House File 707 - IntroducedA Bill ForAn Act 1relating to interpreters and translators for
2limited-English-proficient, deaf, and hard-of-hearing
3persons in certain legal proceedings, making appropriations,
4and including effective date provisions.
5BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:
1   Section 1.  Section 331.424, subsection 1, paragraph a,
2subparagraph (6), Code 2021, is amended to read as follows:
   3(6)  The maintenance and operation of the courts, including
4but not limited to the salary and expenses of the clerk of the
5district court and other employees of the clerk’s office, and
6bailiffs, court costs if the prosecution fails or if the costs
7cannot be collected from the person liable, costs and expenses
8of prosecution under section 189A.17, salaries and expenses
9of juvenile court officers under chapter 602, court-ordered
10costs in domestic abuse cases under section 236.5, sexual abuse
11cases under section 236A.7, and elder abuse cases under section
12235F.6, the county’s expense for confinement of prisoners under
13chapter 356A, temporary assistance to the county attorney,
14county contributions to a retirement system for bailiffs,
15reimbursement for judicial magistrates under section 602.6501,
16claims filed under section 622.93, sign language interpreters’
17fees under section 622B.7, uniform citation and complaint
18supplies under section 805.6, and costs of prosecution under
19section 815.13.
20   Sec. 2.  Section 622A.1, Code 2021, is amended by adding the
21following new subsections:
22   NEW SUBSECTION.  1A.  “Interpreter” means a person who
23transfers the meaning of spoken or written words in one
24language into the equivalent meaning in another spoken
25language.
26   NEW SUBSECTION.  3.  “Limited English proficient” means the
27inability to adequately understand or effectively communicate
28in the English language because a person’s primary language is
29a language other than English.
30   NEW SUBSECTION.  4.  “Translator” means a person who
31transfers the meaning of written or spoken words in one
32language into the equivalent meaning in the written words of
33another language.
34   Sec. 3.  Section 622A.2, Code 2021, is amended to read as
35follows:
-1-   1622A.2  Who entitled to interpreter Limited-English-proficient
2persons — when entitled to an interpreter or a translator
.
   31.  Every A limited-English-proficient person who cannot
4speak or understand the English language and
who is a party to
5any legal proceeding or a witness therein, shall be entitled to
6an interpreter to assist such person throughout the proceeding.
   72.  A limited-English-proficient person who is a party to any
8legal proceeding shall be entitled to a translator to produce
9a written translation of written or electronically recorded
10material only when a court determines that an oral or sign
11interpretation of the material is not sufficient to ensure due
12process under the circumstances.
13   Sec. 4.  Section 622A.3, subsection 1, unnumbered paragraph
141, Code 2021, is amended to read as follows:
   15An interpreter or translator shall be appointed without
16expense to the a limited-English-proficient person requiring
17assistance
in the following cases:
18   Sec. 5.  Section 622A.3, subsection 2, Code 2021, is amended
19by striking the subsection and inserting in lieu thereof the
20following:
   212.  The state court administrator shall receive, review,
22and pay fee claims from an interpreter or translator appointed
23under subsection 1, including all interpreter or translator
24claims formerly paid from the indigent defense fund. The
25fees shall be paid from the revolving fund created in section
26602.1302, subsection 3, when a limited-English-proficient
27person is entitled to an interpreter or translator under
28section 622A.2 and the interpreter or translator services are
29not provided before an administrative agency.
30   Sec. 6.  Section 622A.3, Code 2021, is amended by adding the
31following new subsections:
32   NEW SUBSECTION.  2A.  In civil cases, every court shall tax
33the costs of an interpreter or translator the same as other
34court costs.
35   NEW SUBSECTION.  2B.  In criminal cases, where the defendant
-2-1is indigent, the interpreter or translator shall be considered
2as a defendant’s witness under rule of criminal procedure 2.15
3for the purpose of receiving fees, except that subpoenas shall
4not be required.
5   NEW SUBSECTION.  2C.  An administrative agency shall pay
6an interpreter when a limited-English-proficient person
7is entitled to an interpreter under section 622A.2 and the
8interpreter services are provided before an administrative
9agency. The agency may require that the party to the
10proceeding pay the expense of the interpreter.
11   Sec. 7.  Section 622A.4, Code 2021, is amended to read as
12follows:
   13622A.4  Fee set by court — payment or administrative agency.
   14Every interpreter appointed by a court or administrative
15agency shall receive a fee to be set by the court or
16administrative agency. If the interpreter is appointed by the
17court in a civil case for a person who is indigent and unable
18to secure an interpreter, the fee for the interpreter shall be
19paid from the revolving fund established in section 602.1302,
20subsection 3.

