Transcript Request Guide

A guide on how to request transcripts for an appeal.

This guide does not substitute for a careful reading of the Massachusetts Rules of Appellate Procedure, specifically Rule 8.

Requesting a Transcript in a Criminal Case

In a criminal case, the clerk of the lower court shall, within 10 days of receiving the notice of appeal, order a transcript of the full proceedings from a court reporter unless the parties have filed a stipulation that requests only certain parts of the record to be transcribed.

After the transcript is completed, the court reporter or the transcriber will file the original transcript with the clerk of the trial court. The clerk of the trial court will then "assemble the record," and transmit two attested copies of the trial court docket, a list of exhibits, and the trial transcript to the appellate court. See Mass.R.A.P. 8 and 9(d).

Requesting a Transcript in a Civil Case

In a civil case, it is the appellant’s (the appealing party’s) responsibility to order from the court reporter, within 10 days of filing the notice of appeal, a transcript of whatever parts of the record are necessary for the appeal. The appellant must make arrangements with the court reporter for payment of the cost of the transcript. Read Mass.R.A.P. 8 for a discussion of how the appellant and appellee shall communicate to decide which parts of the record should be transcribed.

When you receive the transcript, make a copy for each opposing counsel or party. You must also file a copy of the transcript with the trial court clerk's office. See Mass.R.A.P. 9(c)(2). Typically, the filing of the transcript is the final step in the assembly process. It is advisable to make a written request to the trial court clerk's office to assemble the record when all of the transcripts have been filed there.   

Once you file a copy of the transcript with the trial court clerk's office, that office will "assemble the record," send the Notice of Assembly to the Appeals Court, and send notice to all parties involved that this has been done. It is important that the trial court clerk's office has your current address and phone number. See generally Mass.R.A.P. 8(b) & 9.

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