N.D. Sup. Ct. Admin. R.
RULE 50. COURT INTERPRETER QUALIFICATIONS AND PROCEDURES
1 SECTION 1. POLICY.
2 The Judicial System's policy is to ensure that adequate court interpreter
3 services are provided for those persons who are unable to readily understand or
4 communicate in the English language because of a disability or a non-English
5 speaking background. This rule establishes court interpreter qualifications and
6 general procedures to assist in ensuring that effective interpreter services are
8 SECTION 2. PROVIDING INTERPRETERS.
9 A. Interpreter at No Cost. A limited English proficiency individual is one
10 whose first language is other than English and who has a limited ability to speak,
11 read, write or understand English. Interpreters will be provided at no cost to a
12 limited English proficiency individual or deaf individual under the following
14 1. for deaf or hearing impaired individuals who are a litigant,
or witness or
15 juror in any type of case;
16 2. for limited English proficiency litigants and witnesses in criminal,
17 administrative traffic, or infraction cases;
18 3. for limited English proficiency litigants and witnesses in juvenile
20 4. for limited English proficiency litigants and witnesses in Mental Health cases
21 under N.D.C.C. ch. 25-03.1;
22 5. for limited English proficiency litigants and witnesses in Sexually
23 Dangerous Commitment cases under N.D.C.C. ch. 25-03.3;
24 6. for limited English proficiency litigants and witnesses in Guardianship
25 cases under N.D.C.C. ch. 30.1-27 (minors) and 30.1-28 (incapacitated person);
26 7. for limited English proficiency litigants and witnesses in Conservatorship
27 cases under N.D.C.C. ch. 30.1-29;
28 8. for limited English proficiency litigants and witnesses in Domestic
29 Violence Protection Order cases under N.D.C.C. ch. 14-07.1;
30 9. for limited English proficiency litigants and witnesses in Sexual Assault
31 Restraining Order cases under N.D.C.C. § 12.1-31-01.2;
9 10. for limited English proficiency litigants and
witnesses in Disorderly
33 Conduct Restraining Order cases under N.D.C.C. ch. 12.1-31.2;
10 11. for limited English proficiency litigants and
witnesses in Annulment
35 of Marriage cases under N.D.C.C. ch. 14-04;
11 12. for limited English proficiency litigants and
witnesses in Divorce
37 cases under N.D.C.C. ch. 14-05;
12 13. for limited English proficiency litigants and
witnesses in Paternity
39 cases under N.D.C.C. ch. 14-20;
13 14. for limited English proficiency litigants and
witnesses in Contempt
41 of Court cases under N.D.C.C. ch. 27-10.
42 B. Appointment under Rule. An interpreter will be appointed for a person
43 with limited English proficiency who does not qualify for a free interpreter under
44 Section 2 (A) but who meets the standards of N.D.R.Civ.P. 43 or N.D.R.Crim.P.
45 28. A party in a civil case may be required to reimburse the court for interpreter
46 costs based upon ability to pay.
47 C. Payment for Interpreters. Payment for interpreter services on behalf of
48 law enforcement, counsel for indigents, prosecutors or corrections agents, other
49 than at court appearances, is the responsibility of the agency that requested the
50 services or the political subdivision that appointed counsel. Interpreter services
51 required for evaluations, treatment, classes, or other similar services is the
52 responsibility of the agency providing the service.
53 D. Exclusions. Payment for interpreter services for discussions or meetings
54 with an attorney, depositions, discovery process, or other legal process outside of a
55 court appearance is the responsibility of the party requesting the service.
56 SECTION 3. COURT INTERPRETER QUALIFICATIONS.
57 Except as otherwise provided in this rule, in order to provide court
58 interpreter services in a judicial proceeding as required by statute, rule, or order of
59 the court, a person must have the following qualifications:
60 A. If providing interpreter services for a person who is deaf or hearing
61 impaired, certification by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, certification by
62 the National or North Dakota Association for the Deaf, or approval by the
63 superintendent for the state school for the deaf.
64 B. If providing interpreter services for a non-English speaking person,
65 certification by a recognized interpreter certification program in another
66 jurisdiction and presence on a statewide roster of interpreters, if any, maintained
67 by that jurisdiction.
68 SECTION 4. QUALIFICATIONS EXCEPTION.
69 If a court interpreter satisfying the requirements of Section 2 is not
70 available, a court may obtain the services of any other interpreter whose actual
71 qualifications have been determined by examination or other appropriate means.
72 For purposes of this section, "actual qualifications" means the ability to readily
73 communicate with a non-English speaking person and orally transfer the meaning
74 of statements to and from English and the language spoken by the non-English
75 speaking person, or the ability to communicate with a hearing-impaired or
76 otherwise disabled person, interpret the proceedings, and accurately repeat and
77 interpret the statements of the hearing-impaired or otherwise disabled person.
78 SECTION 5. GENERAL PROCEDURES - REQUIREMENTS
79 A. Interpreter Oath. Before commencing duties, an interpreter shall take an
80 oath that the interpreter will make a true, complete, and impartial interpretation in
81 an understandable manner to the person requiring interpretation services and that
82 the interpreter will truly, completely, and impartially repeat the statements of the
83 person to the best of the interpreter's skills and judgment.
84 B. Conflicts of Interest - Bias. An interpreter shall disclose to the court any
85 actual or perceived conflicts of interest that may impair the interpreter's ability to
86 adequately interpret the proceedings. An interpreter shall be impartial and unbiased
87 and shall refrain from conduct that may give the appearance of bias.
88 C. Objection to Interpreter. An objection regarding any circumstances that
89 may render an interpreter unqualified to interpret in the proceeding must be made
90 in a timely manner. The court shall consider the objection and make a ruling on the
92 D. Method of Interpretation. As the circumstances require, the court shall
93 consult with the interpreter and the parties regarding the method of interpretation
94 to be used to ensure that a complete and accurate interpretation of the testimony of
95 a witness or party is obtained.
96 E. Recording of Proceeding. The court on its own motion or on the motion
97 of a party may order that the testimony of the person for whom interpretation
98 services are provided and the interpretation be recorded for use in verifying the
99 official transcript of the proceeding. If an interpretation error is believed to have
100 occurred based on review of the recording, a party may file a motion requesting
101 that the court direct that the official transcript be amended.
102 F. Additional Interpreter. As circumstances may require, the court may
103 provide an additional interpreter to afford relief and reduce fatigue if the time
104 period of interpretation exceeds  continuous hours.
105 G. Removal of Interpreter. The court may remove an interpreter if the
107 (1) is unable to adequately interpret the proceedings;
108 (2) knowingly makes a false interpretation;
109 (3) knowingly discloses confidential or privileged information obtained
110 while serving as an interpreter;
111 (4) knowingly fails to disclose a conflict of interest that impairs the ability
112 to provide complete and accurate interpretation; or
113 (5) fails to appear as scheduled without good cause.
114 SECTION 6. EFFECTIVE DATE.
115 This rule is effective March 1, 2005. This rule was amended, effective
116 August 1, 2015;_________________.