Taniguchi v. Kan Pacific Saipan, Ltd.
|Docket No.||Op. Below||Argument||Opinion||Vote||Author||Term|
Feb 21, 2012
|May 21, 2012||6-3||Alito||OT 2011|
Holding: Because the ordinary meaning of “interpreter” is someone who translates orally from one language to another, the category “compensation of interpreters” in 28 U.S.C. § 1920(6), which includes that category among the costs that may be awarded to prevailing parties in federal court lawsuits, does not include the cost of document translation.
Plain English Summary: “Because the ordinary meaning of ‘interpreter’ is someone who translates orally from one language to another,” … ‘compensation of interpreters’ in [28 U.S.C.] § 1920(6) does not include costs for document translation.” Put even more simply, people who win federal-court lawsuits cannot be reimbursed by the losing party for any of their document translation costs.
Judgment: Reversed and remanded, 6-3, in an opinion by Justice Alito on May 21, 2012. Justice Ginsburg filed a dissenting opinion, which was joined by Justices Breyer and Sotomayor.
- Opinion analysis: “Compensation of interpreters” does not include document translation (Brian Wolfman)
- Argument recap: Statutory text vs. tradition and experience: May a federal district court tax the cost of translating written documents? (Brian Wolfman)
- Argument preview: Does the federal costs statute authorize an award for document translation costs? (Brian Wolfman)
- Petition of the day (Marissa Miller)
Briefs and Documents
Merits Brief for the Petitioner
Amicus Briefs in Support of the Petitioner
- Brief of Interpreting and Translation Professors
- Brief of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators
Merits Briefs for the Respondent
Amicus Briefs in Support of the Respondent