The Supreme Court of South Carolina



We find that the fee for qualified sign language interpreters set by Order dated June 16, 1992, should be increased.   

Now, therefore,

IT IS ORDERED that the Order of the Court dated June 16, 1992, providing procedures for appointment of qualified interpreters for the deaf and payment for their services is vacated, and the following procedures are adopted, to be effective immediately:

1.         The appointment of a qualified interpreter pursuant to S.C. CODE ANN. Section 15-27-15 for a deaf person who is a juror or a party to any legal proceeding or a witness therein, or confined to an institution shall be by written Order of the Court making the appointment.  A qualified interpreter is one who has been approved by the deaf person and either the South Carolina Association of the Deaf, the South Carolina Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, or the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.

2.         The court appointed qualified interpreter shall receive payment of $35.00 per hour, with a two-hour minimum, for interpreting services rendered.  The fees for interpreting services may be: (a) paid out funds appropriated to the Judicial Department by the General Assembly; (b) paid by one or more of the parties as the Court may direct; or (c) taxed ultimately as costs based on the discretion of the Court, with any fees over the $35.00 per hour set by Order of this Court being the responsibility of the County.            Effective July 1, 2004, the payment will increase to $45.00 per hour for services rendered. 

3.      Application for the interpreter’s fee shall be made on such forms as are prescribed and furnished by South Carolina Court Administration.  Namely, SCCA/262, 263, and 264.   The original Request for Payment must be submitted only upon completion of the interpreting services.  Requests for Payment must be accompanied by the original Interpreter Time Sheet showing with specificity (to the nearest quarter hour) the hours spent and approved by the Court making the appointment.  In addition, the Court must sign the Order of Appointment and Request for Payment. 

4.         The Judicial Department will not be responsible for the payment of interpreter services when funds appropriated specifically for this purpose by the General Assembly are exhausted.

5.           Forms shall be available at the Judicial Department website for use in implementing these procedures.

6.           Court Administration will maintain a centralized list of qualified interpreters.  A party or a witness may use a qualified interpreter who is not on the centralized list as long as the interpreter meets the requirements of a qualified interpreter and submits a sworn affidavit to the Court specifying his or her qualifications.


s/Jean Hoefer Toal                    
Chief Justice Jean Hoefer Toal

Columbia, South Carolina
May 20, 2004