In NJ every hearing, trial, traffic court case is recorded.
I would also
think that all courts are now required to record the proceeding's not only for
additional judiciary review but because of OPRA open public records act law
It would be interesting to hear about courts that are still not
recording the procedure...
You are showing your ignorance. It is very common for there to be no court reporter or recording of proceedings in a wide variety of courts nationally, but especially inferior courts.
For example, just across the Delaware River from you in Pennsylvania, it is quite common for there to be no record kept in District Justice cases. A record in these cases is mostly unnecessary as any appeal is typically tried de novo in the Commonwealth's Common Pleas Court. In other words, it is not as if the next higher court is going to look at the record and overrule the District Court. The matter is simply going to be tried all over again.
Similarly, in the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia County, some matters under a certain dollar threshold are first heard before an arbitration panel. This is a panel of lawyers rather than judges. Again, no record is kept. An appeal of the arbitration panel's decision is to the Common Pleas Court and is also tried de novo. Since the Common Pleas Court isn't going to look at the record before the panel, no record is really necessary.
If this sounds at all unjust, it still serves a rather useful function. For smaller cases, the trial before an arbitration panel serves as a bit of a preview, sharpening exposition of the issues. It is also a reality check for both the plaintiff and defendant. The decision of an arbitration panel may very often promote a voluntary settlement between adversaries who better realize the uncertainties of their cases, avoiding trial altogether.
The lowest level courts, Justice Courts, Justices of the Peace, etc., are often small and informal. In some states, the district justice or justice of the peace is an elected position and the justice is often not required to have a law license.
Few foreclosure cases begin in these courts, but they bear mention as it is probably less common for there to be a recorder in these courts than for one to be present. It is simply uneconomic, particularly where court rules provide for de novo appeals anyway.
Similarly, there often exist some range of hearings or matters that are so informal that a record is not taken. For example, in many jurisdictions pre-trial conferences, including mediation conferences and docketing conferences are conducted without a reporter. Similarly, when argument takes place in chambers, the court reporter might follow the attorneys into chambers or not. This varies by jurisdiction, court and situation. In some jurisdictions, summary judgment proceedings are also done without the presence of a recorder. Realize that there is no oral testimony taken at a summary judgment hearing anyway.
For many pre-trial matters, any ruling by the court is going to be an interlocutory order anyway and these orders are usually not appealable until a final order is entered. Appellate courts are very deferential to most of these decisions, even if there is a record.
Occasionally, there are hearings on matters that appear to the court to be informal. Even where a judge has a reporter available, the judge might dispense with taking a record.
There is actually a compelling reason for the judge to do this where taking a record is discretionary. Often, when a record is taken the appellate court may be more likely to overturn the judge's rulings. When there is no record, the appellate court will very often be more deferential to the trial court's decision.
At the outset of a hearing, if the judge has not had a court reporter in place, it would tend to be incumbent on the parties to request that a court reporter transcribe the hearing. As with so many issues, if neither party requests or demands a reporter, the issue is usually waived.
While most judicial foreclosures would tend to take place in courts where there is a regular court reporter, it does not follow that a court reporter will transcribe every hearing.
I am not familiar with statutes or court rules in New Jersey. Perhaps your assertion that all courts in NJ have court reporters is correct. I have no information to refute your assertion. But I seriously doubt that a court reporter transcribes ALL NJ hearings. There are probably some matters that are deemed so informal that a court reporter is not present unless requested. If you are a licensed NJ attorney in regular practice and are speaking from knowledge and experience, I would concede that you are right. If you are a pro se litigant and are guessing, I suggest that you check your facts, because you may be mistaken. If you are correct, it is probably because NJ is one of the most densely populated states in the U.S. Almost all other states including both Pennsylvania and New York have areas which are much more rural.
I think that f's post is a useful one. The presence of a court reporter is one other matter to add to a checklist. If this doesn't apply to you, then please do not ridicule f for his helpful post!