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SB-1155 Court interpreters: small claims proceedings.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 09/27/2018 09:00 PM

Senate Bill No. 1155

An act to repeal Section 116.550 of the Code of Civil Procedure and to amend Section 68560.5 of the Government Code, relating to courts.

[ Approved by Governor  September 27, 2018. Filed with Secretary of State  September 27, 2018. ]


SB 1155, Hueso. Court interpreters: small claims proceedings.
Existing law provides for the regulation of court interpreters, and requires the Judicial Council to designate the languages for which certification programs shall be established. Existing law requires, except for good cause, as specified, a person who interprets in a court proceeding, as defined, using a language designated by the Judicial Council, to be a certified court interpreter for the language used. Existing law specifically excludes a small claims proceeding from the definition of a court proceeding for purposes of that requirement.
This bill would delete the provision excluding small claims proceedings from the definition of a court proceeding for purposes of the requirement to use certified court interpreters and thereby extend that requirement to small claims proceedings.
Existing law authorizes a small claims court to permit another individual, other than an attorney, to assist a party if the court determines that the party does not speak or understand English sufficiently to comprehend the proceedings or give testimony and needs assistance. Existing law requires each small claims court to make a reasonable effort to maintain and make available to the parties a list of interpreters who are able and willing to aid parties in small claims actions, as specified. Existing law requires, if a court interpreter or other competent interpreter is not available to aid a party in a small claims action, the court to postpone the hearing, at the first hearing of the case, one time only to allow the party the opportunity to obtain another individual, other than an attorney, to assist that party.
This bill would repeal that authorization and those requirements.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


 Section 116.550 of the Code of Civil Procedure is repealed.

SEC. 2.

 Section 68560.5 of the Government Code is amended to read:

 As used in this article:
(a) “Court proceeding” means a civil, criminal, or juvenile proceeding, or a deposition in a civil case filed in a court of record.
(b) “Interpreter” does not include an interpreter qualified under Section 754 of the Evidence Code to interpret for deaf or hard-of-hearing persons, or an interpreter qualified for administrative hearings or noncourt settings under Article 8 (commencing with Section 11435.05) of Chapter 4.5 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2.