GCO 1991-3

August 28, 1991


     The following rule is adopted to amend and replace General Court Order 1985-7.

     The Court wishes to extend all reasonable assistance to counsel and parties in preparing accurate transcripts and translations of court proceedings and depositions in timely fashion.  Accordingly, the Court has acquired electronic court reporting equipment.  Each secretary working for a justice of the Court and various other members of the Court's staff have been trained to operate the equipment and to prepare accurate transcripts of the tape records obtained.

     On the other hand, it is not appropriate for staff and employees of the national judiciary to engage in free-lance arrangements with counsel or litigants to provide transcript recording and preparation, translation, or other services of a kind typically provided by judiciary staff.  To prevent possible conflicts and charges of favoritism, it is in the public interest that the Court regulate all provision of such services by the Court staff.  In doing so however, the Court should guard against the possibility that Court employees and staff who provide the kinds of services referred to in this Court order may become embroiled in disputes among counsel and litigants as to the provision and payment of those services.

     Therefore, pursuant to the rulemaking authority granted to the Chief Justice under article XI, of the Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia and by the Judiciary Act of 1979, 4 F.S.M.C. 11, 112 and 117, the following rules concerning preparation of transcripts are adopted:

     1.  To assist in the development of an efficient system of justice in the Federated States of Micronesia, the Court will attempt to work with counsel and parties to make available court recording equipment and staff, including reporters and translators, for the recording of depositions, the preparation of transcripts and translation of documents for litigation involving persons within the Federated States of Micronesia, including litigation occurring in a forum other than the Supreme Court.

     2.  For proceedings other than formal court proceedings before this Court, the Court staff person must take leave from this Court and must receive payment from the litigants for appearance and attendance at the deposition or other testimonial proceedings.  The amount payable to a translator or court reporter for each day's appearance at such a proceeding shall be $10.00, with an additional $4.25 per hour to the court reporter, and $10.00 per hour to the translator, for time in attendance.  Translators and court reporters shall also be reimbursed by the litigants for any expenses incurred in attending the proceedings.

     3.  It is the responsibility of counsel to assure that requests for transcripts are made in writing and are sufficiently specific to leave no doubt as to the testimony being requested and whether normal or accelerated preparation is devised.

     4.  Payments for preparation of transcripts and for translation purposes shall be made to the reporter or translator directly and not the Court.  The amounts payable for transcripts of depositions and court proceedings shall be 2.50 per transcript page (an original and two copies will be prepared; the original will be filed with the Court, under seal in the case of a deposition transcript, and the two copies will be provided to requesting counsel) with the following exceptions:

a.  In forma pauperis proceedings - Where the indigent party is represented by the Office of the Public Defender or by Micronesian Legal Services Corporation in in forma pauperis proceedings, the transcript fee shall be reduced to $1.25 per page, payable by the public agency rendering legal representation, and not by the defendant personally.
     b.  Accelerated preparation - Normal transcript preparation time shall be 75 days from the date of request.  If delivery is requested and made on an  accelerated basis (that is, more rapid production than 30 days) the transcript fees shall be increased by 50 percent.

     5.  Additional certified copies will be supplied, to a party for whom a transcript has been prepared, at a rate of fifty cents per page.

     6.  Court staff are also authorized to provide translations of documents for purposes other than proceedings before this Court.  For such written translations, the fee payable to the translator shall be at a rate of $25.00 per 8" by 11" double-spaced translated page.

     7.  Delivery of the completed transcript or translation shall be made against payment of the applicable fees.

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