Transcripts / Court Reporters
IMPORTANT NOTICE: There is a new process for ordering transcripts effective Monday, March 18. The key features of the new process are:
- New fillable forms:
- E-filing of all transcript orders is mandatory, EXCEPT under-seal cases/proceedings and CJA cases. Non-parties and pro se parties who do not have ECF accounts are also exempt.
- Emailed transcript orders will no longer be accepted beginning March 18.
Instructions for ordering are below on this page, and e-filing instructions are in the ECF section of the court’s website.
Guardianship of the record of court proceedings is a key and historic responsibility of the Court. Each court session and proceeding designated by statute, court rule, general order or order of an individual judge is recorded verbatim by stenotype or electronic sound recording equipment.
A written transcript is produced upon the request of a party or order of the Court. On this page you will find instructions for how to order a transcript or recording, an explanation of the available formats and delivery options (including costs), as well as forms and links to more information.
- Six important facts to know before you order a transcript
- How to find out whether a transcript and/or audio recording are available and the name of your court reporter
- How to order a transcript or a CD of an audio-recorded proceeding
- How to file a Transcript Designation and Ordering Form
- Frequently-Asked Questions
Please read these six important facts carefully before ordering a transcript and refer to the maximum transcript rate page. For more information, please contact the court reporter supervisor for the division where the case is pending (SF, OAK, SJ).
- All transcripts (except sealed transcripts) are e-filed on CM/ECF within three working days after delivery to a party and are locked for 90 days. Upon delivery, the court reporter will provide the ordering party with access to the e-filed transcript at no additional cost (except the per-page PACER fee) during the 90-day locked period. Otherwise, during the 90-day locked period, the public may read the transcript at the Clerk’s Office front counter or may purchase a copy from the court reporter. After 90 days, any party may download the certified transcript from CM/ECF for no transcript fee, except the per-page PACER fee.
- Any transcript purchased from a court reporter or downloaded from CM/ECF or PACER is a certified copy.
The first party to order a transcript pays the “original”
rate and has a choice in delivery times, which vary in cost. View transcript pricing examples.
- a. Ordinary (30-day) delivery is $3.65 per page.
- b. 14-day delivery is $4.25 per page.
- c. Expedited (7-day) delivery is $4.85 per page.
- d. Daily (next day) delivery is $6.05 per page.
- e. Hourly (within 2 hrs) delivery is $7.25 per page.
If the transcript has already been ordered by another party, then you pay only the “copy” rate and you have a choice in delivery times, which vary in cost. View transcript pricing
- a. Expedited (7-day), 14-day, and ordinary (30-day) deliveries are .90 per page.
- b. Hourly and daily deliveries are $1.20 per page.
- c. Ninety days after an original transcript is delivered to the first party to order the transcript, the e-filed copy of the transcript is unlocked, and any party can download this transcript from CM/ECF or PACER for no transcript fee, except the per-page PACER fee. Copies may also be ordered, at the applicable rate, from the court reporter after the 90-day locking period expires.
- When ordering transcripts, you have the choice of one or more of the following transcript formats. If you choose more than one transcript format, you will be charged a fee for each additional copy. View transcript pricing Example #3.
- a. PDF
- b. Text or ASCI
- c. Hard or printed copy
- d. Condensed with index
- e. Unlocking of PDF on CM/ECF/PACER (Note: electronic access is automatically included for any registered ECF user with the purchase of any of the above formats at no additional cost, other than the per-page PACER fee.)
- Transcript preparation and delivery times will not begin until payment has been satisfied with the court reporter (e.g. receipt of a deposit check).
How to find out whether a transcript and/or audio recording is available and the name of your court reporter
To determine whether a proceeding was (1) reported by a court reporter (transcript available), or (2) audio-recorded on FTR or a tape (copy of audio available and/or transcript available), or (3) the matter was not reported or recorded (no transcript or audio available), you need to review the minutes for that proceeding. For each proceeding held before a judge, “minutes” are filed within 24 hours on the CM/ECF docket sheet. (If no minutes are listed, contact the judge’s courtroom deputy or contact the court reporter supervisor for the division where the case is pending (SF, OAK, SJ)). Docket information is available from the electronic filing system via PACER (www.pacer.gov).
On the CM/ECF docket sheet, click on the link to the minutes for the proceeding to download and review the minutes and, importantly, to determine the correct date of the proceeding. If the minutes indicate the name of a court reporter present, then a transcript is available upon request and payment. If the minutes do not indicate a court reporter was present, but instead indicate “FTR” or “tape,” then a copy of the audio and/or a transcript are available upon request and payment (more information below). If no court reporter, FTR or tape is indicated, there was no record made; no transcript can be produced.
