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Audiovisual Recording, § 908.08(1) – Transcription by Court Reporter Required

State v. Pablo Ruiz-Velez, 2008 WI App 169
For Ruiz-Velez: Melnda A. Swartz, SPD, Milwaukee Appellate

Issue: Whether audiovisual recordings of statements made by alleged victims and admitted into evidence under § 908.08(1) must be transcribed by the official court reporter.


¶4        Wisconsin Stat. Rule 885.42(4) provides: “At trial, videotape depositions and other testimony presented by videotape shall be reported.” As we have seen, the postconviction circuit court determined that this Rule did not apply because the recordings were received as “exhibits” and were not “sworn testimony.” [3] We disagree.

¶5        The recorded “oral statement of a child who is available to testify,” made admissible by Wis. Stat. Rule 908.08, is the testimony of that child, supplemented by in-court testimony as provided for by Rule 908.08(5), irrespective of whether that “oral statement” is “sworn.” … See also State v. Anderson, 2006 WI 77, ¶103, 291 Wis. 2d 673, 720, 717 N.W.2d 74, 98 (Statements made and admitted under Rule 908.08 have “the effect of a direct examination.”) (“[T]he videotape [admitted under Rule 908.08] was the testimony of a single witness.”). …

¶6        Significantly, and reinforcing our analysis, SCR 71.01(2) requires that “[ a] ll proceedings in the circuit court shall be reported,” with exceptions not material. [6]  (Emphasis added.) “‘Reporting’ means making a verbatim record.” SCR 71.01(1). Supreme Court Rule 71.01(2)’s all-encompassing command ends our analysis.  The postconviction circuit court erred in denying Ruiz-Velez’s motion to have the official court reporter transcribe the audiovisual recordings received into evidence under Wis. Stat. Rule 908.08. We reverse and remand with directions that the recordings be transcribed by the official court reporter.


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