Montana Code Annotated (Excerpts)


Montana Code Annotated (Excerpts)

 Official Court Reporter Rules and Transcript Rates



                  3-5-603.  Duties.  Each reporter must, under the direction of the judge, attend all sittings of the court and take full stenographic notes of the testimony and of all proceedings given or had thereat except when the judge dispenses with the reporter’s services in a particular cause or with respect to a portion of the proceedings therein.  The reporter must file with the Clerk forthwith the original stenographic notes taken upon a trial or hearing required to be taken by this subsection.  The county in which the proceedings are held shall provide a safe and secure place for the Clerk to store all official notes of the proceedings.  The official notes must be kept for a period of 10 years.

3-5-604. Court reporters — transcript of district court proceedings — costs. (1) When a transcript of the testimony and proceedings of a trial or hearing or a part of a trial or hearing is requested, a court reporter shall furnish the transcript to the requester with all reasonable diligence. The court reporter shall submit an invoice with the transcript when it is furnished. The court reporter may withhold delivery of the transcript until the transcription fee is paid or satisfactory arrangement for payment is made.
(2) Compensation for transcripts under this section is as follows:
(a) (i) Ordinary transcript – $2 per page for the original furnished to a state or local government agency, $2.50 per page for the original furnished to any other party, 50 cents per page for the first copy to each party, and 25 cents per page for each additional copy to the same party.
(ii) Expedited transcript – $4 per page for the original, 50 cents per page for the first copy to each party, and 25 cents per page for each additional copy to the same party.
(iii) Daily transcript – $5 per page for the original, 50 cents per page for the first copy to each party, and 25 cents per page for each additional copy to the same party.
(b) (i) The transcript cost is subject to a cost-of-living adjustment as provided in subsection (2)(b)(ii).
(ii) Prior to June 30 of each even-numbered year, the office of the court administrator shall determine whether an increase of the transcript amount specified in subsections (2)(a)(i) through (2)(a)(iii) must be made based on the increase, if any, from June of the preceding year to May of the year in which the calculation is made in the consumer price index, U.S. city average, all urban consumers, for all items, as published by the bureau of labor statistics of the United States department of labor.
(iii) The transcript amount established under subsection (2)(b)(ii) must be rounded to the nearest 5 cents and becomes effective as the new transcript cost, replacing the costs specified in subsections (2)(a)(i) through (2)(a)(iii), on July 1 of the year following the year the calculation was made. The office of the court administrator shall publish the adjusted costs on the judicial branch website prior to July 1 of each year.
(3) If the court reporter is not entitled to retain transcription fees under 3-5-601, the transcription fees required by subsection (2) must be paid to the clerk of district court, who shall forward the amount to the department of revenue for deposit in the state general fund.
(4) (a) If the county attorney, attorney general, or judge requires a transcript in a criminal case, the reporter shall furnish it. The transcription fee must be paid by the office of court administrator as provided in 3-5-901. The office of the court administrator may pay only for ordinary transcripts and may not pay for daily or expedited transcripts.
(b) If the judge requires a copy in a civil case to assist in rendering a decision, the reporter shall furnish the copy without charge.
(c) In civil cases, all transcripts required by the county must be furnished and must be paid for by the county pursuant to subsection (2).
(5) (a) If a public defender, as defined in 47-1-103, requests a transcript, the transcript must be furnished to the public defender and paid for by the office of state public defender, as provided in 47-1-201.
(b) If an indigent party is eligible for a public defender but is acting pro se and requests a transcript, the transcript must be furnished to the party and paid for by the office of court administrator, as provided in 3-5-901.
(6) As used in this section, the following definitions apply:
(a) “Copy” means any replication of the original transcript regardless of the medium.
(b) “Daily transcript” means a transcript of all or part of the proceedings to be delivered the following day.
(c) “Expedited transcript” means a transcript of all or part of the proceedings to be delivered within 7 calendar days.
(d) “Ordinary transcript” means a transcript of all or part of the proceedings.


3-5-612.  Reporter pro tempore. (1) The reporter of any District Court must attend to the duties of his office in person except when excused for good and sufficient reason by order of the court, which order must be entered upon the minutes of the court.  Employment in his professional capacity elsewhere is not a good and sufficient reason for such excuse.

(2) When the reporter of any court has been excused in the manner provided in this section, the court may appoint a reporter pro tempore, who must take the same oath and perform the same duties and receive the same compensation during the time of his employment as the regular reporter.


Reporter’s report prima facie evidence.  The report of the reporter or reporter pro tempore of a court, duly appointed and sworn, when written out in longhand or printed in type and certified as being a correct transcript of the testimony and proceedings in the case, is prima facie a correct statement of such testimony and proceedings.



