House File 671 - IntroducedA Bill ForAn Act 1relating to state-funded interpreters and translators
2for limited-English-proficient, deaf, and hard-of-hearing
3persons in certain court proceedings and court-related
4activities.
5BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:
1   Section 1.  Section 232.141, subsections 1 and 2, Code 2019,
2are amended to read as follows:
   31.  Except as otherwise provided by law, the court shall
4inquire into the ability of the child or the child’s parent
5to pay expenses incurred pursuant to subsections 2, 4, and 8.
6After giving the parent a reasonable opportunity to be heard,
7the court may order the parent to pay all or part of the costs
8of the child’s care, examination, treatment, legal expenses, or
9other expenses, excluding the costs and fees of oral language
10interpreters and translators, who shall be paid pursuant to
11section 622A.3, and sign language interpreters, who shall be
12paid pursuant to section 622B.7
. An order entered under this
13section does not obligate a parent paying child support under a
14custody decree, except that part of the monthly support payment
15may be used to satisfy the obligations imposed by the order
16entered pursuant to this section. If a parent fails to pay as
17ordered, without good reason, the court may proceed against
18the parent for contempt and may inform the county attorney who
19shall proceed against the parent to collect the unpaid amount.
20Any payment ordered by the court shall be a judgment against
21each of the child’s parents and a lien as provided in section
22624.23. If all or part of the amount that the parents are
23ordered to pay is subsequently paid by the county or state,
24the judgment and lien shall thereafter be against each of the
25parents in favor of the county to the extent of the county’s
26payments and in favor of the state to the extent of the state’s
27payments.
   282.  All of the following juvenile court expenses are a charge
29upon the county in which the proceedings are held, to the
30extent provided in subsection 3:
   31a.  Juvenile court expenses incurred by an attorney appointed
32by the court to serve as counsel to any party or to serve as a
33guardian ad litem for any child, including fees and expenses
34for foreign language interpreters,
costs of depositions and
35transcripts, fees and mileage of witnesses, and the expenses of
-1-1officers serving notices and subpoenas.
   2b.  Reasonable compensation for an attorney appointed by the
3court to serve as counsel to any party or as guardian ad litem
4for any child in juvenile court.
   5c.  Fees and expenses incurred by the juvenile court for
6foreign language interpreters for court proceedings.
7   Sec. 2.  Section 331.424, subsection 1, paragraph a,
8subparagraph (6), Code 2019, is amended to read as follows:
   9(6)  The maintenance and operation of the courts, including
10but not limited to the salary and expenses of the clerk of the
11district court and other employees of the clerk’s office, and
12bailiffs, court costs if the prosecution fails or if the costs
13cannot be collected from the person liable, costs and expenses
14of prosecution under section 189A.17, salaries and expenses
15of juvenile court officers under chapter 602, court-ordered
16costs in domestic abuse cases under section 236.5, sexual abuse
17cases under section 236A.7, and elder abuse cases under section
18235F.6, the county’s expense for confinement of prisoners under
19chapter 356A, temporary assistance to the county attorney,
20county contributions to a retirement system for bailiffs,
21reimbursement for judicial magistrates under section 602.6501,
22claims filed under section 622.93, sign language interpreters’
23fees under section 622B.7, uniform citation and complaint
24supplies under section 805.6, and costs of prosecution under
25section 815.13.
26   Sec. 3.  Section 602.1302, subsection 3, Code 2019, is
27amended to read as follows:
   283.  A revolving fund is created in the state treasury for
29the payment of jury and witness fees, mileage, costs related to
30summoning jurors by the judicial branch, costs and fees related
31to the management and payment of interpreters and translators
32in judicial branch legal proceedings and court-ordered
33programs, including the costs and fees for oral language
34interpreters and translators assigned for criminal defense,
and
35attorney fees paid by the state public defender for counsel
-2-1appointed pursuant to section 600A.6A. The judicial branch
2shall deposit any reimbursements to the state for the payment
3of jury and witness fees and mileage in the revolving fund.
4In each calendar quarter the judicial branch shall reimburse
5the state public defender for attorney fees paid pursuant to
6section 600A.6B. Notwithstanding section 8.33, unencumbered
7and unobligated receipts in the revolving fund at the end of
8a fiscal year do not revert to the general fund of the state.
9The judicial branch shall on or before February 1 file a
10financial accounting of the moneys in the revolving fund with
11the legislative services agency. The accounting shall include
12an estimate of disbursements from the revolving fund for the
13remainder of the fiscal year and for the next fiscal year.
