28 U.S.C. § 1827 : US Code - Section 1827: Interpreters in courts of the United States

Search 28 U.S.C. § 1827 : US Code - Section 1827: Interpreters in courts of the United States

      (a) The Director of the Administrative Office of the United
    States Courts shall establish a program to facilitate the use of
    certified and otherwise qualified interpreters in judicial
    proceedings instituted by the United States.
      (b)(1) The Director shall prescribe, determine, and certify the
    qualifications of persons who may serve as certified interpreters,
    when the Director considers certification of interpreters to be
    merited, for the hearing impaired (whether or not also speech
    impaired) and persons who speak only or primarily a language other
    than the English language, in judicial proceedings instituted by
    the United States. The Director may certify interpreters for any
    language if the Director determines that there is a need for
    certified interpreters in that language. Upon the request of the
    Judicial Conference of the United States for certified interpreters
    in a language, the Director shall certify interpreters in that
    language. Upon such a request from the judicial council of a
    circuit and the approval of the Judicial Conference, the Director
    shall certify interpreters for that circuit in the language
    requested. The judicial council of a circuit shall identify and
    evaluate the needs of the districts within a circuit. The Director
    shall certify interpreters based on the results of criterion-
    referenced performance examinations. The Director shall issue
    regulations to carry out this paragraph within 1 year after the
    date of the enactment of the Judicial Improvements and Access to
    Justice Act.
      (2) Only in a case in which no certified interpreter is
    reasonably available as provided in subsection (d) of this section,
    including a case in which certification of interpreters is not
    provided under paragraph (1) in a particular language, may the
    services of otherwise qualified interpreters be used. The Director
    shall provide guidelines to the courts for the selection of
    otherwise qualified interpreters, in order to ensure that the
    highest standards of accuracy are maintained in all judicial
    proceedings subject to the provisions of this chapter.
      (3) The Director shall maintain a current master list of all
    certified interpreters and otherwise qualified interpreters and
    shall report periodically on the use and performance of both
    certified and otherwise qualified interpreters in judicial
    proceedings instituted by the United States and on the languages
    for which interpreters have been certified. The Director shall
    prescribe, subject to periodic review, a schedule of reasonable
    fees for services rendered by interpreters, certified or otherwise,
    used in proceedings instituted by the United States, and in doing
    so shall consider the prevailing rate of compensation for
    comparable service in other governmental entities.
      (c)(1) Each United States district court shall maintain on file
    in the office of the clerk, and each United States attorney shall
    maintain on file, a list of all persons who have been certified as
    interpreters by the Director in accordance with subsection (b) of
    this section. The clerk shall make the list of certified
    interpreters for judicial proceeding available upon request.
      (2) The clerk of the court, or other court employee designated by
    the chief judge, shall be responsible for securing the services of
    certified interpreters and otherwise qualified interpreters
    required for proceedings initiated by the United States, except
    that the United States attorney is responsible for securing the
    services of such interpreters for governmental witnesses.
      (d)(1) The presiding judicial officer, with the assistance of the
    Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts,
    shall utilize the services of the most available certified
    interpreter, or when no certified interpreter is reasonably
    available, as determined by the presiding judicial officer, the
    services of an otherwise qualified interpreter, in judicial
    proceedings instituted by the United States, if the presiding
    judicial officer determines on such officer's own motion or on the
    motion of a party that such party (including a defendant in a
    criminal case), or a witness who may present testimony in such
    judicial proceedings - 
        (A) speaks only or primarily a language other than the English
      language; or
        (B) suffers from a hearing impairment (whether or not suffering
      also from a speech impairment)

