You Can Lose a Florida Appeal by Simply Failing to Provide an Adequate Record
Should you have a court reporter present at your probate hearings? How can transcripts help me to win an appeal? What to appeal a trial court’s order but do not have transcripts of the trial court proceedings? Can I file a statement of evidence in lieu of a transcript? If you are involved in family, probate,or guardianship litigation in Florida , you may want to read a June 14,2017 Fourth DCA opinion, Hart v. Streitz.
Here, Hart wished to challenge a trial court’s order. She filed a statement of the evidence with the trial court pursuant to Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.200(b)(4). The trial court did not approve her statement because it omitted certain facts and contained inaccuracies. She appealed. The Fourth DCA affirmed the trial court decision stating that ” a statement of evidence or proceedings prepared by a party in lieu of a transcript must be approved by the court.” The trial court proceedings were NOT transcribed AND the appellate court was NOT given an approved statement of the evidence. Without a transcript or an approved statement, the Fourth DCA was not able to judge the merits of Hart’s claim. Probate litigators and appellate lawyers know how important it is to have a court reporter present at hearings. If there was a transcript for the appellate court to rely on, the mother may have had a chance at winning her appeal. To read the entire case, click here.