Notice: Proposed Rule of Judicial Administration Notice: Proposed Rule of Judicial Administration August 1, 2002 Notices The Florida Rules of Judicial Administration Committee proposes an amendment to the Rules to add a rule governing the appointment of interpreters in certain cases. After reviewing the comments received in response to this publication, the Committee may submit its proposal to the Florida Supreme Court. Please send all comments to the Honorable Peter D. Webster, Chair, First District Court of Appeal, 301 S. Martin Luther King., Jr. Blvd., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1850. You may fax your comments to Judge Webster at (850) 488-7989. Your comments must be received by August 15, 2002, to ensure that they are considered by the Committee. Rule 2.073. APPOINTMENT OF INTERPRETERS FOR NON-ENGLISH-SPEAKING PERSONS (a) Criminal or Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings. In any criminal or juvenile delinquency proceeding in which a non-English-speaking person is the accused, an interpreter for the non-English-speaking person shall be appointed. In any criminal or juvenile delinquency proceeding in which a non-English-speaking person is a victim, an interpreter shall be appointed unless the court finds that the victim does not require the services of a court-appointed interpreter. (b) Other Proceedings. In all other proceedings in which a non-English-speaking person is a litigant, an interpreter for the non-English-speaking litigant shall be appointed if the court determines that the litigant’s inability to comprehend English deprives the litigant of an understanding of the court proceedings, that a fundamental interest is at stake (such as in a civil commitment, termination of parental rights, paternity, or dependency proceeding), and that no alternative to the appointment of an interpreter exists. (c) Witnesses. In any proceeding in which a non-English-speaking person is a witness, the appointment of an interpreter shall be governed by the applicable provisions of the Florida Evidence Code. (d) Compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In making determinations regarding the appointment of an interpreter, the court should ensure compliance with the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (e) Qualifications of Interpreter. (1) Appointment of Interpreters when Certified or Duly Qualified Interpreters Are Available. Whenever possible, a certified or duly qualified interpreter, as defined in the Rules for Certification and Regulation of Court Interpreters, shall be appointed. (2) Appointment of Interpreters when Certified or Duly Qualified Interpreters Are Unavailable. If, after diligent search, a certified or duly qualified interpreter is not available, an interpreter who is neither certified nor duly qualified may be appointed if the judge or hearing officer presiding over the proceeding finds that: (A) good cause exists for the appointment of an interpreter who is neither certified nor duly qualified, such as the prevention of burdensome delay, the request or consent of the non-English-speaking person, or other unusual circumstance; and (B) the proposed interpreter is competent to interpret in the proceedings. (3) On the Record Objections or Waivers in Criminal and Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings. In any criminal or juvenile delinquency proceeding in which the interpreter is neither certified nor duly qualified, the court shall advise the accused, on the record, that the proposed interpreter is not certified or duly qualified pursuant to the Rules for Certification and Regulation of Court Interpreters. The accused’s objection to the appointment of a proposed interpreter, or the accused’s waiver of the appointment of a certified or duly qualified interpreter, shall also be on the record. (4) Additional on the Record Findings, Objections, and Waivers Required at Subsequent Proceedings. The appointment of an interpreter who is neither certified nor duly qualified shall be limited to a specific proceeding and shall not be extended to subsequent proceedings in a case without additional findings of good cause and qualification as required by subdivision (e)(2) of this rule, and additional compliance with the procedures for on the record objections or waivers provided for in subdivision (e)(3) of this rule. (f) Privileged Communications. Whenever a person communicates through an interpreter to any person under circumstances that would render the communication privileged and such person could not be compelled to testify as to the communication, the privilege shall also apply to the interpreter.