(a) If an official reporter or an official reporter pro tempore is unavailable to report an action or proceeding in a court, subject to the availability of approved equipment and equipment monitors, the court may order that, in a limited civil case, or a misdemeanor or infraction case, the action or proceeding be electronically recorded, including all the testimony, the objections made, the ruling of the court, the exceptions taken, all arraignments, pleas, and sentences of defendants in criminal cases, the arguments of the attorneys to the jury, and all statements and remarks made and oral instructions given by the judge. A transcript derived from an electronic recording may be utilized whenever a transcript of court proceedings is required. Transcripts derived from electronic recordings shall include a designation of “inaudible” or “unintelligible” for those portions of the recording that contain no audible sound or are not discernible. The electronic recording device and appurtenant equipment shall be of a type approved by the Judicial Council for courtroom use and shall only be purchased for use as provided by this section. A court shall not expend funds for or use electronic recording technology or equipment to make an unofficial record of an action or proceeding, including for purposes of judicial notetaking, or to make the official record of an action or proceeding in circumstances not authorized by this section.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), a court may use electronic recording equipment for the internal personnel purpose of monitoring the performance of subordinate judicial officers, as defined in Section 71601 of the Government Code, hearing officers, and temporary judges while proceedings are conducted in the courtroom, if notice is provided to the subordinate judicial officer, hearing officer, or temporary judge, and to the litigants, that the proceeding may be recorded for that purpose. An electronic recording made for the purpose of monitoring that performance shall not be used for any other purpose and shall not be made publicly available. Any recording made pursuant to this subdivision shall be destroyed two years after the date of the proceeding unless a personnel matter is pending relating to performance of the subordinate judicial officer, hearing officer, or temporary judge.
(c) Prior to purchasing or leasing any electronic recording technology or equipment, a court shall obtain advance approval from the Judicial Council, which may grant that approval only if the use of the technology or equipment will be consistent with this section.
(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 170, Sec. 1. (AB 2657) Effective January 1, 2013.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018