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AB-2531 Access to judicial and nonjudicial proceedings: individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing: operators of computer-aided transcription systems.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 09/01/2018 04:00 AM
AB2531:v94#DOCUMENT

Enrolled  August 31, 2018
Passed  IN  Senate  August 28, 2018
Passed  IN  Assembly  August 29, 2018
Amended  IN  Senate  August 23, 2018
Amended  IN  Senate  June 04, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 12, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 04, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 2531


Introduced by Assembly Member Gallagher

February 14, 2018


An act to add Article 7 (commencing with Section 8060) to Chapter 13 of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, and to amend Section 54.8 of the Civil Code, relating to courts.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2531, Gallagher. Access to judicial and nonjudicial proceedings: individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing: operators of computer-aided transcription systems.
Existing law requires that a participant in any civil or criminal proceeding, court-ordered or court-provided alternative dispute resolution, or administrative hearing of a public agency, who is hearing impaired be provided with a functioning assistive listening system or a computer-aided transcription system, upon his or her request. Existing law requires, if a computer-aided transcription system is requested, sufficient display terminals be provided to allow the hearing impaired individual to read the real-time transcript of the proceeding without difficulty. Existing law requires the Judicial Council to perform various tasks related to assistive listening systems and computer-aided transcription systems, including the development and maintenance of a system to record utilization by the courts of these systems.
This bill would require an individual requiring the services of an operator of a computer-aided transcription system to give advance notice of this need, as specified, and would require the operator to provide the speech-to-text equipment to be used, unless otherwise provided by the court. The bill would require a sign to be posted in a prominent place indicating the availability, and how to request, the services of an operator. The bill would also require the Judicial Council to develop and approve official forms for notice of the availability of the services of an operator and to develop and maintain a system to record utilization by the courts of the services of certified operators of computer-aided transcription systems, the services of sign language interpreters, and the services of otherwise uncertified operators, interpreters, or captioners. The bill would also change references to “hearing impaired” to “deaf or hard of hearing.”
Existing law authorizes a court reporter to be present in the jury deliberating room during jury deliberation if the services of the court reporter for the purpose of operating a computer-aided transcription system are required for a juror who is hearing impaired.
This bill would instead authorize an operator of a computer-aided transcription system to be present for that purpose.
Existing law requires the Court Reporters Board of California to license and regulate the practice of shorthand reporting, defined to generally mean, among other things, the making of a verbatim record of any oral court proceeding.
This bill, on or before January 1, 2020, would authorize the board to identify a certification process for operators of computer-aided transcription systems that is conducted by a state or national association. The bill, on or before January 1, 2022, upon appropriation by the Legislature, would require the board to adopt standards for certifying operators of computer-aided transcription systems and would authorize the board to satisfy this requirement by approving a state or national association to certify operators of computer-aided transcription systems. The bill, on or before January 1, 2026, would also require the board to report to the Legislature the number of operators of computer-aided transcription systems that, between January 1, 2022, and July 1, 2025, have successfully been certified pursuant to the standards adopted by the board.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Article 7 (commencing with Section 8060) is added to Chapter 13 of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, to read:
Article  7. Operators of Computer-Aided Transcription Systems

8060.
 (a) (1) On or before January 1, 2020, the board may identify a certification process for operators of computer-aided transcription systems, as described in Section 54.8 of the Civil Code, that is conducted by a state or national association.
(2) The identification of a certification process by the board pursuant to this subdivision shall be exempt from Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
(b) On or before January 1, 2022, upon appropriation by the Legislature, the board, subject to Section 8005.1, shall adopt standards for certifying operators of computer-aided transcription systems under Section 54.8 of the Civil Code. The board may satisfy this requirement by approving a state or national association to certify operators of computer-aided transcription systems under Section 54.8 of the Civil Code.

8061.
 (a) On or before January 1, 2026, the board shall report to the Legislature the number of operators of computer-aided transcription systems that, between January 1, 2022, and July 1, 2025, have successfully been certified pursuant to the standards adopted pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 8060.
(b) The report required by this section shall be submitted pursuant to Section 9795 of the Government Code.

8062.
 (a) The board’s general enforcement powers and duties under this chapter shall not apply to this article.
(b) Notwithstanding Section 8030, the Court Reporter’s Fund is not appropriated to carry out the purposes of this article.

SEC. 2.

 Section 54.8 of the Civil Code is amended to read:

54.8.
 (a) (1) In any civil or criminal proceeding, including, but not limited to, traffic, small claims court, family court proceedings and services, and juvenile court proceedings, in any court-ordered or court-provided alternative dispute resolution, including mediation and arbitration, or in any administrative hearing of a public agency, where a party, witness, attorney, judicial employee, judge, juror, or other participant who is deaf or hard of hearing, the individual who is deaf or hard of hearing, upon his or her request, shall be provided with a functioning assistive listening system or a computer-aided transcription system. Any individual requiring this equipment or the services of an operator of a computer-aided transcription system shall give advance notice of his or her need to the appropriate court or agency at the time the hearing is set or not later than five days before the hearing.
(2) The operator of a computer-aided transcription system shall provide the speech-to-text equipment to be used, unless otherwise provided by the court.
(b) Assistive listening systems include, but are not limited to, special devices that transmit amplified speech by means of audio-induction loops, radio frequency systems (AM or FM), or infrared transmission. Personal receivers, headphones, and neck loops shall be available upon request by individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
(c) If a computer-aided transcription system is requested, sufficient display terminals shall be provided to allow the individual who is deaf or hard of hearing to read the real-time transcript of the proceeding without difficulty.
(d) A sign shall be posted in a prominent place indicating the availability of, and how to request, an assistive listening system and the services of an operator of a computer-aided transcription system. Notice of the availability of the systems shall be posted with notice of trials.
(e) Each superior court shall have at least one portable assistive listening system for use in any court facility within the county. When not in use, the system shall be stored in a location determined by the court.
(f) The Judicial Council shall develop and approve official forms for notice of the availability of assistive listening systems and the services of an operator of computer-aided transcription systems for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. The Judicial Council shall also develop and maintain a system to record utilization by the courts of these assistive listening systems, the utilization of computer-aided transcription systems, the utilization of the services of certified operators of computer-aided transcription systems who are certified pursuant to Section 8060 of the Business and Professions Code, the utilization of the services of sign language interpreters, and the utilization of the services of otherwise uncertified operators, interpreters, or captioners.
(g) If the individual who is deaf or hard of hearing is a juror, the jury deliberation room shall be equipped with an assistive listening system or a computer-aided transcription system upon the request of the juror.
(h) An operator of a computer-aided transcription system may be present in the jury deliberating room during a jury deliberation if the services of the operator for the purpose of operating a computer-aided transcription system are required for a juror who is deaf or hard of hearing.
(i) In any of the proceedings referred to in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a), or in any administrative hearing of a public agency, in which the individual who is deaf or hard of hearing is a party, witness, attorney, judicial employee, judge, juror, or other participant, and has requested use of an assistive listening system or the services of an operator of a computer-aided transcription system, the proceedings shall not commence until the system is in place and functioning.
(j) As used in this section, “individual who is deaf or hard of hearing” means an individual with a hearing loss, who, with sufficient amplification or with the services of a computer-aided transcription system, is able to fully participate in the proceeding.
(k) In no case shall this section be construed to prescribe a lesser standard of accessibility or usability than that provided by Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-336) and federal regulations adopted pursuant to that act.