Supreme Court Seal
Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
Judicial Branch

The Supreme Court of South Carolina

 RE:  Telephonic and Remote Audio Foreign Language Interpreter Services in Summary Courts




IT IS ORDERED that the Order of the court dated February 10, 2003, is superseded effective immediately.  I find that the use of telephonic and remote foreign language interpreter services shall continue to be authorized for statewide use in South Carolina Summary Courts.  

THEREFORE, pursuant to the provisions of Article V, Section 4, South Carolina Constitution,

Telephonic and remote audio foreign language interpreter services may be used in the Summary Courts of this State for non-capital initial appearances, bond hearings, preliminary hearings, guilty pleas, motions, and trials. Use of telephonic and remote audio interpreter services in trialsin Summary Courts shall be at the discretion of the presiding judge.  

In order to utilize telephonic and remote audio interpreter services, the following conditions must be met: 

1. The interpreter’s voice shall be recorded and included in the record of the proceeding. 

2. A defendant or party who is in need of a foreign language interpreter must be informed that telephonic or remote audio foreign language interpreting is being used.

3. At the beginning of the proceeding, the interpreter must be sworn in, state his/her full name, name of his/her company, and state on the record that he/she is qualified to interpret in the requested language.  The Oath to Interpreter should be administered as follows:

“Do you solemnly swear or affirm that you will accurately interpret the language requested in this courtroom of the Defendant/Witness without additions thereto or detractions therefrom or any other amendments of your own interpretation?”   

4. The County or Municipality shall bear all costs associated with telephonic and remote audio language interpreter services. 

5. No prior approval is necessary for a County or Municipality to utilize telephonic and remote audio interpreting services.

This Order shall remain in effect unless amended or revoked by Order of the Chief Justice.


s/Donald W. Beatty                                   
Donald W. Beatty
Chief Justice of South Carolina


Columbia, South Carolina
December 27, 2019