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Ohio Reporting Rules

The Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure govern the courts in Ohio. Rules 27 through 32 relate to depositions and transcripts. See http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/LegalResources/Rules/civil/CivilProcedure.pdf

The Appellate Court rules govern transcripts filed for appeals.

1st District:   http://www.hamilton-co.org/appealscourt/

2nd District:   http://www.mcohio.org/SecondDistrictAppeals

3rd District:   http://www.third.courts.state.oh.us/

4th District:   http://www.4thdistrictappeals.com

5th District:   http://www.fifthdist.org

6th District:   http://www.co.lucas.oh.us

7th District:   http://www.seventh.courts.state.oh.us/

8th District:   http://appeals.cuyahogacounty.us/

9th District:   http://www.ninth.courts.state.oh.us/

10th District:  http://www.franklincountyohio.gov/appeals/

11th District:  http://www.11thcourt.co.trumbull.oh.us/

12th District:  http://www.twelfth.courts.state.oh.us/

Contracting

Effective July 1, 2001, Civil Rule 28 of the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure was amended by the addition of division (D) prohibiting certain contractual arrangements for court reporting services.

All court reporters working in Ohio and all attorneys taking depositions in Ohio must adhere to this rule.

Click here for full language and staff note.

 

Reading and Signature Requirements in Ohio

Rule 30(E) of the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure contains the requirements regarding reading and signing of the deposition transcript by a witness.

Civ. R. 30(E) is amended to allow a witness thirty days to review and sign a deposition. The former rule allowed the witness only seven days to review and sign a deposition, and the Committee recognized that a careful review of a deposition in that period of time was sometimes practically or logistically difficult. When a deposition is taken close to trial, however, a quick turn-around may be necessary. Consequently, division (E) is amended to expand to thirty days the period in which a witness has to review and sign a deposition. Exceptions are provided for cases where the deposition is taken within thirty days of trial or hearing, in which case the seven-day rule still applies, or less than seven days of trial or hearing, in which case the trial judge may establish a different deadline. This amendment brings the Ohio rule closer to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which give a witness thirty days to review and sign a deposition.

(E) Submission to witness; changes; signing.

When the testimony is fully transcribed, the deposition shall be submitted to the witness for examination and shall be read to or by the witness, unless examination and reading are waived by the witness and by the parties. Any changes in form or substance that the witness desires to make shall be entered upon the deposition by the officer with a statement of the reasons given by the witness for making them. The deposition shall then be signed by the witness, unless the parties by stipulation waive the signing or the witness is ill, cannot be found, or refuses to sign. The witness shall have thirty days from submission of the deposition to the witness to review and sign the deposition. If the deposition is taken within thirty days of a trial or hearing, the witness shall have seven days from submission of the deposition to the witness to review and sign the deposition. If the trial or hearing is scheduled to commence less than seven days before the deposition is submitted to the witness, the court may establish a deadline for the witness to review and sign the deposition. If the deposition is not signed by the witness during the period prescribed in this division, the officer shall sign it and state on the record the fact of the waiver or of the illness or absence of the witness or the fact of the refusal to sign together with the reason, if any, given therefor; and the deposition may then be used as fully as though signed, unless on a motion to suppress the court holds that the reasons given for the refusal to sign require rejection of the deposition in whole or in part.

Certification and filing by officer; exhibits; copies; notice of filing

Rule 30(F) regards the certification of transcripts.

A 2006 amendment added division (F)(4). The amendment responds to a concern expressed by individuals charged with taking or keeping notes of depositions in light of changes in technology and the fact that most present-day court reporting machines no longer use paper but record and retain deposition testimony via electronic means. The amendment clarifies that "archival-quality copy" means any format of a permanent or enduring nature that will allow an officer to transcribe the deposition. In light of this definition, division (F)(1)(a) was revised to delete language that required the retention of paper notes of deposition testimony for a minimum of five years following the deposition.

(F) Certification and filing by officer; exhibits; copies; notice of filing.

(1)(a) Upon request of any party or order of the court, the officer shall transcribe the deposition. Provided the officer has retained an archival-quality copy of the officer's notes, the officer shall have no duty to retain paper notes of the deposition testimony. The officer shall certify on the transcribed deposition that the witness was fully sworn or affirmed by the officer and that the transcribed deposition is a true record of the testimony given by the witness. If any of the parties request or the court orders, the officer shall seal the transcribed deposition in an envelope endorsed with the title of the action and marked "Deposition of (here insert name of witness)" and, upon payment of the officer's fees, promptly shall file it with the court in which the action is pending or send it by certified or express mail to the clerk of the court for filing.
(b) Unless objection is made to their production for inspection during the examination of the witness, documents and things shall be marked for identification and annexed to and returned with the deposition. The materials may be inspected and copied by any party, except that the person producing the materials may substitute copies to be marked for identification, if the person affords to all parties fair opportunity to verify the copies by comparison with the originals. If the person producing the materials requests their return, the officer shall mark them, give each party an opportunity to inspect and copy them, and return them to the person producing them, and the materials may then be used in the same manner as if annexed to and returned with the deposition.
(2) Upon payment, the officer shall furnish a copy of the deposition to any party or to the deponent.
(3) The party requesting the filing of the deposition shall forthwith give notice of its filing to all other parties.
(4) As used in division (F) of this rule, "archival-quality copy" means any format of a permanent or enduring nature, including digital, magnetic, optical, or other medium, that allows an officer to transcribe the deposition.

Notary Public Requirements

To be a freelance reporter in the state of Ohio, you must be a Notary Public of Ohio in order to administer the oath to witnesses. To be a notary, you must reside in the state of Ohio. The notary commission test is given in the county in which you are a resident.

For more information on being a notary in Ohio, contact the Ohio Notary Commission.

Archival of Notes

Ohio requires each court to maintain its own rules regarding the storage of stenographic notes and/or electronic records.  As indicated in the Ohio Revised Code 2301.20, "All civil and criminal actions in the court of common pleas shall be recorded. The reporter shall take accurate notes of or electronically record the oral testimony. The notes and electronic records shall be filed in the office of the official reporter and carefully preserved for either of the following periods of time:  (A) If the action is not a capital case, the notes and electronic records shall be preserved for the period of time specified by the court of common pleas, which period of time shall not be longer than the period of time that the other records of the particular action are required to be kept, or (B) If the action is a capital case, the notes and electronic records shall be preserved for the longer of ten years or until the final disposition of the action and exhaustion of all appeals."

Deposition notes are addressed in the section above related to:  "Certification and filing by officer; exhibits; copies; notice of filing."  Please refer to the above section on retention of stenographic notes by means of an "archival-quality copy."