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Macgroupie

What if you find something altered in the court record?

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After the Appellate record is prepared for criminal appeal, what happens if one finds in reviewing it that a court transcript for the case reads differently than the original court transcript of that appearance that one ordered and got back during the course of the case? What if one finds that an argument presented back then is now subtly altered in the Appellate record? What can be done about this? Is it possible that the judge (who kept the case record after trial and sentencing) either altered or had someone else alter it? If so, can the judge do that?

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53 minutes ago, Macgroupie said:

After the Appellate record is prepared for criminal appeal, what happens if one finds in reviewing it that a court transcript for the case reads differently than the original court transcript of that appearance that one ordered and got back during the course of the case? What if one finds that an argument presented back then is now subtly altered in the Appellate record? What can be done about this? Is it possible that the judge (who kept the case record after trial and sentencing) either altered or had someone else alter it? If so, can the judge do that?

 

It depends on exactly what the change is.

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It's unwise for me to disclose specifics. The best I can say is that wording in Appellate record transcript for example now omits mention of an argument raised by one party which was objected to by the other and the ruling made on it. The issue was raised only this once during the case and while not a primary appeal issue, it is supportive of one and should be included on appeal.

 

Your response indicates to me a lack of surprise that one might find an Appellate record transcript either altered or omitting information?

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2 hours ago, Macgroupie said:

Your response indicates to me a lack of surprise that one might find an Appellate record transcript either altered or omitting information?

 

Original transcripts sometimes contain errors that are later corrected. In that case, a transcript obtained before the corrections are made will differ from the corrected one. Without details, all I can really suggest is that the party consult his attorney (and it is very good idea to have an attorney for an appeal).

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8 hours ago, Tax_Counsel said:

Original transcripts sometimes contain errors that are later corrected. In that case, a transcript obtained before the corrections are made will differ from the corrected one.

 

I'm very troubled. Who can do this? Could the court reporter do this on their own or would they need permission from the judge? If one of the parties or even the judge did this, would they have to all first involve calling together all the parties to advise them that it is being done??? Or, could the judge just do this on their own without the parties knowing????

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16 hours ago, Macgroupie said:

what happens if one finds in reviewing it that a court transcript for the case reads differently than the original court transcript of that appearance that one ordered and got back during the course of the case?

 

Any number of things might happen.  One would assume that any person who spots the discrepancy would file a motion and call it to the court's attention (assuming, of course, that the discrepancy is something of substance).

 

 

16 hours ago, Macgroupie said:

What if one finds that an argument presented back then is now subtly altered in the Appellate record?

 

I have no idea what this question might mean.  First of all, who is "one"?  Second, when is "back then"?  Third, what difference does it make if someone's legal argument has changed (subtly or otherwise) over the life of a case?

 

 

16 hours ago, Macgroupie said:

What can be done about this?

 

Hypothetically and in the abstract, and without any relevant facts whatsoever, it's possible that any number of things might be done.

 

 

16 hours ago, Macgroupie said:

Is it possible that the judge (who kept the case record after trial and sentencing) either altered or had someone else alter it?

 

Hypothetically and in the abstract, virtually anything is possible.  That said, I've never heard of a judge keeping a "case record" in his/her possession.  Records relating to cases pending before a court are typically maintained in files in the court clerk's office.

 

 

1 hour ago, Macgroupie said:
10 hours ago, Tax_Counsel said:

Original transcripts sometimes contain errors that are later corrected. In that case, a transcript obtained before the corrections are made will differ from the corrected one.

 

Who can do this?

 

For what it's worth, I've never heard of this happening.  In my experience, any errors are typically typos, and no one is going to go to the trouble of correcting a typo.  Anything substantive would typically require a court order.

 

 

1 hour ago, Macgroupie said:

Could the court reporter do this on their own or would they need permission from the judge? . . .  could the judge just do this on their own without the parties knowing?

 

Hypothetically and in the abstract, virtually anything "could happen."

