Courts Fear Effects of Stenographer Shortage

via Daily Item

Susquehanna Valley courtrooms are bucking a nationwide shortage of court reporters, which is expected to peak in 2018.

The shortage was identified by the National Association of Court Reporters which found that the demand for stenographers would outpace supply by about 5,500 in 2018.  The looming shortage was on Charles H. Saylor’s mind when he took over as president judge in Northumberland County last year.

“I was concerned that we would have (adequate court reporters) to cover all our needs,” said Saylor, who oversees three courtrooms in the Sunbury courthouse. 

It turns out that staffing hasn’t been a problem even with the retirement of John Onesi, one of the county’s two full-time staff court reporters. Not only was Onesi’s position quickly filled with an experienced stenographer, Saylor said, but freelancers have been available as well. 

In Snyder and Union counties, the courtrooms are also well staffed with two full-time and one part-time stenographer, said Judge Michael H. Sholley

As a member of the statewide Committee on Court Reporters and Transcribers, Columbia-Montour Court Administrator Tami Kline said she is aware of the shortage, but like neighboring county court officials, she hasn’t encountered any problems filling the stenographer seat.