2.43.080  <<  2.43.090 >>   End of Chapter

RCW 2.43.090

Language assistance plan—Required for each trial court—Submission of plan to interpreter commission—Report.

(1) Each trial court organized under this title and Titles 3 and 35 RCW must develop a written language assistance plan to provide a framework for the provision of interpreter services for non-English-speaking persons accessing the court system in both civil and criminal legal matters. The language assistance plan must include, at a minimum, provisions addressing the following:
(a) Procedures to identify and assess the language needs of non-English-speaking persons using the court system;
(b) Procedures for the appointment of interpreters as required under RCW 2.43.030. Such procedures shall not require the non-English-speaking person to make the arrangements for the interpreter to appear in court;
(c) Procedures for notifying court users of the right to and availability of interpreter services. Such information shall be prominently displayed in the courthouse in the five foreign languages that census data indicates are predominate in the jurisdiction;
(d) A process for providing timely communication with non-English speakers by all court employees who have regular contact with the public and meaningful access to court services, including access to services provided by the clerk's office;
(e) Procedures for evaluating the need for translation of written materials, prioritizing those translation needs, and translating the highest priority materials. These procedures should take into account the frequency of use of forms by the language group, and the cost of orally interpreting the forms;
(f) A process for requiring and providing training to judges, court clerks, and other court staff on the requirements of the language assistance plan and how to effectively access and work with interpreters; and
(g) A process for ongoing evaluation of the language assistance plan and monitoring of the implementation of the language assistance plan.
(2) Each court, when developing its language assistance plan, must consult with judges, court administrators and court clerks, interpreters, and members of the community, such as domestic violence organizations, pro bono programs, courthouse facilitators, legal services programs, and/or other community groups whose members speak a language other than English.
(3) Each court must provide a copy of its language assistance plan to the interpreter commission established by supreme court rule for approval prior to receiving state reimbursement for interpreter costs under this chapter.
(4) Each court receiving reimbursement for interpreter costs under RCW 2.42.120 or 2.43.040 must provide to the administrative office of the courts by November 15, 2009, a report detailing an assessment of the need for interpreter services for non-English speakers in court-mandated classes or programs, the extent to which interpreter services are currently available for court-mandated classes or programs, and the resources that would be required to ensure that interpreters are provided to non-English speakers in court-mandated classes or programs. The report shall also include the amounts spent annually on interpreter services for fiscal years 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. The administrative office of the courts shall compile these reports and provide them along with the specific reimbursements provided, by court and fiscal year, to the appropriate committees of the legislature by December 15, 2009.
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