HAWAI‘I RULES FOR

CERTIFICATION OF

SPOKEN AND SIGN

LANGUAGE INTERPRETERS

(SCRU-12-0000600)








Adopted and Promulgated by

the Supreme Court

of the State of Hawai‘i





Adopted July 11, 2007


Effective nunc pro tunc July 1, 2007

 

The Judiciary

State of Hawai‘i



HAWAI‘I RULES FOR CERTIFICATION OF

SPOKEN AND SIGN LANGUAGE

INTERPRETERS



Table of Contents


 

Rule 1.      PRINCIPLES, APPLICATION, AUTHORITY

AND SCOPE

 

Rule 2.      GENERAL ELIGIBILITY FOR COURT INTERPRETER

                  CERTIFICATION

 

Rule 3.      WAIVER OF CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

 

Rule 4.      APPLICATION FOR ADMISSION TO THE COURT

                  INTERPRETER CERTIFICATION PROGRAM

 

Rule 5.      POLICIES FOR INTERPRETED PROCEEDINGS IN

                  THE COURTS OF THE STATE OF HAWAI‘I


Rule 6.      BASIC ORIENTATION TRAINING

 

Rule 7.      WRITTEN ENGLISH PROFICIENCY EXAMINATION

 

Rule 8.      WRITTEN BASIC COURT INTERPRETER

                  ETHICS EXAMINATION

 

Rule 9.      CRIMINAL RECORD CHECK AND EVALUATION

                  OF CHARACTER AND FITNESS

 

Rule 10.    ORAL/SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETER PROFICIENCY EXAMINATION

 

Rule 11.    ISSUANCE OF CERTIFICATE OF COURT INTERPRETER

TIER DESIGNATION STATUS

 

Rule 12.    TIERS OF COURT INTERPRETER DESIGNATION STATUS

 

Rule 13.    HAWAI‘I STATE COURT INTERPRETER REGISTRY

 

Rule 14.    APPOINTMENT OF COURT INTERPRETER

 

Rule 15.    DISQUALIFICATION OR REMOVAL OF COURT

INTERPRETER FROM LEGAL PROCEEDING


Rule 16.    EXPENSES AND FEES

 

Rule 17.    PROCEDURES FOR COMPLAINTS AND DISCIPLINE

 

Rule 18.    CONTINUING EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS


Appendix A - Tiers of Court Interpreter Designation

 

[Appendix B] - Order Adopting the Policies for Interpreted Proceedings in the Courts of the State of Hawai‘i, filed June 22, 1995


 

Rule 1.            PRINCIPLES, APPLICATION, AUTHORITY AND SCOPE

      1.1 The purpose of these Rules for Certification of Spoken and Sign Language Interpreters is to establish a Court Interpreter Certification Program that will provide a process by which court interpreters may be registered, certified, and otherwise qualified in order to assist judges, attorneys, and other court personnel in selecting quality interpreter services in the Hawai‘i State Courts.

      1.2 All persons involved in proceedings before the Hawai‘i State Courts, regardless of literacy or proficiency in the English language, have the right to equal access to the courts and to services and programs provided by the Hawai‘i State Courts.

      1.3 A person who is Limited English Proficient (LEP), deaf, or hard-of-hearing shall, throughout a legal proceeding, have the right to the assistance of an interpreter appointed by the court as provided by court rule.

      1.4 The Office of the Administrative Director shall administer the program established by these rules for certification and for providing language interpretation services for court users who are LEP, deaf, or hard-of-hearing, who are principal parties in interest and/or witnesses participating in legal proceedings in Hawai‘i State Courts.

      1.5 For purposes of these Rules for Certification of Spoken and Sign Language Interpreters, any reference to the Administrative Director or the Office of Administrative Director includes the Judiciary’s Office on Equality and Access to the Courts and such other offices as the Administrative Director shall designate with responsibility for the program.

 

 

Rule 2.      GENERAL ELIGIBILITY FOR COURT INTERPRETER CERTIFICATION

      2.1 An applicant shall be eligible for consideration for certification as a spoken or sign language court interpreter upon establishing to the satisfaction of the Administrative Director that the applicant:

      (a) is at least 18 years of age;

      (b) is a citizen, permanent resident alien or national of the United States, or a non-citizen with employment authorization from the United States Citizenship & Immigration;

      (c) possesses a valid General Excise Tax license issued by the State of Hawai‘i;

      (d) is of good character and fit to serve as a court interpreter;

      (e) attended and successfully completed a two-day court interpreter certification basic orientation training administered by the Administrative Director;

      (f)  passed a written English proficiency examination administered by the Administrative Director;

      (g) passed a written basic court interpreter ethics examination administered by the Administrative Director; and

      (h) passed clearance of a criminal background check as required by Rule 9.

