By Order dated August 3, 2006, the South Carolina Supreme Court has amended the procedure for appointing qualified interpreters for non-English speaking persons (parties and witnesses). To comply with the Court's Order, interpreters must:
- Be certified or otherwise qualified pursuant to S.C. Code Section 15-27-155;
- Be appointed by written Order of the Court making the appointment; and
- Be paid the specified hourly rate, with a two hour minimum.
Effective September 1, 2006, the hourly rate will increase from $25.00 to $45.00 per hour for certified foreign language interpreters. The Order does not specify that the hourly rate for “otherwise qualified” interpreters increases as well, so they will apparently remain at $25.00 per hour.
The fees for interpreting services may be:
- paid out of funds appropriated to the Judicial Department by the General Assembly;
- paid by one or more of the parties as the Court may direct; or
- taxed ultimately as costs based on the discretion of the Court, with any fees over the $25.00 per hour set by Order of this Court being the responsibility of the County.
S.C. Court Administration maintains a centralized list of certified or otherwise qualified interpreters. However, a party or a witness may use a qualified interpreter who is not on the centralized list as long as the interpreter meets the specified requirements and submits a sworn affidavit to the Court specifying his or her qualifications.
You can read the full text of the Order HERE.