21   Sec. 8.  Section 622A.5, Code 2021, is amended to read as
22follows:
   23622A.5  Oath.
   24Every interpreter and translator in any legal proceeding
25shall take the same an oath as any other witness consistent
26with the rules the supreme court adopts under this chapter
.
27   Sec. 9.  Section 622A.6, Code 2021, is amended to read as
28follows:
   29622A.6  Qualifications, neutrality, and integrity.
   30Any court or administrative agency may inquire into the
31qualifications, neutrality, and integrity of any interpreter
 32or translator, and may disqualify any person from serving as
33an interpreter or translator.
34   Sec. 10.  Section 622A.7, Code 2021, is amended to read as
35follows:
-3-   1622A.7  Rules.
   2The supreme court, after consultation with the commission
3of Latino affairs of the
department of human rights and other
4appropriate departments, shall adopt rules governing the
5qualifications and compensation of interpreters or translators
6 appearing in legal proceedings before a court or grand jury
7 under this chapter. However, an administrative agency which is
8subject to chapter 17A may adopt rules differing from those of
9the supreme court governing the qualifications and compensation
10of interpreters or translators appearing in proceedings before
11that agency.
12   Sec. 11.  Section 622A.8, Code 2021, is amended to read as
13follows:
   14622A.8  Tape Electronic recording of testimony.
   15A tape An electronic recording of the portion of
16proceedings where non-English testimony is given shall be
17made and maintained for one year after the entry of the final
18disposition or sentence or, if the final judgment is appealed,
19until one year after the final disposition of the appeal
.
20   Sec. 12.  NEW SECTION.  622A.9  Privileged communications.
   21Communications between a limited-English-proficient person
22and a third party which are privileged under chapter 622
23in which an interpreter or translator participates as an
24interpreter or translator shall be privileged with regard to
25the interpreter or translator.
26   Sec. 13.  Section 622B.1, Code 2021, is amended to read as
27follows:
   28622B.1  Definitions — rules.
   291.  As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise
30requires:
   31a.  “Administrative agency” means any department, board,
32commission, or agency of the state or any political subdivision
33of the state.
   34b.  “Deaf person” means an individual who uses sign language
35as the person’s primary mode of communication and who may use
-4- 1sign language interpreters to facilitate communication.
   2c.  “Hard-of-hearing person” means an individual who
3is unable to hear and distinguish sounds within normal
4conversational range and who needs to use speechreading,
5assistive listening devices, or oral interpreters other
6reasonable accommodations
to facilitate communication.
   7d.  “Interpreter” means an oral interpreter or sign language
8interpreter.
   9e.  “Oral interpreter” means an interpreter who is fluent in
10transliterating, paraphrasing, and voicing.
   11f.    d.  “Sign language interpreter” means an interpreter a
12person
who is able to interpret from sign language to English
13and English to
 into an oral language and from an oral language
14into
sign language.
   152.  The supreme court, after consultation with the
16department of human rights, shall adopt rules governing the
17qualifications and compensation of sign language interpreters
18appearing in a legal proceeding before a court, grand jury, or
 19before an administrative agency under this chapter. However,
20an administrative agency which is subject to chapter 17A
21may adopt rules differing from those of the supreme court
22governing the qualifications and compensation of sign language
23 interpreters appearing in proceedings before that agency.
24   Sec. 14.  Section 622B.2, Code 2021, is amended to read as
25follows:
   26622B.2  Interpreter appointed.
   27If a deaf or hard-of-hearing person is a party to, a witness
28at, or a participant in a proceeding before a grand jury,
29court, or administrative agency of this state, the court
30or administrative agency shall appoint an a sign language
31 interpreter without expense to the deaf or hard-of-hearing
32person to interpret or translate the proceedings to the deaf
33or hard-of-hearing person and to interpret or translate the
34person’s testimony unless the deaf or hard-of-hearing person
35waives the right to an a sign language interpreter.
-5-
1   Sec. 15.  Section 622B.3, Code 2021, is amended to read as
2follows:
   3622B.3  Notice of need.
   4When a deaf or hard-of-hearing person is entitled to an a
5sign language
interpreter, the deaf or hard-of-hearing person
6shall notify the presiding official within three days after
7receiving notice of the proceeding, stating the disability and
8requesting the services of an a sign language interpreter. If
9the deaf or hard-of-hearing person receives notification of an
10appearance less than five days prior to the proceeding, that
11person shall notify the presiding official requesting an a sign
12language
interpreter as soon as practicable or may apply for a
13continuance until an a sign language interpreter is appointed.