      2.2 An applicant shall be designated as a certified or otherwise approved spoken language court interpreter if the applicant meets all of the requirements set forth in Rule 2.1 (a) through (h) above and passes an oral language interpreter proficiency examination administered by the Administrative Director. See Appendix A.

      2.3 An applicant shall be designated as a certified or otherwise approved sign language court interpreter by the Administrative Director if the applicant meets all of the requirements set forth in Rule 2.1 (a) through (h) and holds a valid certification by an organization or association for the deaf or hard-of-hearing at a level appropriate for court work, as determined by the Administrative Director. See Appendix A.

 

 

Rule 3.            WAIVER OF CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

      3.1 The Administrative Director may waive the requirements of Rule 2.1(e), 2.1(f), 2.1(g), 2.1(h), or 2.2 upon trustworthy evidence that the applicant has otherwise met the requirement.

 

 

Rule 4.            APPLICATION FOR ADMISSION TO THE COURT INTERPRETER CERTIFICATION PROGRAM

      4.1 An applicant desiring admission to the Court Interpreter Certification Program for spoken language and/or sign language interpreters shall complete and submit a written application on a form provided by the Administrative Director.

      4.2 Applications shall be screened and processed by the Office of the Administrative Director. This process includes a review of each applicant’s eligibility under Rule 2.1, academic background, language proficiency, and prior interpreting/translation experience. Each applicant shall be advised in writing of the time and place at which the next phase of the certification process will be conducted. Any applicant whose application is denied shall be promptly notified.

 

 

Rule 5.      POLICIES FOR INTERPRETED PROCEEDINGS IN THE COURTS OF THE STATE OF HAWAI‘I

      5.1 Each applicant shall, when notified that his or her application has been processed, receive a copy of the Order Adopting the Policies for Interpreted Proceedings in the Courts of the State of Hawai‘i, including the Professional Code of Conduct, issued by the Hawai‘i Supreme Court on June 22, 1995. Knowledge of the Professional Code of Conduct is an important component of: (a) the Court Interpreter Certification Program basic orientation training; and (b) written English proficiency and basic court interpreter ethics examinations. Each interpreter shall be subject to the Professional Code of Conduct issued by the Hawai‘i Supreme Court on June 22, 1995 and subsequent amendments thereto.

 

 

Rule 6.      BASIC ORIENTATION TRAINING

      6.1 Each applicant must fully attend and complete, at the applicant’s own expense, a two-day court interpreter certification basic orientation training conducted by the Administrative Director. The training shall be designed to: (a) familiarize the applicant with the Court Interpreter Certification Program and the Hawai‘i State Court system and (b) provide instruction on the role of the interpreter and the skills and ethics required of an interpreter in the courtroom.

      6.2 Dates, times, locations, and registration fees for the basic orientation training shall be determined by the Administrative Director.

 

 

Rule 7.      WRITTEN ENGLISH PROFICIENCY EXAMINATION

      7.1 Following full attendance and completion of the court interpreter certification basic orientation training, each applicant must take the written English proficiency examination administered by the Administrative Director and achieve a passing score as determined by the Administrative Director.

      7.2 Each applicant may take any single version of the written English proficiency examination a maximum of two times and may not take the same version within a six-month period.

      7.3 Each applicant shall be notified in writing by regular mail of the applicant’s score on the written English proficiency examination.

(Amended June 25, 2008, effective July 1, 2008.)

 

 

Rule 8.            WRITTEN BASIC COURT INTERPRETER ETHICS EXAMINATION

      8.1 Following full attendance and completion of the court interpreter certification basic orientation training, each applicant must take the written basic court interpreter ethics examination administered by the Administrative Director and achieve a passing score as determined by the Administrative Director.

      8.2 The number of times an applicant may take any single version of the written basic court interpreter ethics examination is unlimited.

      8.3 Each applicant shall be notified in writing by regular mail of the applicant’s score on the written basic court interpreter ethics examination.

 

 

Rule 9.      CRIMINAL RECORD CHECK AND EVALUATION OF CHARACTER AND FITNESS

      9.1 A court interpreter must be one whose record of conduct justifies the trust of the court, witnesses, jurors, attorneys, parties, and the public. To protect the integrity of court and legal proceedings and the safety of the public, applicants shall undergo a criminal record check and may be subject to other lawful reference and/or background checks as required by the Administrative Director.

      9.2 Following full attendance and completion of the two-day court interpreter certification basic orientation training and passage of both the written English proficiency and basic court interpreter ethics examinations, a criminal record check shall be conducted on applicants consistent with applicable law.

