Ga. R. Super. Ct. 7.3

As amended through April 25, 2024
Rule 7.3 - Interpreters
(A) In all civil and criminal cases, the party or party's attorney shall inform the court in the form of a notice of the need for a qualified interpreter, if known, within a reasonable time - at least 5 days where practicable-before any hearing, trial, or other court proceeding. Such notice shall be filed and shall comply with any other service requirements established by the court. The notice shall (1) designate the participants in the proceeding who will need the services of an interpreter, (2) estimate the length of the proceeding for which the interpreter is required, (3) state whether the interpreter will be needed for all proceedings in the case, and (4) indicate the language(s), including sign language for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing, for which the interpreter is required.
(B) Upon receipt of such notice, the court shall make a diligent effort to locate and appoint a licensed interpreter, at the court's expense, in accordance with the Supreme Court of Georgia's Rule on Use of Interpreters for Non-English Speaking and Hearing Impaired Persons. If the court determines that the nature of the case (e.g., an emergency) warrants the use of a non-licensed interpreter, then the court shall follow the procedures as outlined in the Supreme Court of Georgia's Commission on Interpreters' Instructions for Use of a Non-Licensed Interpreter. Despite its use of a non-licensed interpreter, the court shall make a diligent effort to ensure that a licensed interpreter is appointed for all subsequently scheduled proceedings, if one is available.
(C) If a party or party's attorney fails to timely notify the court of a need for a court interpreter, the court may assess costs against that party for any delay caused by the need to obtain a court interpreter unless that party establishes good cause for the delay. When timely notice is not provided or on other occasions when it may be necessary to utilize an interpreter not licensed by the Supreme Court of Georgia's Commission on Interpreters (COI), the Registry for Interpreters of the Deaf (RID), or other industry-recognized credentialing entity, such as a telephonic language service or a less qualified interpreter, the court should weigh the need for immediacy in conducting a hearing against the potential compromise of due process, or the potential of substantive injustice, if interpreting is inadequate. Unless immediacy is a primary concern, some delay might be more appropriate than the use of an interpreter not licensed by the COI, RID, or other recognized credentialing entity.
(D) Notwithstanding any failure of a party or party's attorney to notify the court of a need for a court interpreter, the court shall appoint a court interpreter whenever it becomes apparent from the court's own observations or from disclosures by any other person that a participant in a proceeding is unable to hear, speak, or otherwise communicate in the English language to the extent reasonably necessary to meaningfully participate in the proceeding.
(E) If the time or date of a proceeding is changed or canceled by the parties, and interpreter services have been arranged by the court, the party that requested the interpreter must notify the court 24 hours in advance of the change or cancellation. Timely notice of any changes is essential in order to cancel or reschedule an interpreter, thus precluding unnecessary travel by the interpreter and a fee payment by the court. If a party fails to timely notify the court of a change or cancellation, the court may assess any reasonable interpreter expenses it may have incurred upon that party unless the party can show good cause for its failure to provide a timely notification.

Ga. R. Super. Ct. 7.3

Amended effective November 8, 2001; amended June 15, 2017, effective July 13, 2017.