How to Request Interpreter - Court Proceeding

“Every written proceeding in a court of justice in this state shall be in the English language, and judicial proceedings shall be conducted, preserved, and published in no other.” (Code of Civ. Proc., § 185.)

“When a witness is incapable of understanding the English language or is incapable of expressing himself or herself in the English language so as to be understood directly by counsel, court, and jury, an interpreter whom the witness can understand and who can understand the witness shall be sworn to interpret for the witness.” (Evid. Code, § 752(a).) The Legislature has specifically found that it is imperative that courts provide interpreters to all parties who require one. (Govt. Code, § 68092.1(a).)

Legal Standard

“A person who serves as an interpreter or translator in any action is subject to all the rules of law relating to witnesses.” (Evid. Code, § 750.) “An interpreter shall take an oath that he or she will make a true interpretation to the witness in a language that the witness understands and that he or she will make a true interpretation of the witness’ answers to questions to counsel, court, or jury, in the English language, with his or her best skill and judgment.” (Evid. Code, § 751(a).)

“[F]ailure to swear an interpreter is not reversible error, per se or otherwise” (People v. Carreon (1984) 151 Cal.App.3d 559, 579), as “[u]nsworn testimony does not constitute a nullity.” (Richard M. v. Super. Ct. (1971) 4 Cal.3d 370, 377.) Where a witness is permitted to testify without having taken the appropriate oath, if the defect is not timely noted, the failure to do so constitutes a waiver. (People v. Carreon (1984) 151 Cal.App.3d 559, 579; People v. Mora (1984) 153 Cal.App.3d 18.) Moreover, the Legislature has intended a liberal policy when courts are ruling on questions regarding formalities in oath taking. (Carreon, supra, 151 Cal.App.3d at p. 579.)

Counsel does have the right to discredit the accuracy of an interpretation through cross-examination or independent proof. (People v. Walker (1924) 69 Cal.App 475.)

Procedure

“The record shall identify the interpreter.” (Evid. Code, § 752(b).)

“In all civil actions, the compensation for an interpreter… shall, in the first instance, be apportioned and charged to the several parties in a proportion as the court may determine and may thereafter be taxed and allowed in a like manner as other costs.” (Evid. Code, § 752(b)(2).) Notwithstanding any other law, a court may provide an interpreter in any civil action or proceeding at no cost to the parties, regardless of the parties' income. (Govt. Code, §68092.1(b).)

Useful Rulings on Request for Interpreter

Recent Rulings on Request for Interpreter

TIANJIN JIU CHE YUE SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT CO., LTD, A CHINESE LIMITED COMPANY VS ONE STOP AUTO GROUP, INC., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION, ET AL.

The court cited Evidence Code § 751(c) (i.e., “[a] translator shall take an oath that he or she will make a true translation in the English language of any writing he or she is to decipher or translate”) and California Rules of Court Rule 3.1110(g) (i.e., “[e]xhibits written in a foreign language must be accompanied by an English translation, certified under oath by a qualified interpreter”) and advised that the Li declaration was not properly translated and was thus not considered.

  • Hearing

    Jul 01, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Fraud

TIANJIN JIU CHE YUE SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT CO., LTD, A CHINESE LIMITED COMPANY VS ONE STOP AUTO GROUP, INC., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION, ET AL.

The court cited Evidence Code § 751(c) (i.e., “[a] translator shall take an oath that he or she will make a true translation in the English language of any writing he or she is to decipher or translate”) and California Rules of Court Rule 3.1110(g) (i.e., “[e]xhibits written in a foreign language must be accompanied by an English translation, certified under oath by a qualified interpreter”) and advised that the Li declaration was not properly translated and was thus not considered.

  • Hearing

    Nov 06, 2019

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Fraud

SANCHEZ MARTINEZ VS. JR STEEL REINFORCING CONSTRUCTION SERVICES INC

California Rule of Court 2.890(c)(1) and Evidence Code § 752 apply to courtroom interpreters and do not bar an attorney from translating a document presented to the court. Mr. Denis is qualified to translate. He has also stated under oath that his translations are true and accurate. (Supp. Denis Decl., ¶¶ 4-5; see also Certificates of Translation.) Mr. Denis’s potential bias does not bar the evidence but rather goes to the weight of it.

  • Hearing

    Aug 01, 2019

WANG SHIU HSIA HUANG VS LI-YA HUANG ET. AL.

Under Evidence Code section 752: “(a) When a witness is incapable of understanding the English language or is incapable of expressing himself or herself in the English language so as to be understood directly by counsel, court, and jury, an interpreter whom the witness can understand and who can understand the witness shall be sworn to interpret for the witness.”

  • Hearing

    Jul 05, 2019

TIANJIN JIU CHE YUE SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT CO., LTD, A CHINESE LIMITED COMPANY VS ONE STOP AUTO GROUP, INC., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION, ET AL.

(Evidence Code § 751(c).) California Rules of Court Rule 3.1110(g) also provides, “Exhibits written in a foreign language must be accompanied by an English translation, certified under oath by a qualified interpreter.” The Li declaration, then, is not properly translated and is thus not considered. There is also no translation of parts of Exhibit B attached to Li’s declaration.

