To outline the procedure for credentialing of interpreters for legal proceedings.
This rule shall apply to legal proceedings in the courts of record and not of record. This rule shall apply to interpretation for non-English speaking people and not to interpretation for persons with a hearing impairment, which is governed by Utah and federal statutes.
Statement of the Rule:
(1) Subject to the availability of funding, and in consultation with the committee, the administrative office of the courts shall establish programs to certify and approve interpreters in English and the non-English languages most frequently needed in the courts. The administrative office shall publish a roster of certified, approved, and registered interpreters. To be certified, approved or registered, an applicant shall:
(1)(A) file an application form approved by the administrative office;
(1)(B) pay a fee established by the Judicial Council;
(1)(C) pass a background check;
(1)(D) provide proof that the applicant is a Utah resident;
(1)(E) complete training as required by the administrative office;
(1)(F) obtain a passing score on the court interpreter’s test(s) as required by the administrative office;
(1)(G) complete 10 hours observing a certified interpreter in a legal proceeding; and
(1)(H) take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation: “I will make a true and impartial interpretation using my best skills and judgment in accordance with the Code of Professional Responsibility.”
(2) A person who is certified in good standing by the federal courts or by a state having a certification program that is equivalent to the program established under this rule may be certified without complying with paragraphs (1)(A) through (1)(H), with the exception of paragraph (1)(C), but shall pass an ethics examination and otherwise meet the requirements of this rule.
(3) A person credentialed under this rule has an ongoing obligation to immediately report to the program coordinator any criminal charges or convictions the interpreter has and any Utah State Court cases the interpreter is personally involved in as a party.
(4) When the interpreter speaks a rare language and the courts currently lack credentialed interpreters in that language, the Language Access Committee may, for good cause shown, exempt an interpreter from meeting one or both of the requirements listed in subparagraph (1)(B) and (1)(F). An interpreter seeking an exemption shall make a written request, outlining the reasons for the exemption, to the Language Access Program Coordinator. The Language Access Committee shall consider the request at its next meeting following the request, and may require the interpreter making the request to appear at the meeting or to provide more information.
(5) If an exemption is granted, the interpreter shall meet the conditions set by the committee and shall apply for an extension of the exemption annually, or as otherwise required by the committee.
(6) No later than December 31 of each even-numbered calendar year, certified, approved, and registered interpreters shall pass the background check for applicants, and certified interpreters shall complete at least 16 hours of continuing education approved by the administrative office of the courts.
(7) With the exception of staff interpreters who are employees of the courts, court interpreters, including those listed on the statewide roster, are independent contractors.
The Utah State Courts mission is to provide the people an open, fair, efficient, and independent system for the advancement of justice under the law.