§978. Court reporters for thirtieth judicial district
A. There shall be appointed as many official court reporters for the thirtieth judicial district as there are district judges in the district, and the qualifications, mode of appointment, duties and compensation of the reporters shall be as provided in this Section.
B. Each judge shall appoint one court reporter whose term of office shall continue for the current term of the judge making the appointment, or until the office is declared vacated by the judge making the appointment.
C. Each court reporter shall take an oath of office and furnish bond for the faithful performance of his duties. The bond shall be in the sum of one thousand dollars and shall be in favor of the judges for the purpose of protecting litigants against any acts of incompetency or neglect of duty by the court reporter. The bond shall be recorded and filed in the clerk's office in Vernon Parish. Any party litigant may sue on the bond for any damages sustained through any wrongful act or neglect of duty by the court reporter in the performance of his duties.
D. The court reporters shall report in shorthand, stenotype, by recording machine, or in any recognized manner, and transcribe into longhand by typing or printing all the testimony taken in all civil appealable cases, and shall furnish for the purposes of appeal, the necessary copies of the testimony required by law. They shall also record such criminal proceedings as may be required by law or as directed by the district judge.
E. Each court reporter shall perform secretarial duties for the district judge appointing the reporter, particularly in the absence of the judge's regular secretary.
F. The court reporters shall work concurrently under the direction and supervision of the judges appointing them, according to the needs of the judicial district, in the interest of expediting the business before the court.
G. The court reporters shall receive a monthly salary to be fixed and determined by the judge making the appointment. The salaries shall be paid out of the general fund of Vernon Parish. The police jury of Vernon Parish shall budget the salary of the court reporters in its budget of annual expenses. Upon approval by the court, a portion thereof may be paid out of the criminal court cost fund.
H.(1)(a) In all civil cases, a fee of one dollar and fifty cents per page and fifty cents per page additional for the first copy, thirty-five cents per page additional for copies reported and transcribed beyond the first copy, shall be charged by and paid to the court reporter for reports and for transcribing the testimony which shall be retained by him as compensation in addition to the salary as provided herein, and shall be taxed as costs of the suit in which the testimony is taken to be collected by the clerk of court, except in pauper cases; payment of the fees shall be made primarily by the plaintiff immediately upon the transcription of the evidence, and the court reporter shall not be required to file the transcript with the clerk of court before payment.
(b) Should the plaintiff fail or refuse to make such payment, the defendant or any other party to the suit may make the same and have it assessed as costs.
(c) The court reporter shall be required to take down all testimony, arguments and proceedings in criminal court as may be required by law or as ordered by the court.
(d) Even though counsel may attempt to procure a transcript of the entire record by alleging that the entire record is necessary to support a motion for a new trial, the trial judge shall not order the entire transcript to be typed unless he deems it absolutely indispensable to the record of the motion or proceedings.
(2)(a) In all pauper cases, C.C.P. Art. 5181 et seq., the governing authority shall pay to the court reporter for the transcribing of testimony, when an appeal is taken or upon order of the judge, one-half of the amount as would otherwise be required to be paid by the party who is proceeding in forma pauperis.
(b) Such amount shall be paid at the time the transcription is filed, but only upon the written approval and order of the judge.
(c) Such payments shall not exceed the sum of five thousand dollars for any one year.
(d) The governing authority shall be legally subrogated to the rights of the reporter as to all sums so paid for the transcription of testimony in pauper cases.
(e) All judgments in cases in which the pauper shall be cast for costs, together with the statement of such costs, shall be recorded by the clerk of court in the mortgage records of Vernon Parish and the judgments when so recorded shall operate as judicial mortgages in favor of the governing authority for the amount of costs paid.
(3) No fee shall be charged for taking evidence on assignments of error, motions or other pleadings in criminal cases, unless approved by the presiding judge. When so approved, any such payment may be made from the criminal court cost fund. In such cases, however, only properly designated portions of the record shall be transcribed.
I. The police jury of Vernon Parish shall furnish and provide the court reporters with an office or a suitable place or accommodation equipped with necessary office furniture and supplies necessary for the reporting and transcription of any notes of evidence taken by the court reporters.
J. The court reporter shall make out an itemized statement of the fees charged for reporting and transcribing the notes of evidence. He shall deliver the original of the statement to the clerk of court of the parish where the suit is pending and a copy to the party litigant, or his attorney of record, who requested the evidence to be reported and transcribed. The party litigant, except one entitled to file in forma pauperis, shall pay to the court reporter immediately the fee charged. The fee shall be paid by a litigant entitled to file in forma pauperis only when the litigant recovers a judgment for costs and realizes a sufficient amount therefrom to pay his fee.
Added by Acts 1977, No. 566, §1. Acts 1984, No. 708, §1.