Foreign Language Interpreters
The Court shall appoint qualified interpreters in all legal courtroom proceedings in which a non-English speaking person is a party or a witness unless the right to do so has been waived.
Under 476.803 RSMo., the Court must provide qualified interpreters and translators in all legal courtroom proceedings in which the non-English speaking person is a party or a witness. The Court may accept a waiver of this right so long as it is determined that the waiver has been made knowingly, and any such waiver may be retracted at any time.
In accordance with Executive Order 13166, issued by former President Clinton (and still in effect), all recipients of federal assistance must provide meaningful access to programs and services to people with limited-English proficiency in compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Recipients risk losing federal assistance when language assistance is not provided. The Jackson County Circuit Court receives federal funds and Title VI would apply.
Deaf/Hard of Hearing Interpreters
The Court may not discriminate against any person based on a qualified disability. The Court must provide the means for effective communication for parties, witnesses, jurors and spectators in every case.
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) specifically protects qualified individuals with disabilities from discrimination in the services, programs, or activities of all state and local governments.
Sections 476.750 – 476.766 RSMo. address assistance to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Scheduling of Interperters
In order to ensure timely scheduling, the party must notify the division staff. Only the division staff may request interpreters from the Court Administrator’s Office. The request must be submitted at least 48 hours prior to the date the interpreter is needed, although it is suggested that the request be submitted as soon as the need is documented.