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SENATE BILL NO. 237
INTRODUCED BY M. WATERMAN
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT CLARIFYING THAT COURT REPORTERS ARE STATE EMPLOYEES; CHANGING THE FUNDING SOURCE FOR COURT REPORTERS' SALARIES; AMENDING SECTIONS 2-18-601, 2-18-701, 3-5-601, 3-5-602, 3-5-604, 3-5-901, 7-6-2511, AND 25-1-202, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE."
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Section 2-18-601, MCA, is amended to read:
"2-18-601. Definitions. For the purpose of this part, except 2-18-620, the following definitions apply:
(1) "Agency" means any legally constituted department, board, or commission of state, county, or city government or any political subdivision thereof.
(2) "Break in service" means a period of time in excess of 5 working days when the person is not employed and that severs continuous employment.
(3) "Continuous employment" means working within the same jurisdiction without a break in service of more than 5 working days or without a continuous absence without pay of more than 15 working days.
(4) (a) "Employee" means any person employed by an agency
except and includes court reporters appointed under
(b) The term does not include elected state, county, and city officials, schoolteachers, and persons contracted as independent contractors or hired under personal services contracts.
(5) "Full-time employee" means an employee who normally works 40 hours a week.
(6) "Holiday" means a scheduled day off with pay to observe a legal holiday, as specified in 1-1-216 or 20-1-305, except Sundays.
(7) "Part-time employee" means an employee who normally works less than 40 hours a week.
(8) "Permanent employee" means a permanent employee as defined in 2-18-101.
(9) "Seasonal employee" means a seasonal employee as defined in 2-18-101.
(10) "Short-term worker" means a short-term worker as defined in 2-18-101.
(11) "Sick leave" means a leave of absence with pay for a sickness suffered by an employee or a member of the employee's immediate family or for a permanent state employee who is eligible for parental leave under the provisions of 2-18-606.
(12) "Temporary employee" means a temporary employee as defined in 2-18-101.
(13) "Transfer" means a change of employment from one agency to another agency in the same jurisdiction without a break in service.
(14) "Vacation leave" means a leave of absence with pay for the purpose of rest, relaxation, or personal business at the request of the employee and with the concurrence of the employer."
Section 2. Section 2-18-701, MCA, is amended to read:
"2-18-701. Definitions. In this part, as it applies to a person employed in the executive, judicial, or legislative branches of state government, "employee" means:
(1) a permanent full-time employee, as provided in 2-18-601;
(2) a permanent part-time employee, as provided in 2-18-601, who is regularly scheduled to work 20 hours or more a week;
(3) a seasonal full-time employee, as provided in 2-18-601, who is regularly scheduled to work 6 months or more a year or who works for a continuous period of more than 6 months a year although not regularly scheduled to do so;
(4) a seasonal part-time employee, as provided in 2-18-601, who is regularly scheduled to work 20 hours or more a week for 6 months or more a year or who works 20 hours or more a week for a continuous period of more than 6 months a year although not regularly scheduled to do so;
(5) elected officials;
(6) officers and permanent employees of the legislative branch;
(7) judges and permanent employees, including court reporters, of the judicial branch;
(8) academic, professional, and administrative personnel having individual contracts under the authority of the board of regents of higher education or the state board of public education;
(9) a temporary full-time employee, as provided in 2-18-601:
(a) who is regularly scheduled to work more than 6 months a year;
(b) who works for a continuous period of more than 6 months a year although not regularly scheduled to do so; or
(c) whose temporary status is defined through collective bargaining; and
(10) a temporary part-time employee, as provided in 2-18-601:
(a) who is regularly scheduled to work 20 hours or more a week for 6 months or more a year;
(b) who works 20 hours or more a week for a continuous period of more than 6 months a year although not regularly scheduled to do so; or
(c) whose temporary status is defined through collective bargaining."
Section 3. Section 3-5-601, MCA, is amended to read:
"3-5-601. Appointment -- oath. The judge of a district court may appoint a reporter for
such the court. who The court
reporter is an officer of the court and an employee of the judicial branch of state government. and The court reporter holds
his office during at the pleasure of the appointing judge appointing him. He The court reporter must subscribe shall take the
constitutional oath of office and file the same it with the clerk of the court. In districts where there are two or more judges,
each judge may appoint a court reporter."
Section 4. Section 3-5-602, MCA, is amended to read:
"3-5-602. Salary and expenses
-- apportionment. (1) Each court reporter is entitled to receive a base annual salary of
not less than $28,000 or more than $35,000 and no other compensation except as fees provided in 3-5-604, unless the judge
decides to solicit bids for the work performed by the court reporter, in which case the salary must be for the amount
specified in the bid accepted by the judge. The salary must be set by the judge for whom the court reporter works. The
salary is payable in monthly installments out of the state general funds of the counties composing the district for which the
reporter is appointed and out of an appropriation made to the supreme court administrator as provided in subsection (2)
fund and the state special revenue fund account provided for in 25-1-202. (2) The supreme court administrator shall determine the total number of civil and criminal actions commenced in the
preceding year in the district court or courts in the judicial district for which a reporter is appointed. The state shall pay its
portion of the reporter's salary based on the proportion of the total number of criminal actions commenced in the district
court or courts in the district and the amount appropriated for that purpose. Each county shall pay its portion of the
remainder of the salary based on its proportion of the total number of civil and criminal actions commenced in the district
courts in the district. The judge or judges of the district shall, on January 1 of each year or as soon thereafter as possible,
apportion the amount of the salary to be paid by each county in the district on the basis prescribed in this subsection. The
portion of the salary payable by a county is a district court expense within the meaning of 7-6-2351, 7-6-2352, and
7-6-2511. (3)(2) In judicial districts comprising more than one county, the The court reporter is allowed , in addition to the salary
and fees provided for in subsection (1), actual and necessary travel expenses , as defined and provided in 2-18-501 through
2-18-503 , when on official business to a county of the reporter's judicial district other than the county in which the reporter
resides. The expenses must be apportioned and are payable in the same way as the salary."
