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State v. Erives

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 08-29-2012
Case #: A146131
Brewer, J. for the Court; Sercombe, P.J.; and Ortega, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/A146131.pdf

Appellate Procedure: The Court of Appeals will not find plain error in not providing a defendant with an interpreter for the complete trial if the defendant has spoken to the court in English, has communicated with his counsel in English, and neither the defendant nor his counsel asked the court for an interpreter.

In June 2010, the State held a show cause proceeding to revoke the probation of Defendant due to Defendant's violation of multiple conditions of his probation. Defendant's native language is Spanish, but he does speak some English. Before the hearing, the court questioned Defendant in English regarding his legal representation. He appeared to understand the court's questions and replied in adequate English. Not until Defendant's direct testimony did the court request an interpreter to translate the remainder of the proceeding. Neither Defendant nor his lawyer asked the trial court to revisit any prior parts of the proceeding. In a single assignment of error on appeal, Defendant asserted that the trial court plainly erred when it did not provide him with an interpreter for the entirety of his show cause hearing. Despite not preserving the claim of error, Defendant urged the Court of Appeals to find plain error and exercise its discretion in reinstating his probation. The Court concluded that it was not obvious that Defendant did not understand English with adequate ability to communicate and comprehend effectively in the proceeding. Accordingly, the trial court did not plainly err. Affirmed.