Montana State District Court Rules of Appellate Procedure (Excerpts)


Rule 3. Interpretation of time requirements.  All time limits set forth in these rules for filing documents or performing any act are actual time limits. In order to comply with a time-specific requirement, the document must be filed or the act performed on or before the last day of the time specified. In computing any period of time prescribed by these rules, by an order of court, or by any applicable statute, the day of the act, event, or default from which the designated period of time begins to run shall not be included, but the last day of the period shall be included. No additional time may be added to any such time requirement for mailing or transmitting any document and all weekends and holidays are included in the times specified; provided, however, that if the last day of the time limit falls upon a weekend or holiday, then the time limit is extended to the next business day. All documents must be filed in the office of the clerk of the supreme court between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on business days.

Rule 8. The record. (1)  Composition of the record on appeal – generally. Except as otherwise provided in

these rules, the original papers and exhibits filed in the district court, the transcript of proceedings, if any, and a certified copy of the docket entries prepared by the clerk of the district court shall constitute the record on appeal in all cases. A copy of any challenged jury instruction, whether given or offered but not given, must be made a part of the record on appeal.

(2) Duty to present sufficient record. The appellant and any cross-appellant have the duty to present the supreme court with a record sufficient to enable it to rule upon the issues raised. Failure to present the court with a sufficient record on appeal may result in dismissal of the appeal or affirmance of the district court on the basis the appellant has presented an insufficient record. If the supreme court remands for completion or supplementation of the record, the party presenting the deficient record will be charged with all shipping and postage costs for returning the record to the clerk of the district court.

(3) Duty of the appellant to request the transcript of proceedings – notice to the appellee – costs of producing – generally.

(a) Absent a stipulation filed with the clerk of the supreme court and served upon the clerk of the district court pursuant to rule 7(3), the appellant shall order from the court reporter, in writing, a transcript of the proceedings deemed necessary for the record on appeal on the same date the notice of appeal is filed. A copy of the written request for transcripts, substantially complying with Form 9 in the Appendix of Forms, shall be contemporaneously filed with the clerk of the district court and served on the appellee. In the event of a filed rule 7(3) stipulation, the requirements of this section shall begin on the day the mediator’s report is filed or on day 76 after the filing of the notice of appeal, whichever first occurs.

(b) Within 11 days of the filing of the notice of appeal or notice of cross-appeal, whichever is filed later, the appellee shall either order additional transcripts deemed necessary in writing or, if the transcripts requested are not for purposes of the cross-appeal, the appellee may move the district court for an order requiring the appellant to order the additional transcripts at its expense. A copy of the written order or motion shall be contemporaneously filed with the clerk of the district court and served upon the appellant.

(c) Except as provided in section (5) of this rule, the cost of producing any requested transcript shall be paid by the party requesting the transcript, and payment shall be made at the time of ordering the transcript or satisfactory payment arrangements shall be made with the court reporter. An attorney who requests a transcript shall be personally liable for the payment of the costs of the transcript. Transcript costs shall be calculated as provided in section 3-5-604.

(4) Format, filing and service of transcripts, and number of copies.

(a) A transcript shall contain a title page, index pages listing witnesses and exhibits, as applicable, the body of the transcript, and a page certifying in writing – and executed by the court reporter – that the transcript is a true and correct verbatim record of the proceeding transcribed. The person responsible for preparing the transcript shall also include a certificate of service of the transcript on all applicable parties. Each page shall measure 8½ by 11 inches, with combined left and right standard text margins not exceeding 2.25 inches. A page number shall appear in the upper right corner of each page.

(b) Transcripts filed with the clerk of the supreme court shall include 1 paper copy of the transcript in reduced format containing 4 transcript pages on each 8½ by 11-inch page, and a digital copy prepared on a Read Only Digital Video Disk (DVD-R), in searchable Portable Document Format (PDF), certified in writing as true and correct by affixing the court reporter’s signature on the front of the DVD-R.

(5) Except as provided by statute, parties are not entitled to transcripts at state expense absent extraordinary circumstances and on order of the supreme court.

(6) Correction or modification of the record. If any difference arises as to whether the record accurately discloses what occurred in the district court, the difference shall be submitted to and settled by the district court within the time provided for transmission of the record or within such time as the district court may for good cause permit, and the record made to conform to the truth. If anything material to either party is omitted from

the record by error or accident or is misstated therein, the parties by stipulation, or the district court, on motion of a party or upon its own motion, either before or after transmission of the record to the supreme court, may order that the omission or misstatement be corrected and, if necessary, that a supplemental record be certified and

transmitted. All other questions as to the form and content of the record shall be presented to the supreme court.


Rule 10.  Filing and service of papers – generally.

