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S02682 Summary:

BILL NOS02682
 
SAME ASSAME AS A01351
 
SPONSORPARKER
 
COSPNSR
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Amd 386 & 387, add 381 & 382, Judy L
 
Enacts the "language barrier to justice elimination act"; establishes standards for court interpreters and a procedure for waiver of a non-English speaking person's right to an interpreter in any proceeding.
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S02682 Actions:

BILL NOS02682
 
01/17/2017REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
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S02682 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          2682
 
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
 
                    IN SENATE
 
                                    January 17, 2017
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  Sen.  PARKER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on Judiciary
 
        AN ACT to amend the judiciary law, in relation to enacting the "language
          barrier to justice elimination act"
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1.  This act shall be known and may be cited as the "language
     2  barrier to justice elimination act".
     3    § 2.  Section 386 of the judiciary law, as amended by chapter  259  of
     4  the  laws  of 1909 and as renumbered by chapter 649 of the laws of 1945,
     5  is amended to read as follows:
     6    § 386. Appointment and compensation of court  interpreters  generally.
     7  The county judge and the district attorney of the county may appoint one
     8  interpreter,  who  shall  act  as  and be the court interpreter for such
     9  county.  Such interpreter shall hold office during the pleasure  of  the
    10  county  judge  and  district  attorney and they shall appoint his or her
    11  successor in office.   Said interpreter shall receive  a  salary  to  be
    12  fixed  by  the  board  of  supervisors  of said county, which shall be a
    13  charge upon the county, to be paid monthly, in the same manner as  other
    14  county  officials  are paid. Said interpreter so appointed shall, before
    15  entering upon his or her duties, file in the office of the county clerk,
    16  the constitutional oath of office, and an affidavit under oath or affir-
    17  mation to make a true and impartial interpretation of proceedings in  an
    18  understandable  manner using such interpreter's best skills and judgment
    19  in accordance with the standards for professional  conduct  and  ethical
    20  behavior  found  and  reinforced in the UCS Court Interpreter Manual and
    21  the Court  Interpreter  Canons  of  Professional  Responsibility.  Court
    22  interpreters  shall  participate  in  training  programs provided by the
    23  court system for  court  personnel  on  ethics,  domestic  violence  and
    24  cultural  sensitivity.    The provisions of this section, however, shall
    25  not apply to the counties of New York, Kings  and  Queens,  nor  to  any
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD00434-01-7

        S. 2682                             2
 
     1  other  county  in  which the appointment or compensation of court inter-
     2  preters therein is governed by a special or local act or by any  special
     3  provision of a general act.
     4    § 3. Section 387 of the judiciary law, as amended by chapter 15 of the
     5  laws of 1975, is amended to read as follows:
     6    §  387.  Temporary  appointment of interpreters. If the services of an
     7  interpreter be required in any court and there be no unemployed official
     8  interpreter to act therein, the court may appoint an interpreter to  act
     9  temporarily  in  such court. Such interpreter shall before entering upon
    10  his duties file with the clerk of the court the constitutional  oath  of
    11  office,  and  an  affidavit under oath or affirmation to make a true and
    12  impartial interpretation of  proceedings  in  an  understandable  manner
    13  using such interpreter's best skills and judgment in accordance with the
    14  standards  for professional conduct and ethical behavior found and rein-
    15  forced in the UCS Court Interpreter Manual  and  the  Court  Interpreter
    16  Canons  of Professional Responsibility. Court interpreters shall partic-
    17  ipate in training programs  provided  by  the  court  system  for  court
    18  personnel  on  ethics,  domestic violence and cultural sensitivity.  The
    19  court shall fix the compensation of such interpreter at  not  more  than
    20  twenty-five  dollars  per day for each day's actual attendance by direc-
    21  tion of the presiding judge or justice and such  compensation  shall  be
    22  paid from the court fund of the county upon the order of the court.
    23    §  4.  The judiciary law is amended by adding two new sections 381 and
    24  382 to read as follows:
    25    § 381. Standards and functions of court interpreters. 1.  A  qualified
    26  interpreter is a person who is: (a) able to communicate with non-English
    27  speaking  persons  to  orally  transfer the meaning of statements to and
    28  from English and the language spoken by a non-English speaking person;
    29    (b) interpret in a manner that conserves the meaning, tone, level  and
    30  register  of  the  original  statement  without substantive additions or
    31  omissions; and
    32    (c) performs his or her duties in conformance with  the  standards  of
    33  professional  conduct  and  ethical behavior found and reinforced in the
    34  UCS Court Interpreter Manual and the Court Interpreter Canons of Profes-
    35  sional Responsibility.
    36    2.  Any  person  serving  as  a  court  interpreter  pursuant  to  the
    37  provisions  of  this  article  shall,  in any proceeding before a court,
    38  state agency or hearing officer, state or submit  such  person's  quali-
    39  fications on the record, unless waived or otherwise stipulated to by the
    40  parties or counsel to the parties prior to such proceeding.
    41    3.  A non-English speaking person shall be entitled to the services of
    42  a qualified court interpreter appointed by a court or state agency in  a
    43  criminal  or  civil  proceeding,  and  such court or state agency shall,
    44  unless waived pursuant to section three hundred eighty-two of this arti-
    45  cle, appoint a qualified  court  interpreter  in  a  civil  or  criminal
    46  proceeding  to:  (a) interpret the proceedings to a non-English speaking
    47  party;
    48    (b) interpret  the  testimony  of  a  non-English  speaking  party  or
    49  witness;
    50    (c)  assist  the court, agency or hearing officer in performing duties
    51  and responsibilities of the court, agency  or  hearing  officer  in  any
    52  proceeding  involving  one  or more parties who are non-English speaking
    53  persons.
    54    § 382.  Waiver of court interpreter. 1. Waiver  of  the  right  to  an
    55  interpreter  by  a  non-English speaking party to a proceeding  shall be
    56  effective only when approved by a judge or hearing  officer  after  such

        S. 2682                             3
 
     1  non-English  speaking  party  has  consulted with counsel, received oral
     2  counsel from a judge or hearing officer in open court as to  the  nature
     3  and  effect of such waiver, and has demonstrated, to the satisfaction of
     4  such  judge  or hearing officer, comprehension of such nature and effect
     5  and that such  waiver  is  knowingly  and  voluntarily  made.  Following
     6  approval  of  a  waiver,  a judge or hearing officer shall ensure that a
     7  recitation of the waiver procedure pursuant to this section is made part
     8  of the record of such proceeding.
     9    2. The failure of a non-English speaking person to request  an  inter-
    10  preter  shall  not  be  deemed  a  waiver of such right. Any non-English
    11  speaking person may retract a waiver made pursuant to subdivision one of
    12  this section at any time during the proceeding and indicate his  or  her
    13  desire to be assisted by a qualified interpreter.
    14    § 5. This act shall take effect immediately.
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