Section 5. Section 3-5-604, MCA, is amended to read:
"3-5-604. Transcript of proceedings. (1) Each court reporter
must shall furnish, upon request, with all reasonable
diligence, to a party or his the party's attorney in a case in which he the court reporter has attended the trial or hearing a
transcript from his the court reporter's stenographic notes of the testimony and proceedings of the trial or hearing or a part
thereof of the trial or hearing, upon payment by the person requiring the same transcript of $2 per a page for the original
transcript, 50 cents per a page for the first copy, and 25 cents per a page for each additional copy.
(2) If the county attorney, attorney general, or judge requires a transcript in a criminal case, the court reporter is entitled
his the court reporter's fees therefor for the transcript , but he must and is required to furnish it. Upon furnishing it the
transcript, he shall receive the court reporter must be given a certificate for the sum to which he the court reporter is
entitled. The court reporter shall submit the certificate to the supreme court administrator who, in accordance with 3-5-902,
is responsible for the prompt payment of all or a portion of the amount due the court reporter. If the state, in accordance
with 3-5-902, pays none or only a portion of the amount due, the county shall pay the balance upon receipt of a statement
from the reporter.
(3) If the judge requires a copy in a civil case to assist
him the judge in rendering a decision, the court reporter must
furnish the same it without charge therefor. In civil cases, all transcripts required by the county shall must be furnished, and
only the court reporter's actual costs of preparation may be paid by the county.
(4) If it appears to the judge that a defendant in a criminal case is unable to pay for a transcript, it
shall must be
furnished to him the defendant and paid for by the state in the manner provided in subsection (2) to the extent funds are
available. The county shall pay the remainder as required in 3-5-901."
Section 6. Section 3-5-901, MCA, is amended to read:
"3-5-901. State assumption of certain district court expenses -- designation as district court criminal reimbursement program. (1) To the extent that revenue is available under 61-3-509, the state shall fund:
(a) the following district court expenses in criminal cases only:
(i) salaries of court reporters; (ii)(i) fees for transcripts of proceedings; (iii)(ii) witness fees and necessary expenses; (iv)(iii) juror fees; (v)(iv) expenses for indigent defense; and (vi)(v) expenses for psychiatric examinations;
(b) the district court expenses, as listed in subsection (1)(a), in all postconviction proceedings held pursuant to Title 46, chapter 21, and in all habeas corpus proceedings held pursuant to Title 46, chapter 22, and appeals from those proceedings; and
(c) the following expenses incurred by the state in federal habeas corpus cases that challenge the validity of a conviction or of a sentence:
(i) transcript fees;
(ii) witness fees; and
(iii) expenses for psychiatric examinations.
(2) If revenue received under 61-3-509 exceeds the amount appropriated by the legislature to fund the expenses of the appellate defender program, the excess amount is statutorily appropriated, as provided in 17-7-502, to the supreme court to fund the expenses described in subsections (1)(a) through (1)(c) and the costs of administering this section.
(3) If money appropriated for the expenses listed in subsection (1):
(a) exceeds the amount necessary to fully fund those expenses, up to $500,000 of the excess amount must be used for youth court and probation foster care placements if the department of corrections certifies to the supreme court that appropriations for youth court and probation foster care placements will be inadequate to fund those costs and remaining excess amounts must be used for district court grants as provided in 7-6-2352; or
(b) is insufficient to fully fund those expenses, the county is responsible for payment of the balance."
Section 7. Section 7-6-2511, MCA, is amended to read:
"7-6-2511. County levy for district court expenses. The governing body of each county may each year levy and
collect a tax on the taxable property of the county for all district court costs, except those listed in 3-5-211, 3-5-213, and
3-5-215. The tax may not exceed 6 mills in the first- and second-class counties, 5 mills in third- and fourth-class counties,
and 4 mills in fifth-, sixth-, and seventh-class counties. These expenses include but are not limited to salary and benefits for
court reporters, youth probation officers, and other employees of the district court."
Section 8. Section 25-1-202, MCA, is amended to read:
"25-1-202. Fee for court reporter. In addition to other filing fees, a fee of $20 must be paid to the clerk of the district
court at the time of filing a civil action in the district court. The fee must be paid by the clerk into an account in the
of the county where the action is filed state special revenue fund, to be applied to the payment of the salary salaries and
expenses of the reporter court reporters throughout the state. The prevailing party may have the amount paid by the
prevailing party taxed in the bill of costs as proper disbursements."
NEW SECTION. Section 9. Effective date. [This act] is effective July 1, 1999.
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Latest Version of SB 237 (SB0237.01)
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