State Court Administrator Pays All Interpreter Fee Claims Starting 7/1/21

Wednesday, June 16, 2021 - 9:56am

New Directives 

The State Court Administrator released two new directives effective on July 1, 2021.

SCA Pays All Oral Language Interpreter Fee Claims Starting 7/1/21 

Oral language interpreters are instructed to submit all their fee claims to the State Court Administrator on and after July 1, 2021, even if the Order Appointing the Court Interpreter indicated that the State Public Defender was supposed to pay them.

Background: Until recently, Iowa Code section 815.9 required the State Public Defender (SPD) or Local Public Defender (LPD) to pay oral language interpreters and translators in all cases for  which one of the parties had a court appointed attorney. Consequently, the SPD and LPDs have consistently paid about 66% of all court interpreter fee claims annually. However, on April 30, 2021, the Governor signed HF707, which assigns the State Court Administrator (SCA) responsibility to pay almost all oral language court interpreter and translator fee claims submitted for payment on or after July 1, 2021.

Directive: Consistent with the terms of HF707, the SCA hereby directs: 

1. SCA staff shall pay oral language court interpreter and translator fee claims submitted to State Court Administrator on or after July 1, 2021, regardless of whether a district court  entered an order appointing the court interpreter and assigning responsibility for paying  the interpreter to the SPD or LPD.  

2. Oral language court interpreters and translators: Fee claims submitted for payment on or  after July 1, 2021, including for court interpreting services provided prior to July 1, 2021,  but for which fee claims had not previously been submitted to the SPD, shall be submitted to the SCA office in Des Moines by: 

Mailing paper file-stamped copies of the required documents to:  

Finance Office, State Court Administration, 1111 E. Court Ave, Des Moines IA 50319


Emailing PDF versions of file-stamped copies of the required documents to: Include the county and case number in the subject line of the email. Example: LINN AGCR0123456 

The Directive on Court Interpreter and Translator Compensation revises some key sections of the previous directive on interpreter and translator compensation.
        Interpreters should pay special attention to the following sections:
        A.  Standard hourly fees:  Hourly fees are increased for Class A and B interpreters for services on or after July 1, 2021.
        F.  Minimum interpreting time:  It has been increased from 60 minutes to 90 minutes for each morning and each afternoon.
                -- Not for each case during each morning or afternoon.
        H. Calculation of travel time:  Previously, the State Court Administrator divided total round-trip travel miles from an interpreter's residence to the courthouse (based on Google Maps) by 60 miles per hour.
                -- Starting July 1, 2021, the State Court Administrator will divide total round-trip miles by 55 miles per hour.