Courts and Civil Procedure – Courts

Language Interpreters – Use of Language Interpreters in Legal Proceedings

SECTION 8-19-1

§ 8-19-1. Legislative declaration – Intent.

(a) It is hereby declared to be the policy of the state of Rhode Island to guarantee the rights of persons who, because of a non-English speaking background, are unable to readily understand or communicate in the English language, and who consequently need the assistance of an interpreter to be fully protected in legal proceedings in matters before the Rhode Island unified state court system. Court interpretation requires not only a full command of two (2) languages, but also a knowledge of courtroom procedure, legal vocabulary, the overall court and legal systems, and an understanding that the role of an interpreter consists not of abridging or editorializing, but of exactly interpreting every word that is spoken without emendation or amendment.

(b) It is the intent of the legislature, by the enactment of this chapter, to provide interpreters to limited-English-proficient persons in proceedings before the state courts in Rhode Island and to establish a procedure for the certification and appointment of interpreters.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1999, ch. 340, § 1; P.L. 2012, ch. 415, § 15; P.L. 2014, ch. 79, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 88, § 1.)