Amendments to the Rules of Judicial Administration concerning interpreters
The Florida Bar’s Rules of Judicial Administration Committee (Committee) and the Court Interpreter Certification Board (Board) have submitted to the Florida Supreme Court an out-of-cycle report proposing amendments to Florida Rules of Judicial Administration. The proposed amendments pertain to the audio recording of interpreted portions of court proceedings and the retention of interpreters by attorneys and self-represented litigants. The Court invites all interested persons to comment on the proposed amendments, which are reproduced in full below, as well as online at http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/decisions/proposed.shtml. All comments must be filed with the Court on or before August 31, 2017, with a certificate of service verifying that a copy has been served on the Committee Chair, Judson Lee Cohen, 14125 NW 80th Ave., Ste. 400, Miami Lakes, FL, 33016-2350, [email protected], the Bar Staff Liaison to the Committee, Krys Godwin, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2300, [email protected], the Board Chair, the Honorable J. Kevin Abdoney, P.O. Box 900, Drawer J165, Bartow, FL 33831-9000, [email protected], and the Office of the State Courts Administrator Staff Liaison to the Board, Melissa Hamilton, 500 South Duval St., Tallahassee, FL 32399, [email protected], as well as a separate request for oral argument if the person filing the comment wishes to participate in oral argument, which may be scheduled in this case. The Committee and Board Chairs have until September 22, 2017, to file a response to any comments filed with the Court. If filed by an attorney in good standing with The Florida Bar, the comment must be electronically filed via the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal (Portal) in accordance with In re Electronic Filing in the Supreme Court of Florida via the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal, Fla. Admin. Order No. AOSC13-7 (Feb. 18, 2013). If filed by a nonlawyer or a lawyer not licensed to practice in Florida, the comment may be, but is not required to be, filed via the Portal. Comments filed via the Portal must be submitted in Microsoft Word 97 or higher. See In re Electronic Filing in the Florida Supreme Court, Fla. Admin. Order No. AOSC17-27 (May 9, 2017). Any person unable to submit a comment electronically must mail or hand-deliver the originally signed comment to the Florida Supreme Court, Office of the Clerk, 500 South Duval Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1927; no additional copies are required or will be accepted.
IN RE: AMENDMENTS TO THE FLORIDA RULES OF JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION 2.430, 2.535, 2.560, AND 2.565, CASE NO. SC17-1137
Rule 2.430. Retention of Court Records
(a) Definitions. The following definitions apply to this rule:
(1) “Court records” mean the contents of the court file, including the progress docket and other similar records generated to document activity in a case, transcripts filed with the clerk, documentary exhibits in the custody of the clerk, and electronic records, video tapes, or stenographic tapes of depositions or other proceedings filed with the clerk, and
electronic records, videotapes or, stenographic tapes, and electronic records of court proceedings, including electronic records in the form of audio recordings of the English and non-English portions of proceedings interpreted by a spoken language court interpreter when such audio recordings are required to be made and retained by law or rule of court.
(2) – (3) [no change]
(b) – (d) [no change]
(e) Court Reporters’ Notes. Court reporters or persons acting as court reporters for judicial or discovery proceedings shall retain the original notes or electronic records of the proceedings or depositions until the times specified below:
(1) 2 years from the date of preparing the transcript — Judicial proceedings, arbitration hearings, and discovery proceedings when an original transcript has been prepared.
When an agreement has been made between the reporter and any other person and the person has paid the reasonable charges for storage and retention of the notes, the notes or records shall be kept for any longer time agreed on. All reporters’ notes shall be retained in a secure place in Florida. The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to electronic records in the form of audio recordings of the English and non-English portions of proceedings interpreted by a spoken language court interpreter when such audio recordings are required to be made and retained by law or rule of court. Such court records shall be retained as provided by law or other rule of court.
(f) – (k) [no change]
RULE 2.535. COURT REPORTING
- (a) Definitions.
(5) “Electronic record” means the audio, analog, digital, or video record of a court proceeding including the audio recording of the English and non-English portions of a court proceeding interpreted by a spoken language court interpreter when such audio recording is required to be made by law or rule of court.