Example docket text for a minute entry:
||20||Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Hon. Vernon S. White: Status Conference as to Elmer Fudd held on 4/19/2011. Dispositional Hearing set for 5/3/2011 02:30 PM in Courtroom 3, 17th Floor, San Francisco before Hon. Vernon S. White. (Court Reporter Anne Smith.) (ab, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/19/2011) (Entered: 04/20/2011)|
Before ordering a transcript or an audio copy on CD, please read: "Six important facts to know before you order a transcript" on this page. Unless you are CJA counsel, you must complete and e-file in CM/ECF the CAND_435 Transcript Order form (.pdf). Do not provide the Court with a chambers copy (or any hard copy) of the e-filed order form. CJA counsel should refer to the CJA Unit's transcript ordering instructions.
Exceptions to the e-filing requirement:
- Under-seal proceedings: submit a hard copy of the transcript order form to the court reporter.
- Non-parties: submit a hard copy of the transcript order form to the court reporter.
- Pro se parties without ECF access: submit a hard copy of the transcript order form to the court reporter.
- CJA counsel: follow the CJA Unit's transcript ordering instructions.
The delivery time begins to run when payment arrangements are made with the court reporter (usually the date on which the court reporter receives your deposit check). The court reporter will deliver your transcript along with an invoice and will e-file the transcript within 3 working days of delivery.
NOTE: Court reporters will make best efforts to honor all requests, but daily and expedited delivery is not guaranteed and is subject to court reporters' prior commitments. Court reporters will confirm delivery availability when informing you of the required deposit amount.
Transcript requests for digitally recorded proceedings should be submitted on the CAND_435 Transcript Order form and e-filed in the case (unless one of the above-enumerated exceptions to the e-filing requirement applies). Your order should indicate the desired transcript format(s) and delivery time(s). The court reporter supervisor will reply with the estimated deposit and payment instructions. The court-authorized transcriber will deliver your transcript and an invoice form, and will e-file the transcript within 3 working days.
If the minutes do not indicate a court reporter was present, but instead indicate “FTR” or “tape,” then a copy of the audio is available upon request and payment. You have two choices:
(1) You may order a transcript of the audio recording, using the process described under “How to Order a Transcript” above, or
(2) You may order the audio recording in an audio format.
For appellate cases an official transcript is required and ordering a CD will not meet that requirement.
To request a copy of the digitally recorded proceedings in an audio format use the AO 436 CD/Tape Order form (www.uscourts.gov ...) and email the request directly to the assigned judge's courtroom deputy. For San Jose recorded FTR hearings, please contact Mark Zaffarano at (408)535-5358.
No fee is charged to CJA counsel or to the Federal Public Defender and United States Attorney. All other counsel should submit a check for $30 payable to “Clerk, United States District Court.” Pre-payment is required.
To order transcripts for an appeal before either the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals or the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, please refer to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure and/or each circuit’s local rules. Then, complete and e-file either the "Transcript Designation and Ordering Form" for appeals filed with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals or the "Transcript Purchase Order" for the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, as applicable. (If any transcript you are designating has already been filed, please indicate its docket number on the transcript ordering form in the hearing type column.) Do not provide the District Court with a chambers copy (or any hard copy) of the e-filed TDOF or Transcript Purchase Order. For any designated transcripts that have not yet been prepared and filed, you must contact the individual court reporter(s) directly to make financial arrangements prior to filing the designation form.
NOTES: (1) The Court of Appeals requires a transcript; a CD will not meet that requirement.
(2) After ordering your transcripts, it is your responsibility to monitor the e-filing of those transcripts on ECF docket. Any transcripts not timely filed should be brought to the attention of the court reporter and court reporter supervisor for the division in which the proceeding was held.
- Q. Are all transcripts certified if I purchase them from a court reporter or download them from CM/ECF?
- A. Yes, any transcript purchased from a court reporter or downloaded from CM/ECF is a certified copy.
- Q. When does the time begin for transcript delivery?
- A. Transcript preparation and delivery times begin once payment arrangements have been made with the court reporter. This may not occur until a deposit check is received.
- Q. When the transcript is filed on CM/ECF, may I download it?
- A. When the original transcript is filed on CM/ECF, it is locked for 90 days during which time it may be purchased from the court reporter and/or viewed (but not printed) from the computer at the Clerk's Office front counter. After 90 days, the transcript on CM/ECF is unlocked and may be downloaded at no additional cost, except the .10 per page PACER fee.
- Q. May I order a rough/uncertified transcript?
- A. Only realtime certified court reporters (CRRs) are qualified to provide a “rough” or realtime transcript, which is unedited and uncertified.