14   Sec. 16.  Section 622B.4, Code 2021, is amended to read as
15follows:
   16622B.4  List.
   17The office of deaf services of the department of human rights
18shall prepare and continually update a listing of qualified
19and available sign language interpreters. The courts and
20administrative agencies shall maintain a directory of qualified
21interpreters for deaf and hard-of-hearing persons as furnished
22by the department of human rights. The office of deaf services
23shall maintain a list of sign language interpreters which
24shall be made available to a court, administrative agency, or
25interested parties to an action using the services of an a sign
26language
interpreter.
27   Sec. 17.  Section 622B.5, Code 2021, is amended to read as
28follows:
   29622B.5  Oath.
   30Before participating in a proceeding, an a sign
31language
interpreter shall take an oath that the sign
32language
interpreter will make a true interpretation in an
33understandable manner to the person for whom the sign language
34 interpreter is appointed and that the sign language interpreter
35will interpret or translate the statements of the deaf or
-6-1hard-of-hearing person to the best of the sign language
2 interpreter’s skills and judgment.
3   Sec. 18.  Section 622B.6, Code 2021, is amended to read as
4follows:
   5622B.6  Privileged communications.
   6Communication between a deaf or hard-of-hearing person
7and a third party which is privileged under chapter 622 in
8which the sign language interpreter participates as an a sign
9language
interpreter shall be privileged to the sign language
10 interpreter.
11   Sec. 19.  Section 622B.7, Code 2021, is amended to read as
12follows:
   13622B.7  Fee.
   14An A sign language interpreter appointed under this chapter
15is entitled to a reasonable fee and expenses as determined
16by the rules applying to that proceeding. This schedule
17shall be furnished to all courts and administrative agencies
18and maintained by them. If the sign language interpreter is
19appointed by the court, the fee and expenses shall be paid by
20the county and if the sign language interpreter is appointed by
21an administrative agency, the fee and expenses shall be paid
22out of funds available to the administrative agency.
23   Sec. 20.  Section 622B.8, Code 2021, is amended to read as
24follows:
   25622B.8  Disqualification.
   26On motion of a party or on its own motion, a court or
27administrative agency shall inquire into the qualifications,
28neutrality,
and integrity of an a sign language interpreter. A
29court or administrative agency may disqualify for good reason
30any person from serving as an a sign language interpreter
31in that proceeding. If an a sign language interpreter is
32disqualified, the court or administrative agency shall appoint
33another sign language interpreter.
34   Sec. 21.  Section 815.11, Code 2021, is amended to read as
35follows:
-7-   1815.11  Appropriations for indigent defense — fund created.
   21.  Costs incurred for legal representation by a
3court-appointed attorney under chapter 229A, 665, 822, or 908,
4or section 232.141, subsection 3, paragraph “d”, or section
5598.23A, 600A.6B, 814.9, 814.10, 814.11, 815.4, 815.7, or
6815.10 on behalf of an indigent shall be paid from moneys
7appropriated by the general assembly to the office of the
8state public defender in the department of inspections and
9appeals and deposited in an account to be known as the indigent
10defense fund, except as provided in subsection 2. Costs
11incurred representing an indigent defendant in a contempt
12action, representing an indigent juvenile in a juvenile court
13proceeding, or representing a person pursuant to section 13B.13
14are also payable from the fund. However, costs incurred in any
15administrative proceeding or in any other proceeding under this
16chapter or chapter 598, 600, 600A, 633, 633A, 814, or 915 or
17other provisions of the Code or administrative rules are not
18payable from the fund.
   192.  The costs and fees associated with translators, foreign
20language interpreters, and sign language interpreters are not
21payable from this fund. The costs and fees of sign language
22interpreters shall be paid by the county pursuant to section
23622B.7, and the costs and fees of translators and foreign
24language interpreters shall be paid pursuant to section
25622A.3 from moneys appropriated by the general assembly to the
26judicial branch revolving fund created pursuant to section
27602.1302, subsection 3.
28   Sec. 22.  INTERPRETERS AND TRANSLATORS — TRANSFER OF
29ADMINISTRATION AND APPROPRIATION.
  Moneys appropriated to the
30indigent defense fund created in section 815.11 for payment of
31interpreters and translators during the fiscal year beginning
32July 1, 2021, and ending June 30, 2022, shall be used by
33the state public defender for payment of costs and fees of
34interpreters and translators the state public defender has
35received prior to the effective date of this Act. Moneys
-8-1appropriated to the indigent defense fund for payment of
2interpreters and translators during the fiscal year beginning
3July 1, 2021, and ending June 30, 2022, which remain beginning
4on the effective date of this Act, having not been disbursed by
5the state public defender for the fiscal year beginning July
61, 2021, and ending June 30, 2022, shall be transferred to the
7revolving fund under the purview of the judicial branch created
8pursuant to section 602.1302, subsection 3, for jury and
9witness fees, mileage, costs related to summoning jurors, costs
10and fees for interpreters and translators, and reimbursement of
11attorney fees paid by the state public defender for the fiscal
12year beginning July 1, 2021, and ending June 30, 2022.