14   Sec. 4.  Section 622A.1, Code 2019, is amended by adding the
15following new subsections:
16   NEW SUBSECTION.  3.  “Limited English proficient” means the
17inability to adequately understand or effectively communicate
18in the English language because a person’s primary language is
19a language other than English.
20   NEW SUBSECTION.  4.  “Oral language interpreter” means a
21person who can accurately transfer the meaning of words or
22phrases of one oral language into the equivalent words or
23phrases of a second oral language and from a second oral
24language into the first oral language.
25   NEW SUBSECTION.  5.  “Participant” means any of the
26following:
   27a.  A party or witness in a legal proceeding.
   28b.  A child who is or may be the subject of a delinquency
29petition.
   30c.  A parent, guardian, or custodian, whose child is or may
31be the subject of a delinquency petition.
   32d.  A person who is a guardian, conservator, or trustee in a
33probate case.
34   NEW SUBSECTION.  6.  “Translator” means a person who can
35accurately transfer the meaning of words or phrases of one
-3-1written language into the equivalent words or phrases of a
2second written language and from a second written language into
3the first written language.
4   Sec. 5.  Section 622A.2, Code 2019, is amended to read as
5follows:
   6622A.2  Who entitled Limited-English-proficient persons —
7when entitled
to an oral language interpreter without cost.
   81.  Every limited-English-proficient person who cannot speak
9or understand the English language and who is a party to any
10legal proceeding or a witness therein, shall be
 is entitled to
11an oral language interpreter to assist such person throughout
12the proceeding.
 without cost when the person is any of the
13following:

   14a.  A participant in a legal proceeding.
   15b.  A party who is ordered by a court to participate in a
16mediation.
   17c.  A party who is ordered by a court to participate in a
18predisposition parenting program in a domestic relations case.
   192.  In addition to subsection 1, if a limited-English-
20proficient person is a party who is entitled to appointment
21of legal counsel in a criminal or juvenile case or the court
22otherwise determines that the limited-English-proficient person
23is a party who is indigent or cannot afford to pay for an
24oral language interpreter, the person is entitled to an oral
25language interpreter to assist such person without cost when
26the person is a party in a pending court case for any of the
27following purposes:
   28a.  A deposition in the party’s pending court case.
   29b.  A consultation with an attorney in the party’s pending
30court case.
   31c.  To prepare for a legal proceeding before any court.
   323.  A limited-English-proficient person who qualifies for
33appointment of an oral language interpreter without cost to the
34limited-English-proficient person pursuant to subsection 1 or
352 may also qualify for appointment of a translator to provide
-4-1written translation of court-related material without cost if
2the court determines that an oral language interpretation of
3the court-related material would not be sufficient to ensure
4due process under the circumstances.
5   Sec. 6.  Section 622A.3, Code 2019, is amended by striking
6the section and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
   7622A.3  Payment of oral language interpreters and translators.
   81.  The state court administrator shall pay an oral
9language interpreter or a translator from the revolving
10fund created in section 602.1302, subsection 3, when a
11limited-English-proficient person is entitled to an oral
12language interpreter or a translator under section 622A.2
13and the oral language interpreter services or the translator
14services are not provided before an administrative agency.
   152.  An administrative agency shall pay an oral language
16interpreter or a translator when a limited-English-proficient
17person is entitled to an oral language interpreter or a
18translator under section 622A.2 and the oral language
19interpreter services or the translator services are provided
20before an administrative agency.
21   Sec. 7.  Section 622A.4, Code 2019, is amended to read as
22follows:
   23622A.4  Fee set by court — payment or administrative agency.
   24Every oral language interpreter and translator appointed
25by a court or administrative agency shall receive a fee to be
26set by the court or administrative agency. If the interpreter
27is appointed by the court in a civil case for a person who is
28indigent and unable to secure an interpreter, the fee for the
29interpreter shall be paid from the revolving fund established
30in section 602.1302, subsection 3.

31   Sec. 8.  Section 622A.5, Code 2019, is amended to read as
32follows:
   33622A.5  Oath.
   34Every oral language interpreter and translator in any legal
35proceeding shall take the same an oath as any other witness
-5-1
 consistent with the rules the supreme court adopts under this
2chapter
.
3   Sec. 9.  Section 622A.6, Code 2019, is amended to read as
4follows:
   5622A.6  Qualifications, neutrality, and integrity.
   6Any court or administrative agency may inquire into the
7qualifications, neutrality, and integrity of any oral language
8 interpreter or translator, and may disqualify any person from
9serving as an oral language interpreter or translator.
10   Sec. 10.  Section 622A.7, Code 2019, is amended to read as
11follows:
   12622A.7  Rules.
