N.D. Sup. Ct. Admin. R.
RULE 50. COURT INTERPRETER QUALIFICATIONS AND PROCEDURES
1 Section 1. Policy. The Judicial System's policy is to ensure that adequate
2 court interpreter services are provided for those persons who are unable to readily
3 understand or communicate in the English language because of a disability or a
4 non-English speaking background. This rule establishes court interpreter
5 qualifications and general procedures to assist in ensuring that effective interpreter
6 services are provided.
7 Section 2. Providing Interpreters.
8 A. Interpreter at No Cost. A limited English proficiency individual is one
9 whose first language is other than English and who has a limited ability to speak,
10 read, write or understand English. Interpreters will be provided at no cost to a
11 limited English proficiency individual or deaf individual under the following
13 1. for deaf or hearing impaired individuals who are a litigant or witness in
14 any type of case;
15 2. for limited English proficiency litigants and witnesses in criminal,
16 administrative traffic, or infraction cases;
17 3. for limited English proficiency litigants and witnesses in juvenile
19 4. for limited English proficiency litigants and witnesses in Mental Health
20 cases under N.D.C.C. ch. 25-03.1;
21 5. for limited English proficiency litigants and witnesses in Sexually
22 Dangerous Commitment cases under N.D.C.C. ch. 25-03.3;
23 6. for limited English proficiency litigants and witnesses in Guardianship
24 cases under N.D.C.C. ch. 30.1-27 (minors) and 30.1-28 (incapacitated person);
25 7. for limited English proficiency litigants and witnesses in Conservatorship
26 cases under N.D.C.C. ch. 30.1-29;
27 8. for limited English proficiency litigants and witnesses in Domestic
28 Violence Protection Order cases under N.D.C.C. ch. 14-07.1;
29 9. for limited English proficiency litigants and witnesses in Disorderly
30 Conduct Restraining Order cases under N.D.C.C. &S& 12.1-31.2;
31 10. for limited English proficiency litigants and witnesses in Annulment of
32 Marriage cases under N.D.C.C. ch. 14-04;
33 11. for limited English proficiency litigants and witnesses in Divorce cases
34 under N.D.C.C. ch. 14-05.
35 12. for limited English proficiency litigants and witnesses in Paternity
36 cases under N.D.C.C. ch. 14-20.
37 13. for limited English proficiency litigants and witnesses in Contempt
38 of Court cases under N.D.C.C. ch. 27-10.
39 B. Appointment under Rule. An interpreter will be appointed for a person
40 with limited English proficiency who does not qualify for a free interpreter
41 under Section 2 (A) but who meets the standards of N.D.R.Civ.P. 43 or
42 N.D.R.Crim.P. 28. A party in a civil case may be required to reimburse the court
43 for interpreter costs based upon ability to pay.
44 C. Payment for Interpreters. Payment for interpreter services on
45 behalf of law enforcement, counsel for indigents, prosecutors or 46 corrections agents, other than at court appearances, is the responsibility of the
47 agency that requested the services or the political subdivision that appointed
48 counsel. Interpreter services required for evaluations, treatment, classes, or other 49 similar services is the responsibility of the agency providing the service.
50 D. Exclusions. Payment for interpreter services for discussions or meetings
51 with an attorney, depositions, discovery process, or other legal process outside of
52 a court appearance is the responsibility of the party requesting the service.
2 3. Court Interpreter Qualifications. Except as otherwise provided
54 in this rule, in order to provide court interpreter services in a judicial proceeding as
55 required by statute, rule, or order of the court, a person must have the following
57 A. If providing interpreter services for a person who is deaf or hearing
58 impaired, certification by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, certification by
59 the National or North Dakota Association for the Deaf, or approval by the
60 superintendent for the state school for the deaf.
61 B. If providing interpreter services for a non-English speaking person,
62 certification by a recognized interpreter certification program in another
63 jurisdiction and presence on a statewide roster of interpreters, if any, maintained
64 by that jurisdiction.
3 4. Qualifications Exception. If a court interpreter satisfying the
66 requirements of Section
2 3 is not available, a court may obtain the services of any
67 other interpreter whose actual qualifications have been determined by examination
68 or other appropriate means. For purposes of this section, "actual qualifications"
69 means the ability to readily communicate with a non-English speaking person and
70 orally transfer the meaning of statements to and from English and the language
71 spoken by the non-English speaking person, or the ability to communicate with a
72 hearing-impaired or otherwise disabled person, interpret the proceedings, and
73 accurately repeat and interpret the statements of the hearing-impaired or otherwise
74 disabled person.
4 5. General Procedures -- Requirements.
76 A. Interpreter Oath. Before commencing duties, an interpreter shall take an
77 oath that the interpreter will make a true, complete, and impartial interpretation in
78 an understandable manner to the person requiring interpretation services and that
79 the interpreter will truly, completely, and impartially repeat the statements of the
80 person to the best of the interpreter's skills and judgment.
81 B. Conflicts of Interest - Bias. An interpreter shall disclose to the court any
82 actual or perceived conflicts of interest that may impair the interpreter's ability to
83 adequately interpret the proceedings. An interpreter shall be impartial and unbiased
84 and shall refrain from conduct that may give the appearance of bias.
85 C. Objection to Interpreter. An objection regarding any circumstances that
86 may render an interpreter unqualified to interpret in the proceeding must be made
87 in a timely manner. The court shall consider the objection and make a ruling on the
89 D. Method of Interpretation. As the circumstances require, the court shall
90 consult with the interpreter and the parties regarding the method of interpretation
91 to be used to ensure that a complete and accurate interpretation of the testimony of
92 a witness or party is obtained.
93 E. Recording of Proceeding. The court on its own motion or on the motion
94 of a party may order that the testimony of the person for whom interpretation
95 services are provided and the interpretation be recorded for use in verifying the
96 official transcript of the proceeding. If an interpretation error is believed to have
97 occurred based on review of the recording, a party may file a motion requesting
98 that the court direct that the official transcript be amended.
99 F. Additional Interpreter. As circumstances may require, the court may
100 provide an additional interpreter to afford relief and reduce fatigue if the time
101 period of interpretation exceeds  continuous hours.
102 G. Removal of Interpreter. The court may remove an interpreter if the
104 (1) is unable to adequately interpret the proceedings;
105 (2) knowingly makes a false interpretation;
106 (3) knowingly discloses confidential or privileged information obtained
107 while serving as an interpreter;
108 (4) knowingly fails to disclose a conflict of interest that impairs the ability
109 to provide complete and accurate interpretation; or
110 (5) fails to appear as scheduled without good cause.
111 Section 5. Effective Date. This rule is effective March 1, 2005. This rule
112 was amended, effective August 1, 2015.