San Diego Pro Tem Court Reporters – Official Guide



The San Diego Superior Court does not provide court reporters for certain proceedings (see Policy Regarding Normal  Availability  and Unavailability  of  Official  Court  Reporters  [SDSC  Form  ADM-317]).    The following information is being provided to official reporters pro tempore concerning their appearance at court.

Forms, policies, and sample transcripts will be available on the court’s website at

1.   Court Reporter Appointment Process

Pursuant to policy of the San Diego Superior Court (see Official Reporter Pro Tempore Policy [SDSC Forms

#ADM-315]), when an official court reporter is not available, parties may, by stipulation*, arrange for the appointment of a privately retained certified shorthand reporter to serve as an official court reporter pro tempore for a proceeding.  Before the reporter can serve in this capacity, the judicial officer presiding in the department where the proceeding will occur must approve the reporter’s appointment by way of an order.  It is the parties’ responsibility to pay the reporter’s fees for attendance at a proceeding.

*Note:   A stipulation is not needed if the reporter is on the Court-Approved List of Official Reporters Pro Tempore

(SDSC Form #ADM-321).

2.   Locations

The San Diego Superior Court has four divisions; Central (downtown), East County (El Cajon), North County (Vista), and South County (Chula Vista).   A listing of all courthouses, judicial officers, and departments, along with addresses and phone numbers, may be found on the court’s website at

Familiarize yourself with public parking facilities around the courthouses.  There is no discounted parking rate for court reporters. Parking can be difficult to find, so plan accordingly.

3.   Reporting Equipment and Supplies

You are responsible for bringing with you all the equipment and supplies you will need to perform your work. The court does not provide stenographic paper or other court reporter supplies and will not have any copying equipment available to pro tempore reporters.  You may or may not have access to power in the courtroom, so be prepared to operate solely on battery power.

You may leave your equipment in the courtroom during breaks and lunch recess, but note that if you do so, the court will not be responsible for your equipment.  You may not leave your equipment in the courtroom overnight.

4.   When You Arrive at the Courthouse

Arrive at the courthouse in advance of your scheduled proceeding, and allow for time to pass through security at the entrance of the courthouse.   You will need to pass your equipment through the security machines.

5.   When You Arrive at the Courtroom

Arrive to the courtroom at least 20 minutes before the proceeding is scheduled to begin.  The set-up for your equipment will be different in every courtroom, so allow ample time for this.  The court does not provide technical support.  You may or may not have access to power in the courtroom, so be prepared to operate solely on battery power.  It is essential that you be on time and be ready to report the proceeding, because the court will not continue a matter or wait for you to be ready.  In the event of an emergency, you must inform the party or attorney who hired you that you will be late or unable to attend the proceeding.

When you arrive at the courtroom, if the doors are locked, wait outside until the doors are unlocked. Upon entering the courtroom, introduce yourself to the courtroom clerk and bailiff.

Sit in the audience section until the clerk or bailiff direct you where to go.

If you are reporting a law and motion matter, look at the calendar posted outside the courtroom door to see when your case will be heard.  The judicial officer, however, may change at any time the order in which the cases will be heard, so you need to stay in the courtroom.  There may be several reporters there to report other matters.  Ask the clerk or bailiff where you should wait until your matter comes up. If for any reason you leave the courtroom, inform the attorney(s) or party(s) who hired you of your whereabouts.

Give your business card to the lawyers appearing on your matter and to the courtroom clerk.

Read, complete, and sign your portion of the Appointment of Official Reporter Pro Tempore form (SDSC Form #ADM-316).  This form must be turned in to the clerk before the proceeding begins.  The parties must stipulate* and the judicial officer must appoint you as an official court reporter pro tempore before you may report the proceeding.

*Note:  A stipulation is not needed if the reporter is on the Court-Approved List of Official Reporters Pro Tempore

(SDSC Form #ADM-321).

Do not cross the “well” (the space in front of the bench) without permission of the judicial officer or bailiff.

Do not enter the secured back hallways of the court, unless specifically authorized by the clerk, the bailiff, or the judicial officer, to report a matter in chambers.

Ask the judicial officer or clerk if there are any special procedures or practices about which you should be aware.

Restroom facilities are available in the public areas of the courthouse.

6.   Real-Time Transcription

The parties may require and/or the judicial officer may request the parties to provide real-time reporting. The court provides judicial officers with a stand-alone laptop with West Case Notebook (Formerly LiveNote) and Bridge 2.0 software loaded.  Reporters may connect using one of the three following connectivity options:

9-Pin Serial Cable with USB adapter; 9-Pin Serial Cable with the following configuration: Bits per second: 2400;

Data bits: 8; Parity: None; Stop bits: 1; Flow control: None

Bluetooth Receiver and Bluetooth USB device and Device driver software.  Wireless connections are not available.

Be aware that it is the responsibility of the Reporter to configure the cable or Bluetooth receiver with the correct COM Port to connect to the court laptop.  The court does not provide technical support and the court is not responsible for viruses, malware, or adware that could be potentially transmitted between devices. You may or may not have access to power in the courtroom, so be prepared to operate solely on battery power.

7.   Depositing Notes or Electronic Copy of Notes with the Court

Gov. Code § 69955 provides that reporting notes are “official records of the court,” and must be kept by the reporter in a place designated by the court or, if ordered by the court, delivered to the clerk.  The San Diego Superior Court requires you upload your electronic notes to ACORN in a timely basis in accordance with the Court’s Official Reporter Pro Tem Policy (SDSC Form #ADM-315).

If you do not have an account established with ACORN, you must contact the Office of Court Reporting Services at or (619) 450-5616, as soon as possible to get a user name and password.  You will need to provide them with your name, CSR #, email address, and CAT software.

See Official Reporter Pro Tempore Electronic Notes Upload/Archiving Policy (SDSC Form #ADM-319) for additional information on uploading notes in accordance with the court’s policies.

Pursuant to Gov. Code § 69955(d), court reporters are required to maintain an additional back-up copy of all notes.

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