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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 27258
Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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I lost a family law case. In my own particular instance it

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I lost a family law case. In my particular instance it will be two more years before I may appeal. In the meantime I ordered the transcript for the hearing. The hearing transcript is a perfect high quality printout--with one exception. I notice that inside a certain paragraph in which important testimony had been given, is a sentence which is all but washed out. Because this sentence is hardly if at all readable I may not be able to use it in my appeal. This sentence was not washed out by myself: this was the way I received the papers in the mail. It was the printout itself which was either defective or, the transcribor or someone else washed it out on purpose. This was a very important sentence. Would I be able to file a "motion to vacate" with the district court in question? A tampered-with or incomplete transcript violates my right to due process...isn't that correct?


My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

The first step in this situation is to contact the transcriber to ask for a new transcription of the testimony in question. The person who makes the transcripts is an independent third party - not only does she have no interest in altering a transcript, most would not jeopardize their jobs by doing it. It's likely a mistake. If for some reason she cannot fix it, you can ask her to provide a copy of the recordings themselves - or see if there is a superior you can talk to. This is something that can usually be resolved without going back to court.

Typically, one unreadable sentence in a transcript is not sufficient to vacate an entire judgment. Due process gives a person notice and an opportunity to be heard, which occurred during the hearing. If it is impossible to get a way to read that sentence, you can ask the person who gave the testimony to give you a notarized affidavit of what was said, or ask the Appeals Court to assume that, since someone else made it illegible, that the sentence would have benefited you. But, as a starting point, there is a good chance that you'll be able to get a corrected transcript.

If you have any questions or concerns about what I've written, please reply so that I may address them. It's important to me that you are 100% satisfied with the service I provide. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so that I get credit for answering your question. Thank you.
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