Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Manitoba Queen's Bench transcripts .....

Good Day Readers:

Now that the Douglas Inquiry has been adjourned until December we can finally begin focusing on getting our life back. While covering a trial or inquiry everything goes to hell - laundry, dishes, cleaning the place (What's dusting?") ..... and, of course, answering correspondence.

Sometime ago we were asked by a Reader about transcription services at Queen's Bench so we spent a lunch break during the Inquiry to educate ourself at Transcription Services located on the second floor of The Law Courts. Here's what we learned:

(1) Pre-Trial Hearings are for criminal proceedings whereas Case Management Conferences are for civil proceedings. Transcripts for the former will always be made

(2) Case Management Conferences may or may not be recorded if Counsel for both sides waive them as being unnecessary. However, if one or both Parties is a self-rep transcripts will be prepared. The final decision rests with the Case Management Conference Justice

(3) A transcript is not a transcript only an audio recording until such time as a written copy is ordered. As previously noted, before it can be produced and released it must be approved by the Justice involved. The Court Clerk is responsible for making the audio and a log which marks the recording by date, time and individual speaking. This allows easy reference to specific portions of a tape

(4) Visit the link:


Near the top of the page that appears you will see, "For transcript fees, click here"

There you will find a complete listing of costs including those for expedited service

(5) An uninvolved third-party to an action can request to listen to a transcript or portion thereof of a Pre-Trial Hearing or Case Management Conference. Again, it's the Justice who will make the final decision as to whether the contents of a transcript are to be released

(6) It is our understanding Family Division Case Management Conferences are generally closed to the public unless as part of them a motion is being argued. As motions hearings are open to the public, an uninvolved individual can attend that portion of the CMC only

(7) Transcripts can be ordered by telephone 204-945-3026 but must be pre-paid

(8) As a matter of routine the public used to be able to listen to a tape recording of a Pre-Trial Hearing or Case Management Conference (no charge), however, in more recent times this service is no longer offered. Now only lawyers and the media are afforded that privilege which brings up an interesting question.

Is a Media Citizen Journalist/Blog Master considered part of the media? Should such an eventuality arise whereby CyberSmokeBlog was not afforded the same rights as the traditional media it would not hesitate to file a discrimination complaint with Ombudsman Manitoba under The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).

Don't know that they'd have a strong case especially given Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin's comments about Media Citizen Journalists in her late January 2012 address as part of Carleton University's Faculty of Law Chet Mitchell Lecture Series

(9) If one or both of the Parties are not in Manitoba and a Pre-Trial Hearing or Case Management Conference is held by teleconference, the rules as outlined above remain the same

We hope this helps the Reader who asked not be be identified.

Clare L. Pieuk


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