 (2) Service of all papers required. Copies of all papers, including any transcript, filed by any party and not required by these rules to be served by the clerk of the supreme court shall, at or before the time of filing, be served by the party on all other parties to the appeal or review. Service on a party represented by counsel shall be made on counsel. In criminal cases appealed by the defendant and in appeals relating to involuntary commitment and proceedings regarding abused or neglected children, all briefs, motions, and other papers, not including transcripts, shall be served on both the county attorney and the attorney general. In such cases, transcripts shall be served on the attorney general only, and an electronic copy of filed transcripts will be made available to the county attorney at no cost by the court reporter upon request.



Montana Rules of Civil Procedure (Excerpts)

Re:  Deposition Practice


            Rule 28.  Persons Before Whom Depositions May Be Taken

(d) Disqualification for Interest. No deposition shall be taken before a person who is a relative or employee or attorney or counsel of any of the parties, or is a relative or employee of such attorney or counsel, or is financially interested in the action.  The officer taking the deposition, or any other person with whom such officer has a principal and agency relationship, shall not enter into an agreement for reporting service which does any of the following:

(1) requires the court reporter reporting the deposition to relinquish control of an original deposition transcript and copies of the transcript before it is certified and delivered to the custodial attorney;

(2) requires the court reporter to provide special financial terms or other services that are not offered at the same time and on the same terms to all other parties in the litigation, or in any way offers any incentives or rewards to the attorneys, parties to the litigation, or to anyone else who has an interest in the litigation;

(3) gives an exclusive monetary or other advantage to any party; or

(4) compromises the impartiality of the court reporter, or that may result in the appearance that the impartiality of the court reporter has been compromised.


Rule 29.  Stipulation Regarding Discovery Procedure

            Unless the court orders otherwise, the parties may stipulate that:

(a) a deposition may be taken before any person, at any time or place, on any notice, and in the manner specified — in which event it may be used in the same way as any other deposition; and

(b) other procedures governing or limiting discovery be modified.


Rule 30  Depositions Upon Oral Examination

(a) When a Deposition May Be Taken.

(1) Without LeaveA party may, by oral questions, depose any persons, including a party, without leave of court except as provided in Rule 30(a)(2). The deponent’s attendance may be compelled by subpoena under Rule 45.

(2) With LeaveA party must obtain leave of court, and the court must grant leave to the extent consistent with Rule 26(b)(2):

(A) if the parties have not stipulated to the deposition, and:

(i) the deposition would result in more than 10 depositions being taken under this rule or Rule 31 by the plaintiff, or by the defendants, or by the third-party defendants; or

(ii) the deponent has already been deposed in the case; or

(iii) plaintiff seeks to take a deposition within 30 days after service of the summons and complaint under Rule 4(d), except that leave is not required if a defendant has served a deposition notice or discovery request.

(B) if the deponent is confined in prison.


            (b) Notice of the Deposition; Other Formal Requirements.

(1) Notice in General. A party who wants to depose a person by oral questions must give reasonable written notice to every other party. The notice must state the time and place of the deposition and, if known, the deponent’s name and address. If the name is unknown, the notice must provide a general description sufficient to identify the person or the particular class or group to which the person belongs.

(2) Producing Documents. If a subpoena duces tecum is to be served on the deponent, the materials designated for production, as set out in the subpoena, must be listed in the notice or in an attachment. The notice to a party deponent may be accompanied by a request under Rule 34 to produce documents and tangible things at the deposition.

(3) Method of Recording.

(A) Method Stated in the Notice. The party who notices the deposition must state in the notice the method for recording the testimony. Unless the court orders otherwise, testimony may be recorded by audio, audiovisual, or stenographic means. The noticing party bears the recording costs. Any party may arrange to transcribe a deposition.

(B) Additional Method. With prior notice to the deponent and other parties, any party may designate another method for recording the testimony in addition to that specified in the original notice. That party bears the expense of the additional record or transcript unless the court orders otherwise.

(4) By Remote Means. The parties may stipulate — or the court may on motion order — that a deposition be taken by telephone or other remote means. For the purpose of this rule and Rules 28, 37(a)(2), and 37(b)(1), the deposition takes place where the deponent answers the questions.

(5) Officer’s Duties.

(A) Before the Deposition. Unless the parties stipulate otherwise, a deposition must be conducted before an officer appointed or designated under Rule 28. The officer must begin the deposition with an on-the-record statement that includes:

(i) the officer’s name and business address;

(ii) the date, time, and place of the deposition;

(iii) the deponent’s name;

(iv) the officer’s administration of the oath or affirmation to the deponent; and

(v) the identity of all persons present.

(B) Conducting the Deposition; Avoiding Distortion. If the deposition is recorded nonstenographically, the officer must repeat the items in Rule 30(b)(5)(A)(i)-(iii) at the beginning of each unit of the recording medium. The deponent’s and attorney’s appearance or demeanor must not be distorted through recording techniques.

