Willamette Law Online

Oregon Court of Appeals


State v. Montoya-Franco

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 06-27-2012
Case #: A143487
Brewer, J. for the Court; Sercombe, P.J.; and Egan, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/A143487.pdf

Evidence: Statements translated by interpreters are admissible under the residual hearsay rule if the interpreters are shown to be qualified to translate.

Defendant appealed his various convictions by arguing that the lower court failed to prevent the admittance of statements the Defendant made during an interview facilitated with police interpreters. Although, under normal circumstances such statements would be admissibe as "party's own statements", Defendant argued that the use of interpreters had added a layer of inadmissible hearsay. The State argued that the evidence was admissible under the residual hearsay exception rule. Defendant claimed that the State had failed to lay a foundation that the interpreters were qualified to translate his statements accurately. The Court of Appeals held that the State had shown that the interpreters were qualified to translate because both were (1) fluent in spanish, (2) received a higher wage due to being able to speak spanish, (3) had spoken spanish for significant periods of time, and (4) used a translation method that allowed the true meaning of the statements to be discerned and then accurately disseminated. The Court concluded that the lower court properly admitted the evidence under the residual hearsay rule. Affirmed.