HCS#2/SCS/SB 163 - Current law provides that the basic civil legal services fund shall expire on December 31, 2007. This act provides that the fund shall expire on December 31, 2012. This act provides that state legal services programs shall represent individuals to secure lawful state benefits, but shall not use any state funds to sue the state, its agencies, or its officials. The act also provides that contracts for services with state legal services programs shall provide eligible low-income citizens with equal access to the civil justice system, with a high priority on children and families, domestic violence, the elderly, and qualifications for benefits under the Social Security Act. It also provides that state legal services programs must abide by all restrictions and requirements of the federal Legal Services Corporation with regards to cases.
The act also provides that any deposition prepared by a person who is not a certified court reporter may be used as testimony in any court in this state as long as all of the following circumstances are met:
(1) All parties must consent to using an uncertified court reporter, to be filed with the court no later than 7 days before the date of deposition;
(2) All parties must certify that the deposition is a true and correct copy of the testimony given;
(3) The uncertified court reporter must state on the record that he or she is an uncertified court reporter appearing by the consent of the parties;
(4) The uncertified court reporter must keep a voice recording of the deposition for two years, to be provided to any party upon request;
(5) The uncertified court reporter must have applied for the certified court reporter examination and paid all required application fees;
(6) The notice of deposition must contain a statement that an uncertified court reporter will be used.
The provisions of this section shall expire on December 12, 2012.
The act also increases fees paid to court reporters for transcription services. The fee for an original transcript is increased from $1.50 to $2.00 per 25-line page. The fee for transcription of the notes of evidence is increased from $1.50 to $2.00 per legal page.
This act is similar to SB 1075 (2007) and identical to HB 826 (2007).