2002 Regular Session
To: Judiciary A; County Affairs
By: Representative Holland, Mitchell
AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE USE OF INTERPRETERS AND TRANSLITERATORS IN ALL COURTS OF THE STATE; TO AMEND SECTION 99-17-7, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) The director shall establish a program to facilitate the use of interpreters and transliterators in all courts of the State of Mississippi.
(2) (a) The director shall prescribe the qualifications of and certify persons who may serve as certified interpreters and transliterators in all courts of the State of Mississippi in bilingual proceedings and proceedings involving the hearing impaired, whether or not also speech impaired.
(b) The director shall maintain a current master list of all interpreters and transliterators certified by him and shall report annually to the Supreme Court on the frequency of requests for and the use and effectiveness of the interpreters and transliterators.
(3) In all state court bilingual proceedings and proceedings involving the hearing impaired, whether or not also speech impaired, the presiding judicial officer, with the assistance of the director, shall utilize the services of a certified interpreter or transliterator to communicate verbatim all spoken words or signs, illustrating alphabetical letters or words, in American Sign Language, signed English, or spoken English.
(4) All state courts shall maintain on file in the office of the clerk of the court a list of all persons who have been certified as interpreters or transliterators by the director in accordance with the certification program established pursuant to this section.
(5) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:
(a) "Deaf person" means a person with a hearing loss so great as to prevent his understanding language spoken in a normal tone;
(b) "Director" means the Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts.
(6) Interpreters and transliterators shall be paid a reasonable compensation, as set by the court, payable out of the county treasury.
SECTION 2. Section 99-17-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
99-17-7. In criminal cases, the court may utilize an interpreter or transliterator as provided in Section 1 of this act when necessary, sworn truly to interpret, and allow him a reasonable compensation, as set by the court, payable out of the county treasury.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2002.