SENATE BILL NO. 6571


                                                            AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE


                                                                            C 183 L 90



State of Washington                               51st Legislature                              1990 Regular Session


By Senators Newhouse and Rinehart



Read first time 1/17/90 and referred to Committee on  Law & Justice.



AN ACT Relating to interpreters in legal proceedings; amending RCW 2.42.220; and recodifying RCW 2.42.200, 2.42.210, 2.42.220, 2.42.230, 2.42.240, 2.42.250, 2.42.260, and 2.42.270.




        Sec. 1.  Section 3, chapter 358, Laws of 1989 and RCW 2.42.220 are each amended to read as follows:

          (1) Whenever an interpreter is appointed to assist a non-English-speaking person in a legal proceeding, the appointing authority shall, in the absence of a written waiver by the person, appoint a certified or a qualified interpreter to assist the person throughout the proceedings.

          (a) Except as otherwise provided for in (b) of this subsection, the interpreter appointed shall be a qualified interpreter.

          (b) Beginning on July 1, 1990, when a non-English-speaking person is a party to a legal proceeding, or is subpoenaed or summoned by an appointing authority or is otherwise compelled by an appointing authority to appear at a legal proceeding, the appointing authority shall use the services of only those language interpreters who have been certified by the office of the administrator for the courts, unless good cause is found and noted on the record by the appointing authority.  For purposes of this act, "good cause" includes but is not limited to a determination that:

          (i) Given the totality of the circumstances, including the nature of the proceeding and the potential penalty or consequences involved, the services of a certified interpreter are not reasonably available to the appointing authority; or

          (ii) The current list of certified interpreters maintained by the office of the administrator for the courts does not include an interpreter certified in the language spoken by the non-English-speaking person.

          (c) Except as otherwise provided in this section, when a non-English-speaking person is involved in a legal proceeding, the appointing authority shall appoint a qualified interpreter.

          (2) If good cause is found for using an interpreter who is not certified or if a qualified interpreter is appointed, the appointing authority shall make a preliminary determination, on the basis of testimony or stated needs of the non-English-speaking person, that the proposed interpreter is able to interpret accurately all communications to and from such person in that particular proceeding.  The appointing authority shall satisfy itself on the record that the proposed interpreter:

          (a) Is capable of communicating effectively with the court or agency and the person for whom the interpreter would interpret; and

          (b) Has read, understands, and will abide by the code of ethics for language interpreters established by court rules.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  RCW 2.42.200, 2,42.210, 2.42.220, 2.42.230, 2.42.240, 2.42.250, 2.42.260, and 2.42.270 shall be recodified as a new chapter in Title 2 RCW.

                                                                                                                           Passed the Senate March 5, 1990.


                                                                                                                                       President of the Senate.


                                                                                                                           Passed the House March 2, 1990.


                                                                                                                                         Speaker of the House.