May 23, 2012
Court Holds "Compensation of Interpreters" Limited to Oral Translation as Part of Costs
Justice Alito's opinion for the Court in Taniguchi v. Kan Pacific Saipan, Ltd., No. 10-1472 (May 21, 2012) begins:
The costs that may be awarded to prevailing parties in lawsuits brought in federal court are set forth in 28 U. S. C. §1920. The Court Interpreters Act amended that statute to include “compensation of
interpreters.” §1920(6); see also §7, 92 Stat. 2044. The question presented in this case is whether “compensation of interpreters” covers the cost of translating documents. Because the ordinary meaning of the word “interpreter” is a person who translates orally from one language to another, we hold that “compensation of interpreters” is limited to the cost of oral translation and does not include the cost of document translation.