   13The supreme court, after consultation with the commission
14of Latino affairs of the department of human rights and other
15appropriate departments, shall adopt rules governing the
16qualifications and compensation of oral language interpreters
 17and translators appearing in legal proceedings before a court
18or grand jury
under this chapter. However, an administrative
19agency which is subject to chapter 17A may adopt rules
20differing from those of the supreme court governing the
21qualifications and compensation of oral language interpreters
 22and translators appearing in proceedings before that agency.
23   Sec. 11.  Section 622A.8, Code 2019, is amended to read as
24follows:
   25622A.8  Tape Electronic recording of testimony.
   26A tape An electronic recording of the portion of
27proceedings where non-English testimony is given shall be
28made and maintained for one year after the entry of the final
29disposition or sentence or, if the final judgment is appealed,
30until one year after the final disposition of the appeal
.
31   Sec. 12.  NEW SECTION.  622A.9  Privileged communications.
   32Communications between a limited-English-proficient person
33and a third party which are privileged under chapter 622 in
34which an oral language interpreter participates as an oral
35language interpreter shall be privileged with regard to the
-6-1oral language interpreter.
2   Sec. 13.  Section 622B.1, Code 2019, is amended to read as
3follows:
   4622B.1  Definitions — rules.
   51.  As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise
6requires:
   7a.  “Administrative agency” means any department, board,
8commission, or agency of the state or any political subdivision
9of the state.
   10b.  “Deaf person” means an individual who uses sign language
11as the person’s primary mode of communication and who may use
 12sign language interpreters to facilitate communication.
   13c.  “Hard-of-hearing person” means an individual who
14is unable to hear and distinguish sounds within normal
15conversational range and who needs to use speechreading,
16assistive listening devices, or oral interpreters other
17reasonable accommodations
to facilitate communication.
   18d.  “Interpreter” means an oral interpreter or sign language
19interpreter.
   20e.  “Oral interpreter” means an interpreter who is fluent in
21transliterating, paraphrasing, and voicing.
   22d.  “Participant” means any of the following:
   23(1)  A party, witness, or attorney in a legal proceeding.
   24(2)  A child who is or may be the subject of a delinquency
25petition.
   26(3)  A parent, guardian, or custodian, whose child is or may
27be the subject of a delinquency petition.
   28(4)  A person who is a guardian, conservator, or trustee in a
29probate case.
   30f.    e.  “Sign language interpreter” means an interpreter a
31person
who is able to interpret from sign language to English
32and English to
 into an oral language and from an oral language
33into
sign language.
   342.  The supreme court, after consultation with the
35department of human rights, shall adopt rules governing the
-7-1qualifications and compensation of sign language interpreters
2appearing in a legal proceeding before a court, grand jury, or
 3before an administrative agency under this chapter. However,
4an administrative agency which is subject to chapter 17A
5may adopt rules differing from those of the supreme court
6governing the qualifications and compensation of sign language
7 interpreters appearing in proceedings before that agency.
8   Sec. 14.  Section 622B.3, Code 2019, is amended to read as
9follows:
   10622B.3  Notice of need.
   11When a deaf or hard-of-hearing person is entitled to an a
12sign language
interpreter, the deaf or hard-of-hearing person
13shall notify the presiding official within three days after
14receiving notice of the proceeding, stating the disability and
15requesting the services of an a sign language interpreter. If
16the deaf or hard-of-hearing person receives notification of an
17appearance less than five days prior to the proceeding, that
18person shall notify the presiding official requesting an a sign
19language
interpreter as soon as practicable or may apply for a
20continuance until an a sign language interpreter is appointed.
21   Sec. 15.  Section 622B.4, Code 2019, is amended to read as
22follows:
   23622B.4  List.
   24The office of deaf services of the department of human rights
25shall prepare and continually update a listing of qualified
26and available sign language interpreters. The courts and
27administrative agencies shall maintain a directory of qualified
 28sign language interpreters for deaf and hard-of-hearing
29persons as furnished by the department of human rights.
30The office of deaf services shall maintain a list of sign
31language
interpreters which shall be made available to a court,
32administrative agency, or interested parties to an action using
33the services of an a sign language interpreter.
34   Sec. 16.  Section 622B.5, Code 2019, is amended to read as
35follows:
-8-   1622B.5  Oath.
   2Before participating in a proceeding, an a sign
3language
interpreter shall take an oath that the sign
4language
interpreter will make a true interpretation in an
5understandable manner to the person for whom the sign language
6 interpreter is appointed and that the sign language interpreter
7will interpret or translate the statements of the deaf or
8hard-of-hearing person to the best of the sign language
9 interpreter’s skills and judgment.
