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. § 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 B. Appointment under Rule. An interpreter will be appointed for a person
36 with limited English proficiency or a deaf person who does not qualify for a free
37 interpreter under Section 2 (A) but who meets the standards of N.D.R.Civ.P. 43 or
38 N.D.R.Crim.P. 28. The person may be required to reimburse the court for the cost
39 of the interpreter, based upon ability to pay.
40 C. Payment for Agency Interpreters. Payment for interpreter services on
41 behalf of law enforcement, defense attorneys, prosecutors or corrections agents,
42 other than at court appearances, is the responsibility of the agency that requested
43 the services. Interpreter services required for evaluations, treatment, classes, or
44 other similar services is the responsibility of the agency providing the service.
45 Payment for interpreter services for discussions or meetings with an attorney,
46 depositions, discovery process, or other legal process outside of a court appearance
47 is the responsibility of the party requesting the service.
2 3. Court Interpreter qualifications. Except as
49 in this rule, in order to provide court interpreter services in a judicial proceeding as
50 required by statute, rule, or order of the court, a person must have the following
52 A. If providing interpreter services for a person who is deaf or hearing
53 impaired, certification by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, certification by
54 the National or North Dakota Association for the Deaf, or approval by the
55 superintendent for the state school for the deaf.
56 B. If providing interpreter services for a non-English speaking person,
57 certification by a recognized interpreter certification program in another
58 jurisdiction and presence on a statewide roster of interpreters, if any, maintained
59 by that jurisdiction.
3 4. Qualifications Exception. If a court
interpreter satisfying the
61 requirements of Section
2 3 is not available, a court may
obtain the services of any
62 other interpreter whose actual qualifications have been determined by examination
63 or other appropriate means. For purposes of this section, "actual qualifications"
64 means the ability to readily communicate with a non-English speaking person and
65 orally transfer the meaning of statements to and from English and the language
66 spoken by the non-English speaking person, or the ability to interpret communicate
67 with a hearing-impaired or otherwise disabled person, the proceedings, and
68 accurately repeat and interpret the statements of the hearing-impaired or otherwise
69 disabled person.
4 5. General Procedures -- Requirements.
71 A. Interpreter Oath. Before commencing duties, an interpreter shall take an
72 oath that the interpreter will make a true, complete, and impartial interpretation in
73 an understandable manner to the person requiring interpretation services and that
74 the interpreter will truly, completely, and impartially repeat the statements of the
75 person to the best of the interpreter's skills and judgment.
76 B. Conflicts of Interest - Bias. An interpreter shall disclose to the court any
77 actual or perceived conflicts of interest that may impair the interpreter's ability to
78 adequately interpret the proceedings. An interpreter shall be impartial and unbiased
79 and shall refrain from conduct that may give the appearance of bias.
80 C. Objection to Interpreter. An objection regarding any circumstances that
81 may render an interpreter unqualified to interpret in the proceeding must be made
82 in a timely manner. The court shall consider the objection and make a ruling on the
84 D. Method of Interpretation. As the circumstances require, the court shall
85 consult with the interpreter and the parties regarding the method of interpretation
86 to be used to ensure that a complete and accurate interpretation of the testimony of
87 a witness or party is obtained.
88 E. Recording of Proceeding. The court on its own motion or on the motion
89 of a party may order that the testimony of the person for whom interpretation
90 services are provided and the interpretation be recorded for use in verifying the
91 official transcript of the proceeding. If an interpretation error is believed to have
92 occurred based on review of the recording, a party may file a motion requesting
93 that the court direct that the official transcript be amended.
94 F. Additional Interpreter. As circumstances may require, the court may
95 provide an additional interpreter to afford relief and reduce fatigue if the time
96 period of interpretation exceeds  continuous hours.
97 G. Removal of Interpreter. The court may remove an interpreter if the
99 (1) is unable to adequately interpret the proceedings;
100 (2) knowingly makes a false interpretation;
101 (3) knowingly discloses confidential or privileged information obtained
102 while serving as an interpreter;
103 (4) knowingly fails to disclose a conflict of interest that impairs the ability
104 to provide complete and accurate interpretation; or
105 (5) fails to appear as scheduled without good cause.
106 Section 5. Effective Date. This rule is effective March 1, 2005. This rule
107 was amended, effective______________________.