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Information for Self Represented Parties

Transcript Information

The purpose of having a transcript of oral proceedings in the trial court as part of the record on appeal is so the Oregon Court of Appeals and the Oregon Supreme Court can consider those proceedings in the course of deciding the appeal. You can choose whether to designate a transcript as part of the trial court record on appeal. If neither the appellant nor the respondent designates the transcript of a hearing or trial as part of the record on appeal, then the appellate court will not consider what was said at the hearing or trial in the course of deciding the appeal.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

The function of an appellate court is to decide whether the trial court committed legal error in your case. The record that the appellate court relies on in deciding an appeal is limited to the record made in the trial court.  The transcript of trial court proceedings of testimony, evidence offered and received at a hearing or trial, a party’s argument to the trial court, and the trial judge’s oral rulings are important parts for your appeal. Sometimes an appeal can be decided based only on the trial court file and exhibits. You can choose whether to designate the transcript as part of the trial court record. If you do have a transcript of a hearing or trial prepared, the court will consider the transcript as part of the record on appeal for your case.
The appellant has the first opportunity to make a transcript part of the trial court record on appeal by designating in the Notice of Appeal the transcript of all trial court proceedings, or one or more specific hearings. The appellant must serve a copy of the Notice of Appeal on the adverse party to the appeal. If the appellant designated less than all proceedings in the trial court, the respondent may designate additional hearings to be transcribed.

An appellant filing a Notice of Appeal, or a respondent filing a Notice of Designation of Additional Proceedings, must service a copy of the notice on the trial court’s Transcript Coordinator. The Transcript Coordinator will automatically assign a transcriber to prepare the designated transcript.
No. However, the appellate court will only accept a transcript that has been prepared and filed by a transcriber with a Certificate of Compliance from the Office of the State Court Administrator on file with the court. A Certificate of Compliance insures that the transcriber is familiar with the appellate court rules governing the form of a transcript and has the minimum skills to prepare a transcript in the proper form. If you are dissatisfied with the transcriber assigned by the Transcript Coordinator, you may ask the Transcript Coordinator to assign a different transcriber. You may also choose your own transcriber, however, if the transcriber does not have a Certificate of Compliance on file, the transcriber will need to file a Certificate of Compliance with the appellate court before filing the transcript.

By statute (ORS 21.345), a transcriber may charge up to $3.00 per page to prepare a transcript. The party who designated a transcript to be prepared as part of the trial court record on appeal must contact the transcriber to determine the cost of preparing the transcript. The transcriber will estimate the number of pages of the transcript based on the number of hearings and other trial court proceedings to be transcribed and how long those proceedings lasted. The party who designated a transcript is responsible to make financial arrangements directly with the transcriber to have the transcript prepared. Neither the trial court nor the appellate court is involved in determining the cost of a transcript or collecting the money to pay for the transcript.

If an appellant designates less than all trial court oral proceedings as part of the record on appeal and the respondent filed a notice of designation of additional parts of the record, the respondent may file a motion with the trial court asking the trial court to require the appellant to pay for the additional transcript.

If the party who paid to have a transcript prepared wins on appeal and the appellate court awards that party costs, the party can recover the cost of preparing the transcript from the losing party.

Yes. Transcribers are independent contractors and are not employed by the court.  The charge for preparing a transcript is not a court fee. Therefore, even if the trial or appellate court has waived or deferred your court fees, you still have to pay for the transcript to be prepared.
By statute (ORS 19.370), a transcriber is required to prepare the transcript within 30 days after the Notice of Appeal is filed, but the transcriber may ask the appellate court for additional time to prepare the transcript.
When the transcriber has completed preparation of the transcript, the transcriber is required to serve a copy of the transcript on all parties to the appeal. If a party is not represented by an attorney, the transcriber will serve a paper copy on that party by conventional mail. A party who is not represented by an attorney may ask the transcriber to serve them with an electronic copy of the transcript by filing with the appellate court, and serving on the transcriber and the adverse party, a notice consenting to email service and identifying the party’s email address.

The parties to an appeal should review the transcript as soon as possible after the transcriber serves a copy of the transcript on the parties. Sometimes a transcript will contain errors. The law gives parties 15 days after the transcript is filed to file a motion to correct/add to the transcript. A motion to correct/add to the transcript should identify, by page and line number, the words that are incorrect and state the correct words. A motion to correct/add to the transcript should be filed in the circuit court and a copy served on the transcriber, the adverse party, and the appellate court. A party filing a motion with the trial court should provide a form of order that the trial judge can use to decide the motion.

If it will take you longer than 15 days to prepare a motion to correct/add to the transcript, you may file in the appellate court, a Motion for Extension of Time to Prepare a Motion to Correct/Add to the Transcript, requesting additional time to file the motion to correct/add to the transcript in the trial court.

If a party files a motion to correct/add to the transcript, the appellate court will hold the appeal in abeyance until after the trial court rules on the motion. If the trial court grants the motion to correct/add to the transcript, the trial court will state the amount of time the transcriber will have to prepare, serve, and file the corrected transcript.

When a transcript or record is settled, that means that all the parties agree that the transcript or record is accurate and complete. Parties have 15 days from the date the transcript is filed to determine if the transcript or record is accurate and complete.

The appellate court considers the transcript or the record to be settled when one of these events occur:

  • No party files a motion to correct/add to the transcript after the transcriber prepares and serves a copy of the transcript.
  • A party files a motion to correct/add to the transcript, but the trial court enters an order denying the motion.
  • A party files a motion to correct/add to the transcript, the trial court grants the motion, and the transcriber prepares, serves, and files a corrected transcript.

When the transcript or record is settled, the appellate court will issue a notice to the parties so stating, and the time within which the appellant has to file the opening brief begins to run.

By appellate court rule (ORAP 8.40), a party who is dissatisfied with the trial court’s ruling on a motion to correct/add to the transcript may file a motion in the appellate court asking the appellate court to review the trial court’s ruling.

Information & Resources

Oregon Rules of Appellate Procedure

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