A trial court has an obligation to assist an appellant in preparing a settled statement if the appellant designates one and files a motion for its approval, showing one of the following: a substantial cost savings from a settled statement, the proceeding was not transcribed, or appellant can’t afford a transcript. Here, the court trial was unreported. The trial court abused its discretion in denying the appellant’s motion for a settled statement on the ground preparing one would burden the court and opposing party. Cost and burden relate to the first of three alternative grounds. Here, appellant satisfied the second ground. The proceedings were not recorded, so it was an abuse of discretion to deny a settled statement on the ground of burden. However, when the trial court denies a settled statement motion, the appellant must take action to preserve that error for appeal by (a) petitioning for a writ of mandate from the denial order, (b) raising the denial as an issue in the opening brief, or (c) designating a different record within 10 days after notice of the denial. Here, appellant did not do any of these things, so the judgment had to be affirmed based on the inadequate record she presented.
California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 7 (Zelon, J.); August 24, 2016; 2016 WL 4446574