      9.3 Applicants must provide required information necessary to conduct the criminal record check and must pay any associated fees as required by the Administrative Director.

      9.4 An applicant may be disqualified from registration and/or certification as a court interpreter if deemed unfit by the Administrative Director. In evaluating an applicant’s character and fitness to serve as a court interpreter where the applicant’s criminal or other record indicates any deficiency in the applicant’s honesty, trustworthiness, diligence, or reliability that is material to the applicant’s performance as a court interpreter, the following, non-exclusive factors may be considered in assigning weight and significance to prior conduct:

      (a) the applicant’s age at the time of the conduct;

      (b) the recency of the conduct;

      (c) the reliability of the information concerning the conduct;

      (d) the seriousness of the conduct;

      (e) the factors underlying the conduct;

      (f)  the cumulative effect of the conduct;

      (g) evidence of rehabilitation;

      (h) the applicant’s positive social contributions since the conduct;

      (i)  the applicant’s candor in the certification process; and

      (j)  the materiality of any admissions or misrepresentations.

      9.5 Each applicant shall be notified in writing by regular mail of the outcome of the criminal record check and evaluation of the applicant’s character and fitness to serve as a court interpreter.

 

 

Rule 10.    ORAL/SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETER PROFICIENCY EXAMINATION

      10.1     Spoken and sign language interpreters who have fully attended and completed the court interpreter certification basic orientation training, passed both the written English proficiency and basic court interpreter ethics examinations, cleared the criminal record check and character and fitness evaluation, and achieved a passing score on an oral/sign language interpreter proficiency examination administered or recognized by the Administrative Director, will be given a tier designation in accordance with Rule 12.

      10.2     Each applicant may take any single version of any of the oral language interpreter proficiency examination administered by or through the Administrative Director a maximum of two times, and may not take a single version more than once a year.

      10.3     Each applicant shall be notified in writing by regular mail of the applicant’s score on the oral language interpreter proficiency examination.

 

 

Rule 11.    ISSUANCE OF CERTIFICATE OF COURT INTERPRETER TIER DESIGNATION STATUS

      11.1     Upon satisfactory completion of the specified requirements in these rules, the Administrative Director shall issue a certificate to the court interpreter indicating the tier designation status achieved, subject to any continuing education requirements determined by the Administrative Director under Rule 18 below. See Appendix A.

 

 

Rule 12.    TIERS OF COURT INTERPRETER DESIGNATION STATUS

      12.1     Spoken and sign language interpreters meeting requirements under Rule 2.1 (a) through (h) shall be designated Tier 1 “Registered” court interpreters and are eligible to pursue higher Tier designations based on passage of oral/sign language interpreter proficiency examinations approved by the Administrative Director.

      12.2     Spoken language Tier 1 “Registered” interpreters shall be designated

                  Tier 2 “Conditionally Approved”;

                  Tier 3 “Approved”;

                  Tier 4 “Certified”; or

                  Tier 6 “Certified Master”

interpreters by achieving the requisite scores on oral language interpreter proficiency examinations of the Consortium for State Court Interpreter Certification or LionBridge. See Appendix A.

      12.3     Spoken language Tier 1 “Registered” interpreters shall be designated

Tier 6 “Certified Master” interpreters by achieving requisite scores on the Federal Court Interpreter Certification Examination (FCICE);

Tier 3 “Approved” interpreters by achieving “Conference Interpreter” designation through the U.S. Department of State oral examination;

Tier 2 "Conditionally Approved" by achieving "Seminar Interpreter" designation through the U.S. Department of State oral examination.

See Appendix A.

      (Amended December 22, 2014, effective January 1, 2015.)

      12.4     Sign language Tier 1 “Registered” interpreters shall be designated

                  Tier 3 “Approved”;

                  Tier 4 “Certified”;

                  Tier 5 “Certified Advanced”; or

                  Tier 6 “Certified Master”

interpreters by achieving the requisite designations based on scores achieved on sign language examinations administered by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID), the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), or the Hawai‘i Quality Assurance System (HQAS). See Appendix A.

 

 

Rule 13.    HAWAI‘I STATE COURT INTERPRETER REGISTRY

      13.1     Interpreters who receive certificates pursuant to Rule 11 shall be listed in the Hawai‘i State Court Interpreter Registry.

 

 

Rule 14.    APPOINTMENT OF COURT INTERPRETER

      14.1      Court interpreters shall be appointed in accordance with the rules of court. When making an appointment, a court should give preference to court interpreters within that circuit who have been qualified under these Rules for Certification of Spoken and Sign Language Interpreters in Hawai‘i State Courts. A court interpreter who has been qualified under these rules shall be paid in accordance with the interpreter’s designation. See Appendix A.