  • Hearing

    May 01, 2019

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Fraud

ALEX SANDOVAL VS SUPRA NATIONAL EXPRESS INC

Supra cites Evidence Code §§750-751 as authority for the claim that for these reasons the Court must disregard the declaration. Supra ignores Evidence Code §753, however, which provides that he translator is only required when the declarant is incapable of “deciphering or understanding,” in this case, the declaration filed because he does not speak or understand English.

  • Hearing

    Apr 16, 2019

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Other Employment

EDUARDO CARILLO VS. HAAS AUTOMATION INC

Analysis: Evidence Code 752 provides, in pertinent part: "(a) When a witness is incapable of understanding the English language or is incapable of expressing himself or herself in the English language so as to be understood directly by counsel, court, and jury, an interpreter whom the witness can understand and who can understand the witness shall be sworn to interpret for the witness.

  • Hearing

    Jan 18, 2019

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Wrongful Term

JUANZI FANG VS FUSHENG LI ET AL

Under Evidence Code section 752: “(a) When a witness is incapable of understanding the English language or is incapable of expressing himself or herself in the English language so as to be understood directly by counsel, court, and jury, an interpreter whom the witness can understand and who can understand the witness shall be sworn to interpret for the witness.”

  • Hearing

    Jan 04, 2019

EXPRESS MESSENGER SYSTEMS WAGE AND HOUR CASES

Under Evidence Code §751: (a) An interpreter shall take an oath that he or she will make a true interpretation to the witness in a language that the witness understands and that he or she will make a true interpretation of the witness' answers to questions to counsel, court, or jury, in the English language, with his or her best skill and judgment.

  • Hearing

    Dec 18, 2018

CATALINA VALLE VS ECOLOGICA MEDICAL SPA ET AL

Evidence Code § 751(c). Opposition, Ex. 1. Such an oath has not been provided. Assuming the English translation is true and accurate, the agreement does not comply with the requirements of Cal Code Civil Procedure § 1295, which mandates the use of certain language in a contract for medical services containing an arbitration provision. Such a contract is presumptively not a contract of adhesion, or unconscionable, or otherwise improper if it complies with Cal. Code Civ.

  • Hearing

    Sep 24, 2018

(NO CASE NAME AVAILABLE)

Evidence Code § 752(a), (b); § 753. Accordingly, there is no dispute that moving parties’ conduct met the standard of care. UF 9, 12. No triable issues of fact are raised with regard to causation. Causation must be proven with expert testimony.Jones v. Ortho Pharm. Corp. (1985) 163 Cal. App. 3d 396, 402. Plaintiff’s additional facts with respect to causation rely on the declaration of Dr. Salz and of Plaintiff, both of which are inadmissible given Defendants’ objections. Dr.

  • Hearing

    Jul 26, 2018

ANGELA KIM VS STEVEN G KHWARG MD ET AL

Evidence Code § 752(a), (b); § 753. Accordingly, there is no dispute that moving parties’ conduct met the standard of care. UF 9, 12. No triable issues of fact are raised with regard to causation. Causation must be proven with expert testimony.Jones v. Ortho Pharm. Corp. (1985) 163 Cal. App. 3d 396, 402. Plaintiff’s additional facts with respect to causation rely on the declaration of Dr. Salz and of Plaintiff, both of which are inadmissible given Defendants’ objections. Dr.

  • Hearing

    Jul 26, 2018

LA SOCIETE ROYAL KIDS, SARL VS. HAIM ELBAZ

Even if this declaration does not constitute an exhibit for purposes of Rule 3.1110(g), Evidence Code section 752(a) provides “When a witness is incapable of understanding the English language or is incapable of expressing himself or herself in the English language so as to be understood directly by counsel, court, and jury, an interpreter whom he or she can understand and who can understand him or her shall be sworn to interpret for him or her.”

  • Hearing

    Jan 19, 2018

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Fraud

  • County

    Los Angeles County, CA

BIEU HUYNH VS. DANNY HA

Under Evidence Code section 752: “(a) When a witness is incapable of understanding the English language or is incapable of expressing himself or herself in the English language so as to be understood directly by counsel, court, and jury, an interpreter whom he or she can understand and who can understand him or her shall be sworn to interpret for him or her.” The court accordingly finds these declarations inadmissible, and so that no admissible evidence contradicts the propriety of service.

  • Hearing

    Jan 13, 2017

  • County

    Los Angeles County, CA

FLORES VS. TUTTLE-CLICK FORD, INC.

The hearing was continued as to the remaining relief sought by Defendant, to permit Plaintiff Jorge Flores to re-file his declaration to comport with Evidence Code § 750-751 and to permit the parties to file supplemental papers. As a preliminary matter, with respect to Defendant’s 10/06/16 Objections, the Court SUSTAINS objection nos. 1-2, and 24. With respect to nos. 1-2, the 09/23/16 Flores Declaration and English translation are still deficient.

  • Hearing

    Oct 14, 2016

MARIA NUNEZ VS. BIG SKY COUNTRY CLUB LLC

(See Evidence Code § 751, subdivision (c).)

  • Hearing

    Oct 07, 2010

  • Type

    Insurance

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

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