10   Sec. 17.  Section 622B.6, Code 2019, is amended to read as
11follows:
   12622B.6  Privileged communications.
   13Communication between a deaf or hard-of-hearing person
14and a third party which is privileged under chapter 622 in
15which the sign language interpreter participates as an a sign
16language
interpreter shall be privileged to the sign language
17 interpreter.
18   Sec. 18.  Section 622B.7, Code 2019, is amended to read as
19follows:
   20622B.7  Fee.
   21An A sign language interpreter appointed under this chapter
22is entitled to a reasonable fee and expenses as determined
23by the rules applying to that proceeding. This schedule
24shall be furnished to all courts and administrative agencies
25and maintained by them. If the sign language interpreter is
26appointed by the court, the fee and expenses shall be paid by
27the county and if the sign language interpreter is appointed by
28an administrative agency, the fee and expenses shall be paid
29out of funds available to the administrative agency.
30   Sec. 19.  Section 622B.8, Code 2019, is amended to read as
31follows:
   32622B.8  Disqualification.
   33On motion of a party or on its own motion, a court or
34administrative agency shall inquire into the qualifications,
35neutrality,
and integrity of an a sign language interpreter. A
-9-1court or administrative agency may disqualify for good reason
2any person from serving as an a sign language interpreter
3in that proceeding. If an a sign language interpreter is
4disqualified, the court or administrative agency shall appoint
5another sign language interpreter.
6   Sec. 20.  Section 815.9, subsection 3, Code 2019, is amended
7to read as follows:
   83.  If a person is granted an appointed attorney, the
9person shall be required to reimburse the state for the total
10cost of legal assistance provided to the person pursuant to
11this section. “Legal assistance” as used in this section
12shall include not only the expense of the public defender or
13an appointed attorney, but also transcripts, witness fees,
14expenses, and any other goods or services required by law to
15be provided to an indigent person entitled to an appointed
16attorney, excluding the costs and fees of oral language
17interpreters and translators, who shall be paid pursuant to
18section 622A.3, and sign language interpreters, who shall be
19paid pursuant to section 622B.7
.
20   Sec. 21.  Section 815.11, Code 2019, is amended to read as
21follows:
   22815.11  Appropriations for indigent defense — fund created.
   231.  Costs incurred for legal representation by a
24court-appointed attorney under chapter 229A, 665, 822, or 908,
25or section 232.141, subsection 3, paragraph “d”, or section
26598.23A, 600A.6B, 814.9, 814.10, 814.11, 815.4, 815.7, or
27815.10 on behalf of an indigent shall be paid from moneys
28appropriated by the general assembly to the office of the
29state public defender in the department of inspections and
30appeals and deposited in an account to be known as the indigent
31defense fund, except as provided in subsection 2. Costs
32incurred representing an indigent defendant in a contempt
33action, or representing an indigent juvenile in a juvenile
34court proceeding, are also payable from the fund. However,
35costs incurred in any administrative proceeding or in any
-10-1other proceeding under this chapter or chapter 598, 600, 600A,
2633, 633A, 814, or 915 or other provisions of the Code or
3administrative rules are not payable from the fund.
   42.  The costs and fees associated with oral language
5interpreters or translators are not payable from this fund.
6The costs and fees of an oral language interpreter or a
7translator shall be paid pursuant to section 622A.3 from moneys
8appropriated by the general assembly to the judicial branch
9revolving fund created pursuant to section 602.1302, subsection
103.
11EXPLANATION
12The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with
13the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly.
   14This bill relates to oral language interpreters and
15translators for limited-English-proficient persons and sign
16language interpreters for deaf and hard-of-hearing persons.
   17The bill amends Code chapter 622A, which in the bill
18provides for oral language interpreters and translators for
19limited-English-proficient persons in legal proceedings and
20court-related activities.
   21The bill provides new definitions for limited English
22proficient, oral language interpreter, participant, and
23translator. The bill defines “participant” in Code chapter
24622A as a party or witness in a legal proceeding; a child who
25is or may be the subject of a delinquency petition; a parent,
26guardian, or custodian, whose child is or may be the subject
27of a delinquency petition; or a person who is a guardian,
28conservator, or trustee in a probate case.
