Effective January 1, 2003, all court reporters in Arizona are subject to certification and must have Standard Certification or Provisional Standard Certification.
The Court Reporter Standard Certification Program provides statewide certification for persons in Arizona who are qualified to be certified. Code Section 7-206 governs court reporter standard certification and applies to any person who records and transcribes a verbatim record in any sworn proceeding by means of written symbols or abbreviations in shorthand or machine writing in Arizona pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes Title 32, Chapter 40.
The reporter's transcript is an important document before, during, and after the trial. The paper transcript and its electronic version are used for trial preparation, briefs, impeachment purposes, and appellate review. Property, freedom, and life all can depend on a clear and accurate record. Court reporting is integrally related to the prompt, effective, and impartial operation of the judicial system.
History of Rule and Code Adoption
Effective August 6, 1999, the Arizona Legislature enacted Laws 1999, Chapter 335, Senate Bill 1324 adding provisions to the Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 32, Chapter 40, regarding the certification of court reporters. Arizona Revised Statutes 32-4004 establishes the Board of Certified Court Reporters. Chief Justice Zlaket appointed the nine member Board on August 6, 1999. Arizona Revised Statutes 32-4005 and Arizona Revised Statutes 32-4008 further direct that the Supreme Court upon recommendation of the Board, ". . . shall adopt rules to implement and enforce . . ." the statutory provisions regulating the certification and conduct of court reporters and shall adopt a fee schedule for the testing and certification of court reporters. Amendments to the 1999 statutory provisions were made during legislative session 2000 and can be referenced in SB1249.
The proposed rules were circulated for public comment from September 15, 1999 through October 8, 1999. The Court Reporter Temporary Certification Rules (Rule 5) were subsequently adopted by Administrative Order of the Arizona Supreme Court in accordance with Title 32, Chapter 40, Arizona Revised Statutes.
Later, a code of conduct was drafted, and changes were made to the existing rule, including a new name. The proposed temporary and standard code sections were circulated for public comment from January 26, 2001 to February 26, 2001. Subsequently, Temporary Certification Code Section 7-207 and Standard Certification Code Section 7-206 were adopted by Administrative Order.
Subsequently, the Arizona State Legislature enacted changes to the statutes regulating the Certified Court Reporter Program during the 2005 legislative session. Senate Bill 1311 was signed into law by Governor Napolitano on April 18, 2005.
The amendments to Code §7-206 incorporate the statutory amendments made by the Arizona State Legislature as it pertains to certified reporters and verbatim records. Senate Bill 1311 changes the name of Certified Court Recorders to Certified Reporters and adds provisions allowing voice writing as a method of recording and transcribing sworn proceedings.