13   Sec. 23.  EFFECTIVE DATE.  This Act takes effect November 1,
142021.
15EXPLANATION
16The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with
17the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly.
   18This bill relates to interpreters for
19limited-English-proficient persons and sign language
20interpreters for deaf and hard-of-hearing persons.
   21The bill amends Code chapter 622A, which in the bill provides
22for interpreters for limited-English-proficient persons in
23legal proceedings.
   24The bill defines “interpreter” to mean a person who
25transfers the meaning of spoken or written words in one
26language into the equivalent meaning in another spoken
27language. The bill defines “limited English proficient” to
28mean the inability to adequately understand or effectively
29communicate in the English language because a person’s primary
30language is a language other than English. The bill also
31defines “translator” to mean a person who transfers the meaning
32of written or spoken words in one language into the equivalent
33meaning in the written words of another language.
   34The bill provides that the state court administrator shall
35receive, review, and pay fee claims for interpreters and
-9-1translators from the revolving fund created in Code section
2602.1302(3) when a limited-English-proficient person is
3entitled to an interpreter or translator and the interpreter
4services are not provided before an administrative agency. The
5bill provides that in civil cases, every court shall tax the
6costs of an interpreter or translator the same as other court
7costs. In criminal cases, the bill provides that where the
8defendant is indigent, the interpreter shall be considered as
9a defendant’s witness under rule of criminal procedure 2.15
10for the purpose of receiving fees, except that subpoenas are
11not required. The bill provides that an administrative agency
12shall pay an interpreter when a limited-English-proficient
13person is entitled to an interpreter and the interpreter
14services are provided before an administrative agency. The
15bill provides that the agency may require that the party to the
16proceeding pay the expense of the interpreter.
   17The bill provides that an interpreter or translator in a
18legal proceeding shall take an oath consistent with rules
19the supreme court adopts under Code chapter 622A. The bill
20provides that in addition to a court or administrative agency
21being able to inquire into the qualifications and integrity
22of an interpreter, the court or administrative agency may
23also inquire into the neutrality of the interpreter, and may
24do the same with regard to translators. The bill amends the
25section of Code chapter 622A that provides the authorization
26for rulemaking to specify interpreters appearing in legal
27proceedings and adds translators to the provision. The
28bill provides that an electronic recording of the portion of
29proceedings where non-English testimony is given shall be
30made and maintained for one year after the entry of the final
31disposition or sentence, or if the final judgment is appealed,
32until one year after the final disposition of the appeal.
   33The bill provides that communications between a
34limited-English-proficient person and a third party which are
35privileged under Code chapter 622 in which an interpreter or
-10-1translator participates as an interpreter or translator shall
2be privileged with regard to the interpreter.
   3The bill also amends Code chapter 622B, which provides
4for sign language interpreters for deaf and hard-of-hearing
5persons.
   6The bill provides that in addition to a court or
7administrative agency being able to inquire into the
8qualifications and integrity of a sign language interpreter,
9the court or administrative agency may also inquire into the
10neutrality of the sign language interpreter.
   11Code section 815.11 provides appropriations for indigent
12defense. The bill provides that costs and fees associated
13with interpreters are not payable from the indigent defense
14fund. The result of the bill, in part, is that the judicial
15branch, through the state court administrator, is to assume
16responsibility for the review and payment of interpreter and
17translator claims formerly paid from the indigent defense fund.
   18The bill provides that moneys appropriated to the indigent
19defense fund for the payment of interpreters and translators
20during the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2021, and ending
21June 30, 2022, shall be used by the state public defender for
22payment of costs and fees of interpreters and translators
23received prior to the effective date of the bill. Moneys
24appropriated to the indigent defense fund for the payment of
25interpreters and translators during the fiscal year beginning
26July 1, 2021, and ending June 30, 2022, that have not yet been
27disbursed by the state public defender as of the effective date
28of the bill shall be transferred to the revolving fund under
29the purview of the judicial branch for jury and witness fees,
30mileage, costs related to summoning jurors, costs and fees for
31interpreters and translators, and reimbursement of attorney
32fees paid by the state public defender for that fiscal year.
   33The bill takes effect November 1, 2021.
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