The clerk's transcript

A clerk's transcript is a record of the documents in the superior court file — the papers that were filed, the orders that were made — that is prepared by the superior court clerk.

There are some documents, such as the judgment or order being appealed, that MUST be included in the clerk's transcript. (See rule 8.832(a) of the California Rules of Court for the documents that must be included in the record on appeal in limited civil cases (civil cases involving an amount that is $25,000 or less) and rule 8.122(b) for the documents that must be included in appeals in unlimited civil cases (such as civil cases involving an amount over $25,000 or family law cases).)  Other documents that are in the superior court file will only be included in the clerk's transcript if the parties designate them. For limited civil cases (civil cases involving an amount that is $25,000 or less), the appellant can use the Notice Designating Record on Appeal (Limited Civil Case) (Form APP-103) to designate the documents he or she wants to be included in the clerk's transcript. For unlimited civil cases (such as civil cases involving an amount over $25,000 or family law cases), the appellant can use the Appellant's Notice Designating Record on Appeal (Unlimited Civil Case) (Form APP-003).

Exhibits, such as photographs or documents that were admitted into evidence, refused, or lodged (temporarily placed with the court) during the trial, are considered part of the record on appeal. But the clerk's transcript will not include any exhibits unless you ask that they be included (designate them) in your notice designating the record on appeal. The appellant's notice designating the record on appeal includes a space for you to ask the clerk to include the exhibits in the clerk's transcript.

If the appellant has chosen to use a clerk's transcript as the record of the documents filed in the trial court, within 10 days after the appellant has filed his or her notice designating the record, the respondent may serve and file a notice in the superior court designating any additional documents the respondent wants included in the clerk's transcript. In limited civil cases (civil cases involving an amount that is $25,000 or less), the respondent can use the Respondent's Notice Designating Record on Appeal (Limited Civil Case) (Form APP-110). In unlimited civil cases (such as civil cases involving an amount over $25,000 or family law cases), the respondent can use the Respondent's Notice Designating Record on Appeal (Unlimited Civil Case) (Form APP-010). In most unlimited civil cases, the respondent can also elect to use an appendix under rule 8.124 of the California Rules of Court instead of a clerk's transcript. Respondent's Notice Electing to Use an Appendix (Unlimited Civil Case) (Form APP-011) can be used to make this choice.

The superior court clerk will prepare the clerk's transcript based on what the appellant and respondent list in their notices designating the record on appeal.

In most civil appeals, there is a fee for the clerk's transcript. The appellant must pay for the costs of putting together the clerk's transcript and sending the original to the appellate court as well as for his or her copy of this transcript. The respondent does not automatically get a copy of a clerk's transcript. The superior court clerk will give the respondent an estimate of the cost to prepare the clerk's transcript. If the respondent wants a copy of the transcript, he or she must deposit this amount with the court. If you do not have enough money to pay for the clerk's transcript, you can apply for a fee waiver to try to get these fees waived. Click to find out more about fee waivers.

Read rule 8.832 of the California Rules of Court and Information on Appeal Procedures for Limited Civil Cases (Form APP-101-INFO) for details on using the clerk's transcript in the superior court's appellate division (for limited civil cases).

Read rule 8.122 of the California Rules of Court for details on using the clerk's transcript in the Court of Appeal (for unlimited civil cases).

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