(C) After the Deposition. At the end of a deposition, the officer must state on the record that the deposition is complete and must set out any stipulations made by the attorneys about custody of the transcript or recording and of the exhibits, or about any other pertinent matters.


           (c) Examination and Cross-Examination; Record of the Examination; Objections; Written


(1) Examination and Cross-ExaminationThe examination and cross-examination of a deponent proceed as they would at trial under the Montana Rules of Evidence, except Rule 103. After putting the deponent under oath or affirmation, the officer must record the testimony by the method designated under Rule 30(b)(3)(A). The testimony must be recorded by the officer personally or by a person acting in the presence and under the direction of the officer.

(2) Objections. An objection at the time of the examination — whether to evidence, to a party’s conduct, to the officer’s qualifications, to the manner of taking the deposition, or to any other aspect of the deposition — must be noted on the record, but the examination still proceeds; the testimony is taken subject to any objection. An objection must be stated concisely in a nonargumentative and nonsuggestive manner. A person may instruct a

deponent not to answer only when necessary to preserve a privilege, to enforce a limitation ordered by the court, or to present a motion under Rule 30(d)(3).

(3) Participating Through Written Questions. Instead of participating in the oral examination, a party may serve written questions in a sealed envelope on the party noticing the deposition, who must deliver them to the officer. The officer must ask the deponent those questions and record the answers verbatim.


            (d) Duration; Sanction; Motion to Terminate or Limit Examination.

(1) Duration. Unless otherwise stipulated or ordered by the court, a deposition is limited to 1 day of 7 hours.  The court must allow additional time consistent with Rule 26(b)(2) if needed to fairly examine the deponent or if the deponent, another person, or any other circumstance impedes or delays the examination.

(2) Sanction. The court may impose an appropriate sanction — including the reasonable expenses and attorney fees incurred by any party — on a person who impedes, delays, or frustrates the fair examination of the deponent.

(3) Motion to Terminate or Limit.

(A) Grounds. At any time during a deposition, the deponent or a party may move to terminate or limit it on the ground that it is being conducted in bad faith or in a manner that unreasonably annoys, embarrasses, or oppresses the deponent or party. The motion may be filed in the court where the action is pending or the deposition is being taken.  If the objecting deponent or party so demands, the deposition must be suspended for the time necessary to obtain an order.

(B) Order. The court may order that the deposition be terminated or may limit its scope and manner as provided in Rule 26(c).  If terminated, the deposition may be resumed only by order of the court where the action is pending.

(C) Award of Expenses. Rule 37(a)(5) applies to the award of expenses.


         (e) Review by the Witness; Changes.

(1) Review; Statement of Changes. On request by the deponent or a party before the deposition is completed, the deponent must be allowed 30 days after being notified by the officer that the transcript or recording is available in which:

(A) to review the transcript or recording; and

(B) if there are changes in form or substance, to sign a statement listing the changes and the reasons for making them.

(2) Changes Indicated in the Officer’s CertificateThe officer must note in the certificate prescribed by Rule 30(f)(1) whether a review was requested and, if so, must attach any changes the deponent makes during the 30-day period.


         (f) Certification and Delivery; Exhibits; Copies of the Transcript or Recording; Filing.

(1) Certification and DeliveryThe officer must certify in writing that the witness was duly sworn and that the deposition accurately records the witness’s testimony. The certificate must accompany the record of the deposition. Unless the court orders otherwise, the officer must seal the deposition in an envelope or package bearing the title of the action and marked “Deposition of [witness’s name]” and must promptly send it to

the attorney who arranged for the transcript or recording. The attorney must store it under    conditions that will protect it against loss, destruction, tampering, or deterioration.

(2) Documents and Tangible Things.

(A) Originals and Copies. Documents and tangible things produced for inspection during a deposition must, on a party’s request, be marked for identification and attached to the deposition. Any party may inspect and copy them. But if the person who produced them wants to keep the originals, the person may:

(i) offer copies to be marked, attached to the deposition, and then used as originals — after giving all parties a fair opportunity to verify the copies by comparing them with the originals; or

(ii) give all parties a fair opportunity to inspect and copy the originals after they are marked — in which event the originals may be used as if attached to the deposition.

(B) Order Regarding the Originals. Any party may move for an order that the originals be attached to the deposition pending final disposition of the case.

(3) Copies of the Transcript or Recording. Unless otherwise stipulated or ordered by the court, the officer must retain the stenographic notes of a deposition taken stenographically or a copy of the recording of a deposition taken by another method. When paid reasonable charges, the officer must furnish a copy of the transcript or recording to any party or the deponent.

(4) Notice of FilingA party who files the deposition must promptly notify all other parties of the filing.

(Subsection g has been omitted from this recitation of Rule 30.)