State Court Interpretation Services and Certification
The Language Interpreter Center is recruiting interpreter candidates. We are developing a comprehensive training program to help candidates who pass our screening process learn the skills necessary to become qualified.
The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) provides interpreting services for individuals who have a limited ability to understand English, are deaf or hard of hearing, or are unable to speak. Removing barriers to communication helps ensure that all persons receive fair and equal access to justice.
The Court Interpreters Program (CIP) works to ensure equal access to the courts for all persons regardless of their ability to communicate effectively in the spoken English language.
The Colorado Judicial Branch is committed to providing access to justice to all citizens regardless of the language they speak. To this end, the Court Interpreter Program at the State Court Administrator’s Office is charged with developing policies and programs that facilitate linguistic access and promote competent and professional interpreting in the courts. The Colorado courts have been certifying court interpreters as to their competency and accuracy since 1999.
Interpreter and Translator Services is a unit of the Superior Court Operations Division. It was established to serve the Judicial Branch in court-related proceedings at no cost to the parties. One of the goals of the unit is to ensure meaningful access to the courts by providing interpreters to all persons with limited English proficiency in criminal, juvenile, housing, support enforcement, and family matters. Another goal of the unit is to provide the courts with highly qualified and trained court interpreters for this purpose.
In the last ten years, the Delaware Courts, like those in other jurisdictions, have experienced a dramatic rise in the number of non-English speaking litigants. In order to meet the constitutional requirements of fundamental fairness, equal protection, and the right to cross-examine adverse witnesses, courts must appoint interpreters in criminal cases in which witnesses and defendants do not speak English. Language barriers prevent millions of non-English-speaking persons from receiving equal access to the judicial system.
The Office of Court Interpreting Services (OCIS) assists persons having business with the Superior Court who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing or who do not understand or speak English. The office provides qualified professional interpreting services for virtually any language.
The State Courts System has developed a statewide program to assist judges and trial court administrators in assessing the qualifications of court interpreters. This program includes the use of written and oral language qualifications examinations.
The mission of the Commission on Interpreters is to provide interpreter licensing, regulatory and education services for Georgia Courts so they can ensure the rights of non-English speaking persons. The Georgia Commission on Interpreters (Commission) was created by Supreme Court order in 2003 to secure the rights of non-English speaking persons utilizing the state court system by establishing a statewide plan for the use of interpreters in Georgia courts during the presentation of civil or criminal matters.
Language interpreters play an essential role in the administration of justice. The Hawai’i state courts use interpreters when a party or witness in a court case has limited-English proficiency or is unable to hear, understand, speak or use English sufficiently to effectively participate in court proceedings. Interpreters help such persons have equal access to justice and help court proceedings function efficiently and effectively.
As a member of the Consortium for State Court Interpreter Certification, the Idaho Administrative Office of the Courts has access to certification exams for the following languages: Arabic, Cantonese, French, Hatian-Creole, Hmong, Ilocano Korean, Laotian, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian (abbreviated exam), Somali, Spanish, Turkish (abbreviated exam) and Vietnamese.
The Office of Interpreter Services provides qualified foreign language and sign language interpreters to non-English speaking persons or persons with speech or hearing impairments who are involved in Circuit Court proceedings. The use of foreign language and sign interpreters helps to protect the rights of those individuals in need of interpreter services and to ensure their equal access to justice.
The Indiana Court Interpreter Program is the result of an interim recommendation made to the Supreme Court by the Indiana Commission on Race and Gender Fairness. At the request of the Supreme Court, in 2000, the Indiana General Assembly funded the Indiana Supreme Court Commission on Race and Gender Fairness to investigate ways to improve race and gender fairness in the courts, legal system among legal service providers, state and local governments, and among public organizations.
Skilled court interpreters are an essential part of the Iowa Judicial Branch’s mission to provide high quality justice and services to all people. To help ensure high quality interpretation services in Iowa’s courts, the Iowa Supreme Court has adopted Court Rules (Chapters 14 and 15) that govern the qualifications and appointment of court interpreters.
Court Interpreting Services promotes, enhances and supports justice by assisting the Kentucky Court of Justice in communicating with the deaf and hard of hearing and those with Limited English proficiency.
Interpreters are highly skilled professionals who fulfill an essential role in the administration of justice. As officers of the court, interpreters help assure that such persons may enjoy equal access to justice and that court proceedings and court support services function efficiently and effectively. Interpreters may be privately retained or paid through public funds.
In accordance with Rule 16-819 (see Rule 16-819), the minimum requirements for interpreters seeking assignments in the Maryland Courts include the submission of an application form and attendance at a mandatory orientation workshop. Foreign language interpreters must also pass a written examination, an oral proficiency interview and an oral certification examination, if available in the target language.
A court interpreter is the communication facilitator for the parties involved in a proceeding and, as such, plays a vital role in the protection of the rights of LEP and DHH individuals engaged as parties or witnesses in legal proceedings in the Trial Court. This role requires an understanding by the court interpreter of the complexities of the tasks to be performed.
In January 2000 the State Court Administrative Office instituted a state-level program that provides for the testing and certification of non-English-language interpreters for use in Michigan courts. In addition, the State Court Administrative Office has established a code of professional conduct for interpreters, a recommended oath for courts to use, and an interpreter qualification screening checklist for use in local courts.
