SB 6005-S - DIGEST

Requires each trial court organized under Title 2 RCW and Titles 3 and 35 RCW must develop a written language assistance plan to provide a framework for the provision of interpreter services for non-English-speaking persons accessing the court system in both civil and criminal legal matters.

Provides that each court, when developing its language assistance plan, must consult with judges, court administrators and court clerks, interpreters, and members of the community, such as domestic violence organizations, pro bono programs, courthouse facilitators, legal services programs, and/or other community groups whose members speak a language other than English.

Requires each court to provide a copy of its language assistance plan to the interpreter commission established by supreme court rule for approval prior to receiving state reimbursement for interpreter costs under this act.

Requires each court to provide to the administrative office of the courts by November 15, 2007, a report detailing an assessment of the need for interpreter services for non-English speakers in court-mandated classes or programs, the extent to which interpreter services are currently available for court-mandated classes or programs, and the resources that would be required to ensure that interpreters are provided to non-English speakers in court-mandated classes or programs. The administrative office of the courts shall compile these reports and provide them to the appropriate committees of the legislature by December 15, 2007.

Provides that where an interpreter is appointed by a judicial officer in a proceeding before a court at public expense, the state of Washington shall reimburse the appointing authority for one-half of the payment to the interpreter where: (1) The interpreter appointed is an interpreter certified by the administrative office of the courts or is a qualified interpreter registered by the administrative office of the courts in a noncertified language, or where the necessary language is not certified or registered, the interpreter has been qualified by the judicial officer pursuant to this act;

(2) The court conducting the legal proceeding has an approved language assistance plan that complies with this act; and

(3) The fee paid to the interpreter for services is in accordance with standards established by the administrative office of the courts.