How to find out what the courtroom procedure is

I have asked you a few questions about a motion I have made in my custody case. What I want to know is how to proceed once I get into court. This is a one-hour hearing. I have the cassette tape recording of the phone call with my ex wife and the children, which you have been very helpful with (questions about hearsay, Rule 803).

How do I know what to do when I get in there? She has an attorney. This is a one hour hearing for a custody evaluation for my ex wife. How do I proceed? Do opening and closing arguments come out of the time allotted to me (in this case, I take it that would be 30 minutes for each side).

Arguments do come out of the time allotted to each party, and in a motion hearing the judge will likely not even allow time for arguments, only testimony and evidence relating to the motion.
Specific instruction on how to proceed in court is beyond the scope of this forum.

Thank you, it is helpful to know that any opening or closing arguments would come out of the time allowed. Now I know not to spend time on any of that. I really just want the judge to hear how she treated the children on that recording. I assume I can just take the witness stand, ask to present my evidence and proceed from there? Is there any rule on how to introduce evidence or exhibits? As I explained on this forum a few weeks back,I did go to the expense of having this recording transcribed, so may I assume that would be an exhibit?

You will be allowed to take the witness stand to present your evidence. To introduce your exhibits you will have to present the same to the court and ask that they be admitted into evidence. You may ask that the transcript be introduced as well as the recording.

Thank you, once again.

Re the exhibit. I was under the impression that exhibits are anything that is “non testimonial.” But it is actually considered evidence?

What requirements are there for a transcript to be admitted as evidence. I have sent the opposing side a copy of the recording, which I if I understand correctly, I was required to do. I let her and her attorney know that it was being professionally transcribed. Am I required also to give them a copy behforehand of the transcript? I just concluded that since they had the recording, and were informed that it was being transcribed, if they wanted to “see” what that is, they can either listen to the recording, or pay for their own transcription. But I am trying to cross every T and dot every i. Am I required to give them a copy of this?

And for the transcript to be accepted, are there any other requirements pertaining to the actual transcription. What I have is a typed document, with line numbers, and it is signed and dated by the transcriptionist. Is there anything else that I need?

Will I offer the exhibit as I am on the witness stand? And do I need any “Exhibit 1” type sticker for it?


It will be considered evidence it admitted. You will have to authenticate the transcript by demonstrating that it was properly transcribed by telling the court who did it, and showing the seal or stamp that it was indeed transcribed properly. You need to present the transcript to the other side prior to asking that it be admitted.
The transcript if admitted will need to be labeled, there are stickers in the courtroom.

I will need to check to see if there is a seal or stamp. I did bring this up with the company that did it, and they said it was admissible for court purposes, but I am not sure if there is actually a seal other than the transcriptionist’s signature. What exactly am I looking for?

Do you mean that I need to send a copy of the transcription to the opposing side, ahead of time, like I did with sending them a copy of the recording?

I did not know that there are stickers in the courtroom. That’s good to know. I have four copies. One for myself, one for the judge, one for the opposing side, and an extra. I guess if I have to mail her attorney a copy, that will leave me just three copies. I take it that is sufficient.

Exactly what am I looking for with this seal or stamp?

Thank you once again. Your help has been so valuable to me.

You need some sort of official seal or stamp indicating the authenticity of the document. A copy needs to be presented the other side before you admit in in court ( as in the moment before).

So I am permitted to give the opposition a copy of this IN the courtroom, just before I give it to the judge? Just hand a copy to her counsel?

It will be up to the court to determine the validity of the seal.
Yes, the document should be handed to opposing counsel just as you seek to have it admitted.

There are no minimum requirements for a transcription to be admitted? Nothing? This was an out of state company; does that change anything, make it more or less likely to be admitted? I’m very concerned about this and need to do all I can to make sure that the recording as well as the transcript are admitted. Any kind of guidelines on transcripts and what needs to be included with them?

The judge will have to make a determination regarding the authenticity of the transcriptionist’s seal.

Do you know what is is “customary” for a seal? It does not seem anyone can give me an answer to this question.

It is customary for the transcriptionist’s signature to follow the transcript, or should it be notarized? Is that customary?

It is so vague, that it is up to the court. Does that mean individual judges?

I have not dealt with this particular issue before, and apologize that I cannot answer anymore completely than I have in my previous posts.


I want to thank you for all the help you have given me so far. Very much appreciated. Have a good holiday.

You are very welcome, have a nice Thanksgiving.