About Court Reporters

Court reporters usually create verbatim transcripts of speeches, conversations, legal proceedings, meetings, and other events. They use a special keyboard communicating with shorthand-to-text software to quickly write down what is said in a courtroom. As a point of reference people normally speak English at around a rate of 160–250 words per minute. A skilled court reporter is able to hold a “typing” speed often in excess of 200 words per minute for hours. To become certified, one must pass a test, requiring one to transcribe audio at a rate of 225 words per minute at >95% accuracy for five minutes. Court Reporters are responsible for ensuring a complete, accurate, and secure legal record.

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Arizona Supreme Court Rules

  1. Request for certified reporter.  Any party to any action in Superior Court may request that any proceeding in that action be recorded by a certified court reporter.  The Court may grant the request if it is made at least five (5) days prior to the proceeding.  A court reporter will be assigned on the day of the trial or hearing if one is available.
  2. Making the record in the absence of a timely request for a court reporter:  Except as provided for in (3) below, in the absence of a timely request for a certified court reporter the record will be made via electronic recording.
  3. Proceedings requiring a certified court reporter:  The following proceedings shall be recorded by a certified court reporter and not solely by electronic means: 
    1. Grand Jury proceedings (recorded solely by a Certified Court Reporter);
    2. All proceedings in a first degree murder case; 
    3. Capital cases;
    4. Pursuant to Rule 30(b)(2)(b) and ARS section 36-593(E), the Court must provide a court reporter for a court-ordered treatment (COT) hearing in a mental health case if either party files a written request for a court reporter at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the hearing.
  4. Proceedings where a Court Reporter will be provided if a Court Reporter is available: 
    1. Pursuant to Rule 30(b)(2)(d), the Court must provide a court reporter for a hearing or a trial that is held in a Sexually Violent Person case at no fee, only if both the following conditions are met:
      1. A party files a written request for a court report at least five (5) court days before the trial or hearing, and
      2. A court reporter is available on the day of the trial or hearing.
    2. Pursuant to court policy a Court Reporter will be provided to criminal trials (first day of trial is voir dire) and subsequent hearings (Capital and Murder I proceedings require a Court Reporter) if a court reporter is available on the day of trial or hearing (No request from parties or the court is needed).
    3. Pursuant to Local Rule 2.22 a party to a Family case (FC), Civil case (CV) or Probate (PB) must request a court reporter, in writing, ten (10) prior to the proceeding and pay the required fee two (2) days prior to the proceeding.  If the fee is not paid a court reporter will not be provided.  If on the day of the trial or hearing a court employed reporter is not available, the requesting party may utilize a private reporter as long as the requesting party provides written notice of their intent to use a private reporter to the court and parties to the case.

“A certified reporter is a person who is certified by the board and who records and transcribes a verbatim record in any sworn proceeding by means of written symbols or abbreviations in shorthand, machine writing or voice writing as provided in A.R.S. §32-4002(3).” Arizona Code of Judicial Administration, Part 7: Administrative Office of the Courts, Chapter 2: Certification and Licensing Programs, Section 7-2006: Certified Reporter.

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Becoming a Court Reporter

The Court Reporter Standard Certification Program provides statewide certification for persons in Arizona who are qualified to be certified.

Written accounts of spoken words are sometimes necessary for correspondence, records, or legal proof, and court reporters provide those accounts. Court reporters play a critical role not only in judicial proceedings, but also at every meeting where the spoken word must be preserved as a written transcript.

Learn more about Certified Reporters Program

Court Reporter Leadership

Dr. Christopher Bleuenstein

Department Administrator

Contact the Court Reporter Department