TBD | Rule 2.560 Fla. R. Civ. P.
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RULE 2.560 | APPOINTMENT OF SPOKEN LANGUAGE COURT INTERPRETERS FOR NON-ENGLISH-SPEAKING AND LIMITED-ENGLISH-PROFICIENT PERSONS

(a) Criminal or Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings. In any criminal or juvenile delinquency proceeding in which the accused, the parent or legal guardian of the accursed juvenile, the victim, or the alleged victim cannot understand or has limited understanding of English, or cannot express himself or herself in English sufficiently to be understood, an interpreter shall be appointed.

(b) Other Proceedings. In all other proceedings in which a non-English-speaking or limited-English-proficient person is a litigant, an interpreter for the non-English-speaking or limited-English-proficient litigant shall be appointed if the court determines that the litigant’s inability to comprehend English deprives the litigant of an understanding of the court proceedings, that a fundamental interest is at stake (such as in a civil commitment, termination of parental rights, paternity, or dependency proceeding), and that no alternative to the appointment of an interpreter exists.

(c) Witnesses. In any proceeding in which a non-English-speaking or limited-English-proficient person is a witness, the appointment of an interpreter shall be governed by the applicable provisions of the Florida Evidence Code.

(d) Compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In making determinations regarding the appointment of an interpreter, the court should ensure compliance with the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

(e) Qualifications of Interpreter.
(1) Appointment of Interpreters When Certified or Other Duly Qualified Interpreters Are Available. Whenever possible, a certified or other duly qualified interpreter, as defined in the Rules for Certification and Regulation of Spoken Language Court Interpreters, shall be appointed. Preference shall be given to appointment of certified and language skilled interpreters, then to persons holding a provisionally approved designation.
(2) Appointment of Interpreters When Certified or Other Duly Qualified Interpreters Are Unavailable. If, after diligent search, a certified, language skilled, or provisionally approved interpreter is not available, the presiding judge, magistrate, or hearing officer, finding good cause, may appoint an interpreter who is otherwise registered with the Office of the State Courts Administrator in accordance with the Rules for Certification and Regulation of Spoken Language Court Interpreters. No appointment shall be made under this subdivision unless the presiding judge, magistrate, or hearing officer makes a determination, on the record, the proposed interpreter is competent to interpret in the proceedings.
(3) Appointment in Exceptional Circumstances. If after diligent search no interpreter qualifying under subdivision (e)(1) or (e)(2) of this rule is available at the time interpreter services are needed, the presiding judge, magistrate, or hearing officer, finding good cause exists for the appointment of an interpreter not qualifying under subdivision (e)(1) or (e)(2), such as the prevention of burdensome delay, the request or consent of the non-English-speaking or limited-English-proficient person, or other unusual circumstance, may appoint an interpreter who is not certified, language skilled, provisionally approved, or otherwise registered with the Office of the State Courts Administrator. No appointment, including appointment of interpreters available via remote technology, shall be made under this subdivision unless the presiding judge, magistrate, or hearing officer finds the proposed interpreter is competent to interpret in the proceedings. This finding must be made on the record based, not only on the unavailability of an interpreter otherwise qualified in a particular language, but also on specific exigent circumstances given the demands of the case and the interpreter’s sworn assertion he or she is able, either in direct or relay/intermediary interpretation, to communicate effectively in the languages in which interpreter services are required. An appointment under this subdivision shall excuse an interpreter so appointed from the registration requirements under the Rules for Certification and Regulation of Spoken Language Court Interpreters, but only for the delivery of the specific services for which the interpreter is appointed.
(4) On-the-Record Objections or Waivers in Criminal and Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings. In any criminal or juvenile delinquency proceeding in which the interpreter is not appointed under subdivision (e)(1) of this rule, the court shall advise the accused, on the record, that the proposed interpreter is not certified, language skilled, or provisionally approved pursuant to the Rules for Certification and Regulation of Spoken Language Court Interpreters. The accused’s objection to the appointment of a proposed interpreter, or the accused’s waiver of the appointment of a certified, language skilled, or provisionally approved interpreter, shall also be on the record.
(5) Additional on-the-Record Findings, Objections, and Waivers Required at Subsequent Proceedings. The appointment of an interpreter who is not certified, language skilled, or provisionally approved in accordance with the Rules for Certification and Regulation of Spoken Language Court Interpreters shall be limited to a specific proceeding and shall not be extended to subsequent proceedings in a case without additional findings of good cause and qualification as required by subdivisions (e)(2) and (e)(3) of this rule, and additional compliance with the procedures for on-the-record objections or waivers provided for in subdivision (e)(4) of this rule.

(f) Privileged Communications. Whenever a person communicates through an interpreter to any person under circumstances that would render the communication privileged and such person could not be compelled to testify as to the communication, the privilege shall also apply to the interpreter.

(g) Definitions. When used in this rule, the following terms shall have the meanings set forth below: (1) Limited-English-Proficient Person. A person who is unable to communicate effectively in English because the individual’s primary language is not English and he or she has not developed fluency in the English language. A person with limited English proficiency may have difficulty speaking, reading, writing, or understanding English.
(2) Proceeding. Any hearing or trial, excluding an administrative hearing or trial, presided over by a judge, general magistrate, special magistrate, or hearing officer within the state courts.

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