The Circuit Court records all hearings and trials for all case types except traffic, small claims, landlord tenant and juvenile delinquency. To request a copy of the audio (sound) recording from a hearing or trial you must submit a request on the Court’s Audio Copy Request form (see below).
If you are filing an appeal of your case, you may need a transcript of the hearing and not an audio copy. An audio copy is a sound recording that you listen to. A transcript is a written record of the hearing that you read. Transcripts are made by a professional transcriber who listens to the audio (sound) recording and types the spoken words into a written document.
State law restricts who may receive audio copies of hearings and trials for some case types such as adoptions and juvenile cases. If you are requesting an audio copy from a restricted (confidential) case type, your request may be denied or you may be required to complete additional paperwork, show identification and pick up the copies in person.
Audio copies of hearings and trials are generally provided on a Compact Disc (CD-R), however audio copies of some older recordings may be provided on VHS tape or cassette tape if the original recording was made on a VHS or cassette tape.
To listen to recordings provided on CD-R you must have a personal computer (PC) with a sound card and speakers. The court uses a program called “For the Record”
(FTR) to record the audio during hearings and trials. Audio copies provided on CD-R will contain a link to download a free copy of the FTR Player program
. Follow the directions for downloading FTR Player from the FTR website. Court staff cannot assist you if you encounter problems with downloading the FTR Player. If you encounter technical difficulties with the FTR Player, you will need to contact technical support at FTR.
In addition to the audio recording, you may request a copy of the audio log, which is a general time-stamped index of the recorded hearing or trial that lists major events during the hearing, such as when a witness begins testimony or when an objection is made. For hearings originally recorded on VHS or cassette, the log is only available on paper. For hearings originally recorded using FTR, the audio log is provided in HTML format on the CD-R.
What are the fees for Audio Copies and when are they due?
- $10.00 per tape or compact disc.
- $0.25 per page for paper audio logs.
- $3.00 shipping and handling for mailed copies.
All fees must be paid in full before copies are made. Payment of the fees can be made by cash, check, cashier check, money order, Visa or Mastercard.
When should I receive my audio copy?
Generally, copies are available for pick-up or are mailed within three to five (3 - 5) business days after receipt of payment. Requests are processed in the order they are received. Payment in full must be received before the request is processed.