   29The bill provides that every limited-English-proficient
30person is entitled to an oral language interpreter to assist
31such person without cost when the person is a participant
32in a legal proceeding, a party who is ordered by a court
33to participate in a mediation, or a party who is ordered
34by a court to participate in a predisposition parenting
35program in a domestic relations case. Additionally, if
-11-1a limited-English-proficient person is a party who is
2entitled to appointment of legal counsel in a criminal or
3juvenile case or the court otherwise determines that the
4limited-English-proficient person is a party who is indigent
5or cannot afford to pay for an oral language interpreter,
6the person is entitled to an oral language interpreter to
7assist such person without cost when the person is a party in
8a pending court case for a deposition in the party’s pending
9court case, a consultation with an attorney in the party’s
10pending court case, or to prepare for a legal proceeding before
11any court.
   12The bill provides that a limited-English-proficient person
13who qualifies for appointment of an oral language interpreter
14without cost to the limited-English-proficient person pursuant
15to the bill may also qualify for appointment of a translator
16to provide written translation of court-related material
17without cost if the court determines that an oral language
18interpretation of the court-related material would not be
19sufficient to ensure due process under the circumstances.
   20The bill provides that the state court administrator
21shall pay oral language interpreters and translators from
22the revolving fund created in Code section 602.1302(3) when
23a limited-English-proficient person is entitled to an oral
24language interpreter or a translator and the oral language
25interpreter services or translator services are not provided
26before an administrative agency. The bill provides that an
27administrative agency shall pay an oral language interpreter
28or a translator when a limited-English-proficient person is
29entitled to an oral language interpreter or a translator and
30the oral language interpreter services or translator services
31are provided before an administrative agency.
   32The bill provides that an oral language interpreter and a
33translator in a legal proceeding shall take an oath consistent
34with rules the supreme court adopts under Code chapter 622A.
35 The bill provides that in addition to a court or administrative
-12-1agency being able to inquire into the qualifications and
2integrity of an oral language interpreter or a translator,
3the court or administrative agency may also inquire into the
4neutrality of the oral language interpreter or translator. The
5bill amends the section of Code chapter 622A that provides
6the authorization for rulemaking to specify oral language
7interpreters and translators appearing in legal proceedings.
8The bill provides that an electronic recording of the portion
9of proceedings where non-English testimony is given shall be
10made and maintained for one year after the entry of the final
11disposition or sentence, or if the final judgment is appealed,
12until one year after the final disposition of the appeal.
   13The bill provides that communications between a
14limited-English-proficient person and a third party which are
15privileged under Code chapter 622 in which an oral language
16interpreter participates as an oral language interpreter shall
17be privileged with regard to the oral language interpreter.
   18The bill also amends Code chapter 622B, which provides
19for sign language interpreters for deaf and hard-of-hearing
20persons. The bill provides a new definition for “participant”.
21The bill defines “participant” in Code chapter 622B as
22any of the following: a party, witness, or attorney in a
23legal proceeding; a child who is or may be the subject of a
24delinquency petition; a parent, guardian, or custodian, whose
25child is or may be the subject of a delinquency petition; or a
26person who is a guardian, conservator, or trustee in a probate
27case.
   28The bill provides that in addition to a court or
29administrative agency being able to inquire into the
30qualifications and integrity of a sign language interpreter,
31the court or administrative agency may also inquire into the
32neutrality of the sign language interpreter.
   33The bill amends Code sections 232.141 and 815.9 to exclude
34the costs and fees of interpreter and translator services.
   35First, Code section 232.141 currently provides that the
-13-1juvenile court shall inquire into the ability of the child
2or child’s parent to pay costs including the child’s care,
3examination, treatment, legal expenses, or other expenses.
4The bill excludes from those costs the costs and fees for
5oral language interpreters, sign language interpreters, and
6translators, and requires that those persons be paid pursuant
7to Code section 622A.3 (oral language interpreters and
8translators) or 622B.7 (sign language interpreters).
   9Code section 815.9 currently provides that if a person
10is granted a court-appointed attorney in a criminal case,
11the person shall reimburse the state for the total cost of
12legal assistance. The bill changes the definition of legal
13assistance to exclude the costs and fees of oral language
14interpreters, sign language interpreters, and translators. The
15bill states that these persons shall be paid pursuant to Code
16section 622A.3 (oral language interpreters and translators) or
17622B.7 (sign language interpreters).
   18Code section 815.11 provides appropriations for indigent
19defense. The bill provides that costs and fees associated with
20oral language interpreters are not payable from this fund. The
21costs and fees of an oral language interpreter or a translator,
22including for criminal defense, shall be paid pursuant to Code
23section 622A.3 from moneys appropriated by the general assembly
24to the judicial branch revolving fund created pursuant to Code
25section 602.1302(3).
-14-
asf/jh