The Court Interpreter Program supports the Minnesota Judicial Branch goal of ensuring that people who cannot speak English or are deaf or hearing-disabled will have equal access to participate in cases in Minnesota state courts. The program coordinates court interpreter testing and training, as well as assists in developing and implementing interpreter policy and best practices. It also performs various administrative duties, such as maintaining and publishing an online roster of court interpreters who have completed the minimum requirements to become eligible to work in the state court system.
By law, courts shall appoint a qualified foreign language interpreter in all legal proceedings in which a non-English speaking person is a party or a witness (Section 476.803.1, RSMo). Advise the court directly when services are needed so that they have adequate time to schedule qualified service providers.
The Nebraska Judicial Branch is committed to providing access to justice to everyone, regardless of the language they speak. To ensure that individuals receive a fair opportunity to explain their case and participate in court
The Nevada Certified Court Interpreter Program was established in 2002 through Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 1.510. The Program’s primarily function is to administer certification of court interpreters for courts to use with defendants, witnesses, and litigants who speak a language other than English and do not know or have limited knowledge of the English language.
This section contains a link to the Federal Judiciary’s webpage, which provides general information, the current fees for contract interpreters, and registration for the Federal Court Interpreter Certification Examination for Spanish/English. This section also contains information about the current mileage and per diem reimbursement rates.
Language Services seeks to improve court interpreter services by coordinating the court interpreter testing program; developing and implementing polices in related areas, and performing administrative tasks such as managing statistics, providing the Registry of Interpreting Resources and piloting new ways of enhancing delivery of interpreting services.
This page is dedicated to providing you with information about the New Mexico Court Interpreter Program.
The Office of Court Interpreting Services (CIS) assists in the development and implementation of policies and best practices that support the court system’s commitment to ensure that persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) or who are deaf or hard of hearing have equal access to the courts and available court services.
In response to the growing numbers of non-English speakers in North Carolina, the NC Administrative Office of the Courts (NCAOC) secured grant funds in 2000 through 2005 to enhance access to justice in the courts for all non-English speakers
Fundamental fairness in court proceedings requires that every participant is able to understand and communicate effectively. A paramount concern for judges, attorneys, and others taking part in legal actions should be that no person is denied the ability to communicate in court.
Effective Jan. 1, 2010, the Supreme Court adopted rules regarding the certification of foreign language and sign language interpreters used by Ohio courts.
Court Interpreter Services is the only organization or body that is legally authorized to certify court interpreters at the state level in Oregon. Oregon offers the certification testing cycle only once per year. The testing cycle for 2010 is now underway and closed to new applicants.
This site provides information about becoming a certified court interpreter in Pennsylvania. It contains information about program requirements, orientation and training workshops, testing dates and sites, practice and training materials, policies, registration forms, and relevant news about the program. We trust that you will find it useful and informative and that it becomes a reliable means of learning and obtaining information about becoming a qualified professional interpreter.
The court interpreter is a specially trained professional who possesses a variety of skills that distinguish him or her from bilingual persons who simply speak two languages. The interpreter plays a vital role in facilitating communication within the judicial system for the non-English speaker and ensures due process by putting the non-English speaker on the same footing as the person who understands English. It is much more than being bilingual. Court interpreters must be able to do sight translation, simultaneous and consecutive interpreting. Summarizing, paraphrasing, changing or omitting is not acceptable.
It is up to the court to determine the qualifications of interpreters of languages where there is no federal certification available. New interpreters are screened prior to being placed on the court’s local roster. A signed Contract Court Interpreter Services Terms and Conditions document is kept on file in the department.
In an effort to provide all individuals with equal access to the judicial system, the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) created the Court Interpreter Credentialing Program. The program’s purpose is to provide the Tennessee Judicial System with skilled interpreters that accurately and effectively interpret for a witness or party who speaks or understands little or no English. The interpreter program tests each interpreter’s ability to understand English terminology and accurately interpret into the spoken language by those with limited English proficiency.
Licensed Court Interpreters must take written and oral examinations which are developed by the Consortium for State Court Interpreter Certification part of the National Center for State Courts. The written examination measures the candidates’ English comprehension and knowledge of court terms. The oral examination measures the candidates’ interpreting skills and is given at one sitting in three parts which are recorded.
The interpreter has a twofold duty: (1) to ensure that the proceedings in English reflect precisely what was said by a non-English speaking person, and (2) to place the non-English speaking person on an equal footing with those who understand English. This creates an obligation to conserve every element of information contained in a source language communication when it is rendered in the target language.
The mission of the Foreign Language Services Division (FLS) is to assist individuals with limited English proficiency in overcoming language limitations so as to ensure universal access to Virginia’s Judicial System. Toward that end, FLS provides interpretation and sight translation services, certifies and hires high quality interpreters, and sets and maintains the highest professional standards for the provision of language services.
The right to interpreters in criminal proceedings and for indigent persons is fundamental. To meet constitutional and statutory mandates, Washington courts provide interpreters and carry out a program to enhance the availability of quality interpreter services. The trial courts hire and schedule interpreters for trials and other hearings.
The Wisconsin Director of State Courts Office is committed to ensuring equal access to justice for all individuals throughout the court system regardless of the language they speak. To protect the rights of limited English speakers the Director of State Courts office maintains a program to improve interpreter services by certifying candidates who wish to interpret during legal proceedings.