Antoine v. Byers & Anderson, Inc., 508 U.S. 429, 2 (1993)

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Opinion of the Court

M. Miller. Tyna Ek filed a brief for respondent Byers & Anderson, Inc.*

Justice Stevens delivered the opinion of the Court.

This case presents the question whether a court reporter is absolutely immune from damages liability for failing to produce a transcript of a federal criminal trial.


In March 1986, after a 2-day trial, a jury convicted petitioner of bank robbery. Petitioner promptly appealed and ordered a copy of the transcript from respondent Ruggenberg, who had served as the court reporter. The court ordered Ruggenberg to produce a transcript by May 29, 1986.

Over two years later, Ruggenberg had yet to provide a transcript, despite a long series of hearings, court orders, and new filing deadlines. In July 1988, Ruggenberg finally explained that she had lost many of her trial notes, though additional notes and tapes were later to come to light. At one point in the proceedings, Ruggenberg was fined and arrested as the Court of Appeals sought to obtain this and other overdue transcripts. Eventually, making use of Ruggenberg's partial notes and materials submitted by the parties pursuant to Rule 10(c) of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure,1 another reporter produced a partial transcript

*Denise Meyer, Michael J. Brennan, Dennis E. Curtis, Judith Resnik, and Charles D. Weisselberg filed a brief for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers et al. as amici curiae urging reversal.

Jeffrey P. Altman filed a brief for the National Court Reporters Association as amicus curiae urging affirmance.

1 Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 10(c) provides in relevant part: "Statement on the evidence or proceedings when no report was made or when the transcript is unavailable.—If no report of the evidence or proceedings at a hearing or trial was made, or if a transcript is unavailable, the appellant may prepare a statement of the evidence or proceedings from the best available means, including the appellant's recollection."

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