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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76563 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Deaf People and Sign Language Interpreters in Court - A Booklet for Bench and Bar
Author(s): J K Kresse; P Kleven
Corporate Author: Bay Area Center for Law and the Deaf
United States of America
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 49
Sponsoring Agency: Alameda Cty Bar Assoc
Oakland, CA 94612
Bay Area Center for Law and the Deaf
Oakland, CA 94612
East Bay Foundation for Health Careers
Oakland, CA 94612
Lawyers Wives of the East Bay

National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
San Francisco Foundation
San Francisco, CA 94104
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Special problems of the deaf person in court are identified, and the use of sign language interpreters in judicial proceedings is discussed.
Abstract: The first portion of the booklet discusses the characteristics of the deaf population in the United States, the modes of communication used by deaf people, and the problems faced by hearing and deaf people when they attempt to communicate with each other. Sign language interpretation is also considered. The second half of the booklet surveys Federal and State laws regarding the use of sign language interpreters in judicial proceedings. Federal case law now recognizes a constitutional right to a paid interpreter for an indigent criminal defendant who has difficulty with English. The Court Interpreters Act applies to a party or witness who is non-English speaking or hearing impaired. Neither the act nor the Federal rules require the appointment of an interpreter at public expense for a civil party who is deaf and indigent. In 1973, Congress passed legislation that provides a basis upon which a deaf participant in a State or local court proceeding may assert his/her right to be provided an interpreter at government expense. California law on the provision and use of interpreters is similar to Federal law, but provides more guidance to the courts. Among other statutes of note are section 937 of the penal code and section 264 of the code of civil procedure. Section 937 provides that a grand jury or district attorney may require by subpoena the attendance of an interpreter, who may be present at the examination of a grand jury witness. Section 264 speaks to the competency of interpreters. It allows the judges of each superior, municipal, and justice court to adopt rules designed to ensure, by requiring an examination or by other suitable means, the competency of interpreters. A total of 28 notes and list of 24 suggested readings are provided.
Index Term(s): California; Court rules; Interpreter Services; Laws and Statutes; Persons with physical disabilities
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