(6) [no change]
(b) [no change]
(c) Record. When trial proceedings are being reported, no part of the proceedings, other than any portion conducted in a language other than English, shall be omitted unless all of the parties agree to do so and the court approves the agreement. When a deposition is being reported, no part of the proceedings, other than any portion conducted in a language other than English, shall be omitted unless all of the parties and the witness so agree. When a party or a witness seeks to terminate or suspend the taking of a deposition for the time necessary to seek a court order, the court reporter shall discontinue reporting the testimony of the witness.
(d) – (j) [no change]
2009 Amendment. The definitions of “electronic record” in subdivision (a)(5) and of “official record” in subdivision (a)(6) are intended to clarify that when a court proceeding is electronically recorded by means of audio, analog, digital, or video equipment, and is also recorded via a written transcript prepared by a court reporter, the written transcript shall be the “official record” of the proceeding to the exclusion of all electronic records. While the term “record” is used within Rule 2.535 and within Fla. R. App. P. 9.200, it has a different meaning within the unique context of each rule. Accordingly, the meaning of the term “record” as defined for purposes of this rule does not in any way alter, amend, change, or conflict with the meaning of the term “record” as defined for appellate purposes in Fla. R. App. P. 9.200(a).
20__ Amendment. The inclusion in the definition “electronic record” of certain audio recordings of the English and non-English portions of a court proceeding in which a spoken language court interpreter is utilized is intended to give effect to amendments to Rule 2.560 that require the court make and retain such recordings when certain lesser qualified interpreters are utilized. Specifically, including audio recordings required by Rule 2.560 in the definition of “electronic record” ensures that such court records will be retained for the time periods specified in Rule 2.430 as amended. On the other hand, the amendment to the definition of “electronic record” is not intended to signal a requirement that the non-English portion of a proceeding be reported. Therefore, the definition of “record” has been amended to clarify that the non-English portion of trial proceedings and depositions shall be omitted from the proceedings reported.
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
a non-English-speaking or limited-English-proficient person is the accused, the parent or legal guardian of the accused 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 for the non-English-speaking or limited-English-proficient person shall be appointed. In any criminal or juvenile delinquency proceeding in which a non-English-speaking or limited-English-proficient person is a victim, an interpreter shall be appointed unless the court finds that the victim does not require the services of a court-appointed interpreter.
(b) – (d) [no change]
(e) Qualifications of Interpreter.
(1) – (3) [no change]
On-the-Record Objections or Waivers in Recording in Criminal and Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings. In any criminal or juvenile delinquency proceeding in which an appointment is made under subdivision (e)(2) of an interpreter who has been registered for less than two years, or when an appointment is made under subdivision (e)(3), a recording must be made and retained as an electronic record for both the English and non-English portions of the proceeding 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.
Additional on-the-Record Findings, Objections, and Waivers Required atAppointments in 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) – (g) [no change]
RULE 2.565. RETENTION OF SPOKEN LANGUAGE COURT INTERPRETERS FOR NON-ENGLISH-SPEAKING AND LIMITED-ENGLISH-PROFICIENT PERSONS BY ATTORNEYS OR SELF-REPRESENTED LITIGANTS
(a) Retention of Interpreters when Certified or Other Duly Qualified Interpreters Are Available.
In the absence of a requirement that a spoken language interpreter be appointed by the Court under rule 2.560, wWhen an attorney or self-represented litigant retains the services of an interpreter are required to assist a non-English-speaking or limited-English-proficient litigant or witness in a court proceeding or court-related proceeding as defined in the Rules for Certification and Regulation of Spoken Language Court Interpreters, anthe attorney or self-represented litigant shall, whenever possible, retain a certified, language skilled or provisionally approved interpreter, as defined in the Rules for Certification and Regulation of Spoken Language Court Interpreters. Preference shall be given to retention of certified and language skilled interpreters, then to persons holding a provisionally approved designation.
(b) – (f) [no change]