If you were in a court proceeding, like a hearing or deposition, you might need the court transcripts (the record of what was said).
First things first: Transcription companies (like this one), don’t actually have access to your court transcripts.
To obtain your transcript, you need to contact the clerk of the court where your proceeding took place.
If a court reporter was used during the proceeding, the clerk’s office will share the court transcripts that were typed up. But if no court reporter was present, you will likely receive an audio file, which was recorded on a microphone during the case or deposition. This is where companies like E-Typist come in: We take your audio file and create a certified transcript for you.
Before you dive in any further, take a look at these steps for getting your court transcripts.
The Easy Guide to Obtaining Your Court Transcripts:
1. Ask Your Attorney (if one represented you)
If you were represented by an attorney and need your court transcripts, start by asking the law firm for a copy. Attorneys often use court transcripts to help win cases and may have already obtained one from a court reporter (or had the recording transcribed).
2. Contact the Clerk’s Office for a Copy
If you represented yourself (pro se) or your attorney doesn’t have a copy of the transcript, contact the clerk’s office at the court in which your case was held.
The clerk’s office will ask you to fill out a form (these days, often online). While the information varies from state to state, it usually includes basic info regarding your case such as your contact, case numbers, parties involved, location, date of the proceeding, and presiding judge.
If a court reporter was present during your case, expect to receive a transcribed document. Otherwise, you’ll receive recorded audio of the proceeding (and you’ll have to get that transcribed).
3. Order Transcription of Your Audio from a Transcription Company
This is where E-Typist comes in. When you have your audio file ready, fill out this form to order. We’ll transcribe your audio file and send you a certified transcript of the recording, word for word (also known as verbatim).
Common Questions and Tips
- Will I have access to my court transcripts? Generally speaking, yes. Most courts will allow both parties access to transcript copies.
- Can I get my court transcripts for free? Some courts do charge a small fee for transcript copies. If you receive an audio file from the court that you need to get transcribed, there are also costs involved for that service.
- How accurate do my transcripts need to be? Accuracy of the transcription is vital and needs to be word for word. This is also called verbatim transcription (more on the difference between general and verbatim transcripts here).
- What is a certified transcript? When your transcript is certified, that means the copy of your transcript has been endorsed for authenticity by a professional. The court will require that your transcript be certified. E-Typist can certify at no extra cost.
- Attorneys do more than win cases, they also help you navigate a confusing court system. Keep in mind that legal assistance is likely available near you and often subsidized for those who qualify.