Need Digital Recorders in the Courts
It just makes sense to install digital recorders in our family courts.
Tarrant County court reporters are paid $100,000 annually by the county and parties requesting transcripts pay court reporters privately for the record. Wouldn’t it make sense to reduce costs to the taxpayers by installing cameras in each courtroom instead? We would save taxpayers $85,000 per courtroom a year.
Court reporters are constantly stopping proceedings in family court due to the speaker talking too fast, too soft, reporter can’t understand etc. There are flaws of course – interruptions with court reporters and interfering noises with digital recorders which could create inaudible recordings.
Maybe Tarrant should look into testing this technology? Associate Family Courts do not have court reporters present unless the judge is hearing contempt or enforcement motions. District Courts however have court reporters present when in session. Many families have full hearings in the associate judge’s court and do not have the ability to obtain a record of what just happened. This is a problem because majority of family court hearings are heard in the associate court.
Surely Tarrant County could afford to pilot digital recorders in the 6 Associate Judge courtrooms.
New Jersey began installing digital recorders in 2012 successfully. Click here for more details.