It doesn’t look like electronic recording devices will replace live court reporters in Iowa’s judicial system anytime soon. The idea is being discussed as a potential for saving money. The Chief Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court, Marsha Ternus, says the are no plans in this or the next budget year to try and make a switch.
Ternus says replacing court reporters with digital recording would be a "very complex" transition that could not be done overnight, and not something they would do without a study of judges and lawyers who would be directly impacted. Ternus says the switch is not something that would lead to immediate savings.
Ternus says even if they felt it was the right thing to do, it could no be implemented soon enough to impact the court system budget. Ternus says they will continue gathering information on the idea before making any decision on making a switch. She says they do plan to investigate the reliability and accuracy of the technology. Ternus says they also will study how they would meet the needs of the judges for clerical support and courtroom assistance if they did make a switch to digital recording for the official court record.
The executive director of the Iowa Court Reporters Association, says they are worried about losing the 185 fulltime court reporter jobs, and whether the electronic recorders would be able to "maintain the integrity of the record."