§ 8-5-8. Sign language interpreters/transliterators and Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) providers for deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf-blind persons.
(a) In all civil and criminal cases, in workers' compensation, district, family, and superior court proceedings, mental health court competency hearings, state traffic tribunals, and in any case in any municipal court, including, but not limited to, on-site, court-provided, alternative dispute resolution, mediation, arbitration, diversion/intervention program or treatment; and in an administrative, commission, or agency hearing; pursuant to chapter 18 of this title, where a party or a witness is a person who is deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind, or a juvenile whose parent or parents are deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind is brought before a court for any reason, he or she shall have the proceedings accessible to him or her in a language that he or she can understand by a sign language interpreter/transliterator or CART provider appointed by the court. In any case where a sign language interpreter/transliterator or CART provider is required to be appointed by the court under this section, the court shall not commence proceedings until the appointed sign language interpreter/transliterator or CART provider is in court in a position not exceeding ten feet (10') from, and in full view of the person who is deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind. The sign language interpreter/transliterator or CART provider appointed under the terms of the section shall be required to take an oath that he or she will make a legally equivalent, linguistically true interpretation, transliteration, or transcription for the person who is deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind of all the proceedings or hearings of the case or claim in a language that he or she understands; and will orally transfer the meaning of the answer to questions and any other statements of the person who is deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind to counsel, the court, and jury in the English language with exactitude, while accurately reflecting the form and content of the linguistic and paralinguistic elements of the speaker's discourse.
Assistive listening devices, or other reasonable and effective auxiliary aids available, shall be provided for the deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf-blind who need to maximize their engagement in the proceedings or hearings in addition to the interpreter/transliterator and/or CART providers.
(b) For the purposes of this section, "sign language interpreter/transliterator" means a person who is a certified interpreter as defined in § 5-71-3 in providing the interpreting and transliterating services for the deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf-blind. "CART provider" means a person who is a qualified communication access realtime translation (CART) service provider certified by the National Court Reporters Association. "Paralinguistic elements" means a non-verbal element of language, including all of the pauses, hedges, self-corrections, hesitations, and emotion as they are conveyed through tone of voice, word choice, level of formality, tone of voice, and intonation. "Assistive listening device (ALD) or assistive listening system (ALS)" means instruments that are designed to improve a person's ability to hear in specific listening situations. Some ALDs amplify a sound signal, but the primary purpose of an ALD is to make the targeted sound easier to hear by isolating the sound source from surrounding noise. Examples are induction loop systems, frequency-modulated (FM) systems, infrared systems, and personal amplifiers. A sign language interpreter/transliterator, or CART provider shall be deemed qualified in accordance with United States Department of Justice regulations effectuating Title II of the federal "Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990", as from time to time may be amended, Pub. L. 101-336, codified at 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., including regulations, analysis, and technical assistance and as determined by the definition of chapter 71 of title 5 and the commission on the deaf and hard of hearing, based upon recommendations from the National Association of the Deaf, the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, the National Hearing Loss Association of America, and other appropriate agencies. The commission on the deaf and hard of hearing shall coordinate all requests for qualified sign language interpreters/transliterators and CART providers and shall maintain a list of all such sign language interpreters/transliterators and CART providers from which it shall fill such requests. No sign language interpreter/transliterator or CART provider is precluded from being further examined by the court system.
(c) Sign language interpreters/transliterators and CART providers appointed under the terms of the section shall be paid by the state or municipality a reasonable compensation fixed by the court.
(P.L. 1968, ch. 269, § 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 96, § 1; P.L. 1989, ch. 235, § 1; P.L. 1991, ch. 150, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 83, § 5; P.L. 1999, ch. 130, § 5; P.L. 1999, ch. 218, art. 5, § 16; P.L. 2013, ch. 179, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 218, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 528, § 47.)