I litigated a case successfully last year and some time afterwards I re-read the record, the trial transcript, and noticed that there were a lot of errors of various kinds in it.

Is there a process for having the record corrected?

1 Answer 1


The precise procedure will depend on the court, though it will almost certainly be up to the trial judge to decide. However, the principles should be the same wherever you are, and depend on what sort of "error" you are talking about.

An obvious typo ("They where going") or mishearing that is clear to the participants though not the transcriber ("dying" for "dyeing") should be easy enough to have corrected, though probably at your own expense. I would suggest you write to the judge enclosing a marked-up transcript; his clerk will probably reply telling you what action you need to take once you have the judge's approval.

Secondly, there may be "---Inaudible---" passages, or perhaps the transcript has the witnesses in the wrong order. Correcting such things will almost certainly require a formal application or the agreement of the opposing attorney; perhaps both. Before you object to the time and expense, consider that this is the official court record, obtained in the prescribed way, and you want it altered to suit your perception. If a professional transcriber could not make out a particular paragraph, "Inaudible" may well be a better record than your own notes.

There is a third possibility, which probably does not apply to you but you need to know about before going too far. There is a category of litigants (usually acting in person) who cannot accept the possibility of being wrong. If the police refused to act, they must have been bribed; if the judge dismissed the case, he must be part of the conspiracy (I remember one accusation that a typist had reversed the judgement from spite without anyone noticing). And if the court record shows that the witness did not say what she was supposed to, obviously there has been a mistake; will the court please correct it before next Tuesday? Partly as a result of this, there is no realistic chance of altering the record for anything less than complete precision. "The trancript omits the important word never before did at line 273" may or may not be approved; "this paragraph is the opposite of what was meant" will be dismissed out of hand.

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    FWIW, if there is a mere misspelling in a trial court transcript, I will usually just quote from it putting the corrected spelling in my brief with a citation to the record and a parenthetical "spelling errors in original corrected."
    – ohwilleke
    Feb 19, 2018 at 22:06

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