TO PROVIDE EQUAL ACCESS TO COURT SERVICES AND FULLY FUND INTERPRETER NEEDS IN THE COURTS.
Enacts new GS 7A-314A in Article 28 of GS Chapter 7A, directing that the cost of interpreting or translating services when the party or witness does not speak or understand the English language is payable from funds appropriated to the Judicial Department. Allows the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) and the Office of Indigent Defense Services to enter into a memorandum of understanding for payment when the Judicial Department is bearing the costs of representation or a witness for such party. Indicates that the appointment and payment of translators and interpreters under the section will be made according to GS 7A-343(9c). Provides that a party electing to use his or her own translator or interpreter will bear those costs. Indicates that, except in cases in which the Judicial Department bears the costs of representation, the provision will not obligate that the AOC pay for interpreting and translating services in non-court proceedings. Authorizes a court to order a party or witness to bear interpreting or translating services costs when that party or witness required such services and failed to appear, without good cause.
Makes conforming changes to GS 7A-343(9c), GS 7A-305(d), and repeals GS 7A-314(f) (current law for interpreting and translating services costs).
Effective July 1, 2011.
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