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19 hours ago, Macgroupie said:

It's unwise for me to disclose specifics. The best I can say is that wording in Appellate record transcript for example now omits mention of an argument raised by one party which was objected to by the other and the ruling made on it. The issue was raised only this once during the case and while not a primary appeal issue, it is supportive of one and should be included on appeal.

If you could provide the specifics of the argument raised,and the objection made by the other party,we would be in a much better position to tell you weather the argument(a much better question to ask,)even matters..My point being,is that depending on this omitted argument,and objection,which you say,is supportive to a primary appeal issue,may,or may not make any difference with regards to the outcome of the case.

 

23 hours ago, Tax_Counsel said:

it possible that the judge (who kept the case record after trial and sentencing) either altered or had someone else alter it? If so, can the judge do that?

This is not really the Judge's department.Once the trial is over,the record of it,is either kept in the Clerk's office or some other department.Only during the trial,can the judge order that something inappropriate a party/witness says,be stricken from the record.

Also,from your post,it seems that you are going "Pro Se," on your appeal,not really a wise decision,either during trial or appeal.

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7 hours ago, RetiredinVA said:

By any chance did the judge order the part omitted to be stricken from the record?  Since you are uwilling to provide any information on what was omitted it is impossible to provide any meaningful comment without sheer speculation.

No, this concerns a part of the case during which both defendant and I attended. Nothing was stricken by the judge and to our recollection, the original transcript is accurate and the current Appellate record is not. Now, could there have been off-the-record discussions about this. Sure, but, if so, they took place after the end of the appearance and after the defendant was removed from the courtroom and I and the rest of the parties had left. At that time, the judge or one of the parties could have recalled the attorneys and they met to discuss the matter. If so, the defendant's attorney never later advised him or I of this discussion. 

 

 Per PG 1067 above: (Sorry, don't know how to separate out just part of his reply for posting) On 8/29/2017 at 5:42 PM, Macgroupie said:

Is it possible that the judge (who kept the case record after trial and sentencing) either altered or had someone else alter it?

 

Hypothetically and in the abstract, virtually anything is possible.  That said, I've never heard of a judge keeping a "case record" in his/her possession.  Records relating to cases pending before a court are typically maintained in files in the court clerk's office.

My reply: I tried several times after the trial and before sentencing, and then a couple of times after sentencing to physically review the case record at the Clerk's office. Each time the file was physically absent and when the clerks looked it up on the computer system they told me that the file was unavailable "because the judge has it".

 

This is not my appeal. I am not going pro se on it. I am just a friend of the defendant who has been down the appeal road before in another matter. Both he and I are familiar with the preparation of the appeal record by the court prior to it being sent to the office of the state appellate defender. So, I am merely trying to ensure that the record compilation is complete. That is how I became aware of a couple of differences in the record. This one which I describe here is the larger situation, and I am only aware of it from having obtained a prior transcript. 

 

I will thoroughly review the copy of the case transcripts which the court provides to IL defendants once my friend gets his copy and can send me one. I suspect there may be other omissions or discrepancies, and I'll raise these to his appellate defender and discuss their relevance. Obviously neither my friend nor I have much credibility before the court to address this matter ourselves. My friend and I are at this point just surprised and dismayed to find these discrepancies and wanted to sound your opinions as to whether this situation is commonplace in experience or permissible in practice. 

 

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14 minutes ago, Macgroupie said:

I tried several times after the trial and before sentencing, and then a couple of times after sentencing to physically review the case record at the Clerk's office. Each time the file was physically absent and when the clerks looked it up on the computer system they told me that the file was unavailable "because the judge has it".

So,the Judge,had the record in his possession,never heard of such before,ever,and that is very rare indeed.Another thing that strikes me as very odd too,is,if your friend has an appeal's attorney,why would your friend even need a copy of the court record,? that's for the attorney handling his appeal.

Anyway,it best handled by his attorney.Let him or her decide what relevancy,if any,the omitted argument,and objection is to the appeal.

 

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