      (Amended June 27, 2012, effective July 1, 2012.)

      14.2      Remote Interpreting. The court may appoint an interpreter to provide interpreter services remotely, such as by telephone or other electronic means, when an interpreter is not available to appear in court in person under Rule 14.1. The use of remote interpreter services should, unless special circumstances exist, be limited to matters that are relatively short in duration and do not involve testimonial evidence. “Special circumstances” may include situations in which an interpreter is needed to interpret a language that is rare or uncommon within the circuit in which the proceeding is situated.

      (Adopted April 12, 2013, effective July 1, 2013.)

 

 

Rule 15.    DISQUALIFICATION OR REMOVAL OF COURT INTERPRETER FROM LEGAL PROCEEDING

      15.1     A court may disqualify or remove a court interpreter from a legal proceeding for good cause, including but not limited to, failing to follow applicable laws, rules of court, or the Order Adopting the Policies for Interpreted Proceedings in the Courts of the State of Hawai‘i, filed June 22, 1995.

      15.2     Any of the following actions shall be good cause for a court to disqualify or remove an interpreter in an individual legal proceeding:

      (a) inability to interpret adequately, including where the interpreter self-reports such inability;

      (b) knowingly and willfully making false interpretation while serving in an official capacity;

      (c) knowingly and willfully disclosing confidential or privileged information obtained while serving in an official capacity; and

      (d) failing to appear as scheduled without good cause.

 

 

Rule 16.    EXPENSES AND FEES

      16.1     The expenses and fees for administering the certification requirements, including complaint procedures, shall be set and revised as necessary by the Administrative Director.

 

 

Rule 17.    PROCEDURES FOR COMPLAINTS AND DISCIPLINE

      17.1     The Administrative Director shall, subject to supreme court approval, promulgate procedures for complaint and discipline.

 

 

Rule 18.    CONTINUING EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS

      18.1     The Administrative Director shall, subject to supreme court approval, develop continuing education requirements.

 

APPENDIX A - Tiers of Court Interpreter Designation

Tier

Spoken or ASL

Designation

Hourly

Fee

Requirement

All Tiers of Court Interpreter Designations must fulfill the minimum requirements set forth under Tier 1

6

Spoken

Certified Master

$55

Full Consortium Oral Exam: 80% for Simultaneous; 80% for Consecutive; 80% overall for Sight Translation, with at least 75% for each subpart; or Federal Court Interpreter Certification Exam (FCICE)

ASL

Certified Master

$55

RID SC:L

5

Spoken

N/A

N/A

N/A

ASL

Certified Advanced

$50

Tier 4 requirements and fulfillment of "Certified Advanced" requirements (currently being determined)

4

Spoken

Certified

$45

Full Consortium Oral Exam: 70% for Simultaneous; 70% for Consecutive; 70% overall for Sight Translation, with at least 65% for each subpart

ASL

Certified

$45

NAD V; or HQAS V; or RID CI and CT; or RID CDI; or RID CSC; or RID RSC

3

Spoken

Approved

$40

Full Consortium Oral Exam: 60% for Simultaneous; 60% for Consecutive; 60% overall for Sight Translation, with at least 55% for each subpart; or Abbreviated Consortium Oral Exam: 70% for Simultaneous; 70% for Oral English Proficiency component; or

Alternative Credential Recognition for passage of an exam approved by the Judiciary; or U.S. Department of State Oral Exam "Conference Interpreter" designation

ASL

Approved

$40

NAD IV; or HQAS IV; or RID CI or CT

2

Spoken

Conditionally Approved

$35

Abbreviated Consortium Oral Exam: 60% for Simultaneous; 60% for Oral English Proficiency component; or

Alternative Credential Recognition for passage of an exam approved by the Judiciary; or U.S. Department of State Oral Exam "Seminar Interpreter" designation

ASL

N/A

N/A

N/A

1

Spoken

Registered

$25

2-Day Basic Orientation Workshop: 70% for Consortium Written Exam; 80% for Hawai‘i Basic Ethics Test; and Passage of Criminal Background Check

ASL

Registered

$25

2-Day Basic Orientation Workshop: 70% for Consortium Written Exam; 80% for Hawai‘i Basic Ethics Test; and Passage of Criminal Background Check

Office on Equality and Access to the Courts                                                                                                            Effective 01/01/15

 

[Appendix B -      Order Adopting the Policies for Interpreted Proceedings in the Courts of the State of Hawai‘i, filed June 22, 1995]