An individual who records court proceedings either in shorthand or through the use of a paper-punching device.
A court stenographer is an officer of the court and is generally considered to be a state or public official. Appointment of a court stenographer is largely governed by statute. A stenographer is ordinarily appointed by the court as an official act, which is a matter of public record. She is an official under the control of the court and is, therefore, generally subject to its direction. She is not under the dominion and control of the attorneys in a case. The term of office of a court stenographer is also regulated by statute in most cases.
The stenographer has the duty to attend court and to be present, or on call, throughout the entire trial, so that the court and the litigants can be protected by a complete record of the proceedings. The stenographer must take notes of what occurs before the court and transcribe and file the notes within the time permitted. The notes must comply with provisions requiring the stenographer to prepare and sign a certificate stating that the proceedings, evidence, and charges levied against the defendant were fully and accurately taken at the trial and that the transcript represents an accurate translation of the notes.
Some statutes provide that a judge who appoints the stenographer also has the power to remove him. Other statutes fix the term of office; in which case a stenographer cannot be removed at a judge's pleasure, even though the judge has the power to appoint him.
The compensation of a court stenographer may be in the form of an annual salary, a per diem allowance, or an allowance for work actually performed. In the absence of a statute fixing the fees, a duly appointed stenographer is entitled to be reasonably compensated. Some statutes require that a stenographer's fees must be paid by the parties.