Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1155 by State Senator Ben Hueso on September 27 as Chapter 852. The bill revises the provision of law for language interpreters in small claims court. It also attempts to expand language access to limited English-proficient parties while in small claims court.

The Assembly repealed the section of law in order to ensure that parties in small claims actions are treated the same as parties in other civil actions for purposes of being provided interpreters. SB 1155 deletes the provisions that excludes small claims proceedings from the definition of a court proceeding for purposes of the requirement to use certified court interpreters and thereby extend that requirement to all small claims proceedings.

SB 1155 repealed Section 116.660 of the Code of Civil Procedure to strike the phrase “court proceeding.” In addition, the law requires each small claims court to make a reasonable effort to maintain and make available to the parties a list of interpreters who are able and willing to aid parties in small claims actions.

The new requirements and repeals language from the California Code of Civil Procedure went into effect on January 1, 2019.

You can find a full transcript of today’s podcast here.