Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Improvements Proposed to Ohio Court Interpreter Services

The Supreme Court of Ohio is proposing rule changes as part of a far-reaching program to allow Ohioans who need interpreters better access to the judicial system.

The proposal would amend Rules 80-88 of the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio that govern foreign and sign language interpretation in Ohio’s courts. Among the changes, is the addition of Rule 89 that would add standards for using a foreign language interpreter over the phone, including:

  • Identifying when telephonic interpretation services are appropriate, including a maximum time limit that makes telephonic interpretation most effective.
  • Setting standards for the equipment used during telephonic interpretation.
  • Requiring the interpreter to take an oath.
  • Creating awareness of coordinating and monitoring the service.

Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor recently announced during her annual State of the Judiciary speech plans for the Supreme Court to provide courts with a 24-hour telephonic interpretation service.

“The right to a fair trial requires that all participants are fully involved and fully aware of what’s occurring. By providing this service, we are ensuring that every citizen – including those who are limited English proficient – understands fully the court proceedings in which they are involved and truly have their day in court,” O’Connor said.

Other rule changes announced today include defining what types of court or case function might require an interpreter, extending the period for provisional certification, and establishing a roster of non-certified foreign language interpreters.

Written comments on the proposed rule amendments will be accepted until October 30 and should be submitted to:

Bruno Romero, Manager
Supreme Court of Ohio Language Services Program
65 S. Front St, 6th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215-3431

Access the complete text of the administrative action announcing this proposed change.

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