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Reading is difficult. As a writer, I help the reader every way I can think of. As a reader, I work hard not to miss the big things in the middle of the road.

Friday, September 10, 2010

How Not to Get a Free Transcript

If a Texas civil appellant wants a free record on appeal (nothing is free-- a court can order officers, including court reporters to work without pay), how to get such a record is clearly defined by Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 20.1. If such a person does not win a contest of indigency, after having brought forth the evidence required, then the appellant has to make arrangements to pay the record. This is the holding in Shanklin v. Texas Department of Criminal Justice, No. 01-09-00502-CV, no pet. h., September 10, 2010, a per-curiam memorandum opinion before Justices Terry Jennings, George C. Hanks, Jr. and Jane Bland. The standard of review is abuse of discretion. On the one hand, Ms. Shanklin:
  • was a part owner of some real estate;
  • had a boyfriend who paid all her and her eleven-year-old daughter's bills- including a truck note, credit card account and cable TV account for her
  • had jewelry, a horse, some appliances and a computer that she could have sold or pawned;
  • could not account for $8,000 she got four years ago;
  • was "cursory and vague" when responding to questions about her attempts to find work in the last five- and-a-half  years, though she was a college graduate with basic computer skills; and
  • she had not used a computer in her search for work.
On the other hand, a court could have forced a reporter appointed by the trial judge and who has to work closely with all the courts to work for Ms. Shanklin for no financial compensation. No judge has yet made or recommended such an order.

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