Chief Judge Hon. Bertila Soto
11th. Judicial Circuit
Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center
175 N.W. 1st Avenue
Miami, Florida 33128
Miami, April 30th 2017
Dear Judge Soto
Our Association has received many complaints that judges and magistrates of the 11th Judicial Circuit are allowing non-certified Spanish speakers to act as interpreters before the Court in court-related proceedings.
Since 2008, interpreters have been subjected to a rigorous certification process established by the Supreme Court of Florida, through the Court Interpreters Certification and Regulation Program, resulting in Florida Rules of Judicial Administration Rule 2.560 and Rule 2.565.
This certification process has forced interpreters to take difficult proficiency exams and spend money in continuing education courses as well as re-certification fees. Many interpreters were not able to meet these stringent demands. To our knowledge, there were interpreters with over 20 years of service in the 11th Judicial Circuit, among others, who were compelled to leave their position as staff interpreters due to the non-compliance of the certification process.
These rules have directly affected the lives and livelihood of many interpreters, therefore, it seems quite unfair that the Judiciary – the same branch that created these rules – should not follow them as well.
We are sure your Honor was not aware of this being the case in the 11th Judicial Circuit. We are hopeful that your Honor will give careful consideration to this ongoing situation.
The Association puts itself at your disposal for any matters your Honor feels it could be useful,
President of the
Association of Translators
and Interpreters of Florida
Tel 305 495 3047