    so as to inhibit such party's comprehension of the proceedings or
    communication with counsel or the presiding judicial officer, or so
    as to inhibit such witness' comprehension of questions and the
    presentation of such testimony.
      (2) Upon the motion of a party, the presiding judicial officer
    shall determine whether to require the electronic sound recording
    of a judicial proceeding in which an interpreter is used under this
    section. In making this determination, the presiding judicial
    officer shall consider, among other things, the qualifications of
    the interpreter and prior experience in interpretation of court
    proceedings; whether the language to be interpreted is not one of
    the languages for which the Director has certified interpreters,
    and the complexity or length of the proceeding. In a grand jury
    proceeding, upon the motion of the accused, the presiding judicial
    officer shall require the electronic sound recording of the portion
    of the proceeding in which an interpreter is used.
      (e)(1) If any interpreter is unable to communicate effectively
    with the presiding judicial officer, the United States attorney, a
    party (including a defendant in a criminal case), or a witness, the
    presiding judicial officer shall dismiss such interpreter and
    obtain the services of another interpreter in accordance with this
    section.
      (2) In any judicial proceedings instituted by the United States,
    if the presiding judicial officer does not appoint an interpreter
    under subsection (d) of this section, an individual requiring the
    services of an interpreter may seek assistance of the clerk of
    court or the Director of the Administrative Office of the United
    States Courts in obtaining the assistance of a certified
    interpreter.
      (f)(1) Any individual other than a witness who is entitled to
    interpretation under subsection (d) of this section may waive such
    interpretation in whole or in part. Such a waiver shall be
    effective only if approved by the presiding judicial officer and
    made expressly by such individual on the record after opportunity
    to consult with counsel and after the presiding judicial officer
    has explained to such individual, utilizing the services of the
    most available certified interpreter, or when no certified
    interpreter is reasonably available, as determined by the presiding
    judicial officer, the services of an otherwise competent
    interpreter, the nature and effect of the waiver.
      (2) An individual who waives under paragraph (1) of this
    subsection the right to an interpreter may utilize the services of
    a noncertified interpreter of such individual's choice whose fees,
    expenses, and costs shall be paid in the manner provided for the
    payment of such fees, expenses, and costs of an interpreter
    appointed under subsection (d) of this section.
      (g)(1) There are authorized to be appropriated to the Federal
    judiciary, and to be paid by the Director of the Administrative
    Office of the United States Courts, such sums as may be necessary
    to establish a program to facilitate the use of certified and
    otherwise qualified interpreters, and otherwise fulfill the
    provisions of this section and the Judicial Improvements and Access
    to Justice Act, except as provided in paragraph (3).
      (2) Implementation of the provisions of this section is
    contingent upon the availability of appropriated funds to carry out
    the purposes of this section.
      (3) Such salaries, fees, expenses, and costs that are incurred
    with respect to Government witnesses (including for grand jury
    proceedings) shall, unless direction is made under paragraph (4),
    be paid by the Attorney General from sums appropriated to the
    Department of Justice.
      (4) Upon the request of any person in any action for which
    interpreting services established pursuant to subsection (d) are
    not otherwise provided, the clerk of the court, or other court
    employee designated by the chief judge, upon the request of the
    presiding judicial officer, shall, where possible, make such
    services available to that person on a cost-reimbursable basis, but
    the judicial officer may also require the prepayment of the
    estimated expenses of providing such services.
      (5) If the Director of the Administrative Office of the United
    States Courts finds it necessary to develop and administer
    criterion-referenced performance examinations for purposes of
    certification, or other examinations for the selection of otherwise
    qualified interpreters, the Director may prescribe for each
    examination a uniform fee for applicants to take such examination.
    In determining the rate of the fee for each examination, the
    Director shall consider the fees charged by other organizations for
    examinations that are similar in scope or nature. Notwithstanding
    section 3302(b) of title 31, the Director is authorized to provide
    in any contract or agreement for the development or administration
    of examinations and the collection of fees that the contractor may
    retain all or a portion of the fees in payment for the services.
    Notwithstanding paragraph (6) of this subsection, all fees
    collected after the effective date of this paragraph and not
    retained by a contractor shall be deposited in the fund established
    under section 1931 of this title and shall remain available until
    expended.
      (6) Any moneys collected under this subsection may be used to
    reimburse the appropriations obligated and disbursed in payment for
    such services.
      (h) The presiding judicial officer shall approve the compensation
    and expenses payable to interpreters, pursuant to the schedule of
    fees prescribed by the Director under subsection (b)(3).
      (i) The term "presiding judicial officer" as used in this section
    refers to any judge of a United States district court, including a
    bankruptcy judge, a United States magistrate judge, and in the case
    of grand jury proceedings conducted under the auspices of the
    United States attorney, a United States attorney.
      (j) The term "judicial proceedings instituted by the United
    States" as used in this section refers to all proceedings, whether
    criminal or civil, including pretrial and grand jury proceedings
    (as well as proceedings upon a petition for a writ of habeas corpus
    initiated in the name of the United States by a relator) conducted
    in, or pursuant to the lawful authority and jurisdiction of a
    United States district court. The term "United States district
    court" as used in this subsection includes any court which is
    created by an Act of Congress in a territory and is invested with
    any jurisdiction of a district court established by chapter 5 of
    this title.
      (k) The interpretation provided by certified or otherwise
    qualified interpreters pursuant to this section shall be in the
    simultaneous mode for any party to a judicial proceeding instituted
    by the United States and in the consecutive mode for witnesses,
    except that the presiding judicial officer, sua sponte or on the
    motion of a party, may authorize a simultaneous, or consecutive
    interpretation when such officer determines after a hearing on the
    record that such interpretation will aid in the efficient
    administration of justice. The presiding judicial officer, on such
    officer's motion or on the motion of a party, may order that
    special interpretation services as authorized in section 1828 of
    this title be provided if such officer determines that the
    provision of such services will aid in the efficient administration
    of justice.
      (l) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section or
    section 1828, the presiding judicial officer may appoint a
    certified or otherwise qualified sign language interpreter to
    provide services to a party, witness, or other participant in a
    judicial proceeding, whether or not the proceeding is instituted by
    the United States, if the presiding judicial officer determines, on
    such officer's own motion or on the motion of a party or other
    participant in the proceeding, that such individual suffers from a
    hearing impairment. The presiding judicial officer shall, subject
    to the availability of appropriated funds, approve the compensation
    and expenses payable to sign language interpreters appointed under
    this section in accordance with the schedule of fees prescribed by
    the Director under subsection (b)(3) of this section.