Ohio Supreme Court adopts interpreter services improvements

The Supreme Court of Ohio has approved rule changes that will provide better access to the state’s judicial system for people who need language interpretation.

The court’s action comes after a public comment period on a proposal to amend Rules 80-88 of the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio that govern foreign and sign language interpretation in Ohio’s courts. Among the changes that will take effect July 1, is the addition of standards for using a foreign language interpreter over the phone, including some additional language to address some of the concerns received during the public comment period.

The rules require that:

  • A telephonic interpreter may be used only in the event that a court has determined that a qualified in-person interpreter is not available; and
  • The court must follow the same certification requirements as in-person interpreters when appointing a telephonic interpreter.
Other changes to the rules include defining what types of cases or court functions might require an interpreter, extending the period for provisional certification, and establishing a roster of non-certified foreign language interpreters.

The Supreme Court has been addressing the increasing demands for language interpretation in Ohio’s court system through its Language Services Program, including testing and certifying court interpreters.

The rules are available on the Supreme Court website.

Content courtesy of Court News Ohio.



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