Tuesday, May 07, 2013

The Los Canos Co. v. Kramer (Cal. Ct. App. - May 7, 2013)

Plaintiff in this case has a point.  One with which I agree.  Court reporters charge way too much for copies of transcripts.  So when they say the fees are unreasonable -- e.g., $16,000 for simply sending an already-existing uncertified electronic copy of a transcript (for which the reporter has already been fully paid by the noticing party) -- I couldn't agree more.  Plaintiff's proposal, which is around $35 or so rather than $16,000 -- seems about right to me.  That's reasonable.

The Court of Appeal nonetheless also seems right in affirming the dismissal of plaintiff's putative class action lawsuit.  Trial courts are expressly allowed by statute to limit how much court reporters can charge a nonnoticing party for a transcript.  That's effectively the exclusive means of limiting the court reporter's charges to "reasonable" amounts.  So when the plaintiff didn't file a statutory motion before the rendering trial court, that's the end of the matter.  Case dismissed.

I can imagine some cases in which recourse to the statutory procedure might be difficult.  Previously terminated actions, for example, come to mind.  But there's no reason to believe there was a problem here.  So the statutory motion is exclusive.

Makes sense.  And, I might add, worth filing.

Because two dollars a page to copy a transcript that's alerady been created (and paid for) is absurd.