NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A7939A REVISED MEMO 06/11/2015
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the judiciary law, in relation to
enabling the participation in court proceedings of individuals who are
deaf or hard of hearing
PURPOSE OF BILL:
This bill will provide real time court reporting services to individuals
who are deaf or hard of hearing.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS OF BILL:
Section 1 - Amends the judiciary law section 390 to provide equal access
to court proceedings for deaf or hard of hearing persons by authorizing
the provision of real-time stenographic translation for deaf or hard of
hearing persons in court, in addition to the provision of other appro-
priate auxiliary aids or services.
Section 2 - Effective date.
While the court currently has the ability to make arrangements for the
deaf and hard of hearing there is no detailed mandated to do so and 60%
of reporters do not have the capacity to do so. This bill would enable
the deaf and hearing impaired to receive real time court reporting
New bill, 2015.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have
become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2015-2016 Regular Sessions
June 1, 2015
Introduced by M. of A. WEINSTEIN, SCHIMEL, WEPRIN -- read once and
referred to the Committee on Judiciary -- reported and referred to the
Committee on Ways and Means -- committee discharged, bill amended,
ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee
AN ACT to amend the judiciary law, in relation to enabling the partic-
ipation in court proceedings of individuals who are deaf or hard of
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Section 390 of the judiciary law, as amended by chapter 478
2 of the laws of 1992, is amended to read as follows:
3 § 390. [Appointment of interpreter] Equal access to court proceedings
4 for deaf or hard of hearing person. 1. Whenever any deaf or hard of
5 hearing person is a party to a legal proceeding of any nature, or a
6 witness or juror or prospective juror therein, the court in all
7 instances shall appoint a qualified interpreter who is certified by a
8 recognized national or New York state credentialing authority as
9 approved by the chief administrator of the courts to interpret the
10 proceeding to, and the testimony of, such deaf or hard of hearing
11 person; provided, however, where compliance with this section would
12 cause unreasonable delay in court proceedings, the court shall be
13 authorized to temporarily appoint an interpreter who is otherwise quali-
14 fied to interpret the proceedings to, and the testimony of, such deaf or
15 hard of hearing person until a certified interpreter is available. In
16 any criminal action in a state-funded court, the court shall also
17 appoint such an interpreter to interpret the proceedings to a deaf or
18 hard of hearing person who is the victim of the crime or may appoint
19 such interpreter for the deaf or hard of hearing members of the immedi-
20 ate family (parent or spouse) of a victim of the crime when specifically
21 requested to do so by such victim or family member. The fee for all such
22 interpreting services shall be a charge upon the state at rates of
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 7939--A 2
1 compensation established by rule of the chief administrator; except that
2 where such interpreting services are rendered in a justice court, the
3 fee therefor shall be paid as provided by law in effect on July first,
4 nineteen hundred ninety-one.
5 2. (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision one of this
6 section, a court may, upon request of a deaf or hard of hearing person
7 or upon its own motion, and in lieu of appointing an interpreter as
8 otherwise required in such subdivision one, provide an assistive listen-
9 ing device, a stenographer who can furnish communication access real-
10 time translation or any other appropriate auxiliary aid or service.
11 (b) For purposes of this subdivision, the following terms shall have
12 the following meanings:
13 (i) "Stenographer" means any individual who fulfills the requirements
14 of section two hundred ninety-one of this chapter.
15 (ii) "Communication access real-time translation (CART)" means the
16 instantaneous translation of everything that is spoken in the court room
17 via a real-time feed, which by means of software converts shorthand
18 transcription into real-time captioning immediately which can be
19 displayed on a computer or monitor.
20 § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.