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Transcript Reimbursement Fund Guidelines


The Transcript Reimbursement Fund (TRF) was established by the legislature in 1981 and is funded through the Certified Shorthand Reporters annual license renewal fees. The purpose of the TRF is to provide transcript reimbursement costs to indigent litigants. There are certain criteria to determine eligibility. These Guidelines should clarify those criteria.

If you would like to review the code sections related to each criteria, you may access the language through the links provided. If you would like to review the relevant TRF codes in their entirety, you may access them through a link provided for you at the end of this document. In addition, sample invoices/and letters may be obtained by requesting them through Paula.Bruning@dca.ca.gov.

Essentially, the criteria to qualify for reimbursement are:

  • This office (Court Reporters Board) files everything pertaining to TRF by case name. Please identify correct and complete case names on all correspondence pertaining to TRF.
  • The litigant must be indigent; that is a) A person whose income is 125% or less of the poverty threshold established by the Office of Management and Budget of the United States, b) A person who is eligible for supplemental security income, c) A person who is eligible for, or receiving, free services under the Older Americans Act or the Developmentally Disabled Assistance Act, d) A person whose income is 75 percent or less of the maximum level of income for lower income households as defined in Section 50079.5 of the Health and Safety Code, for purposes of a program that provides legal assistance by an attorney in private practice on a pro bono basis. Business & Professions Code (B&P), section 8030.4.(f).
  • The litigant must be represented by legal counsel. Persons representing themselves do not qualify. B&P section 8030.4.(e), and B&P section 8030.4.(n).
  • The case cannot be fee generating. B&P section 8030.4.(g).
  • The applicant must be a qualified legal services project, qualified support center, other qualified project, or pro bono attorney. B&P 8030.4(e). If the applicant is a pro bono attorney, the case must have been referred to that attorney by a qualified legal services project, qualified support center, or other qualified project, or the attorney must have been appointed by the court. B&P sections 8030.4.(d), and B&P section 8030.8.(c).
  • The applicant must certify to refund the full amount of all reimbursements from the TRF from any award of court costs or attorneys' fees. B&P section 8030.2.(e).
  • The applicant or the certified shorthand reporter, whichever one is reimbursed by the TRF, must notify the court of such payment and that if any costs are awarded, the TRF must be repaid. B&P section 8030.6.(d).
  • The TRF pays for transcripts - original and one copy only, or where appropriate, a copy, - of court or deposition proceedings. Expedited fees are also covered. Business & Professions Code (B&P), section 8030.6 .
  • Reporters' invoices must contain a breakdown of costs.
  • Review the entire code relative to TRF: B&P Code sections 8030.2. through 8030.8.