reporter certifies same and files it with the trial court clerk2. The transcript is then checked out to the parties involved in the appeal, and is provided to the Court of Appeals as they review the case.

If the court reporter is unable to complete the transcript by the prescribed ninety (90) days, he or she shall petition the Court of Appeals for an extension, which shall note the reason for the extension3. If the court reporter does not file the transcript by the allotted time, it is the duty of the appellant to file with the Court of Appeals to compel same. The time for filing to compel is no later than fifteen (15) days after the transcript is due4.

The deadlines for the Court of Appeals are firm, and having a basic understanding of the process and how information is gathered and provided can help understand the process of appeals. The transcript provides much of the basis for the appellate argument, and as such, it is paramount to the appeal.

We hope that this blog post has been informative as to transcripts and the beginnings of the appellate process. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. practices throughout the state of Indiana. This blog post was written by attorney, Jessica Keyes.

  1. See Ind. Rules of Appellate Procedure, 11(B)
  2. See Ind. Rules of Appellate Procedure, 11 (A)
  3. See Ind. Rules of Appellate Procedure, 11(C)
  4. See Ind. Rules of Appellate Procedure, 11 (D)
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