Court interpreters work to ensure equal access to the courts for all persons regardless of their ability to communicate effectively in the spoken English language.
For Felony, Criminal Misdemeanor/Traffic and Juvenile matters
A court interpreter is appointed whenever the Court determines that the person accused of committing a crime cannot understand the English language and is incapable of being understood by the Court, counsel, or the jury. The Court then enters an order appointing an interpreter who is sworn to interpret and translate all the proceedings.
In the branch court, the interpreters cover traffic and ordinance matters including trials. Services provided at the juvenile courthouse include a variety of hearings including adjudicatory, custody, detention, dispositional, and permanency hearings. They also provide services for bench trials in the juvenile courts.
The court uses both telephonic and contract interpreters for other foreign languages. When needed sign interpreters are also contracted with through the court administration office.
For Civil mattersA court interpreter is not provided for civil cases except for sign language interpreters in civil cases. The parties are obligated to provide their own interpreter with the exception of sign language.
Whenever a deaf person is a party to any legal proceeding, chosen as a juror, or called as a witness, the Court in all instances appoints a qualified, state licensed interpreter of sign language to interpret the proceedings. In the case of a deaf juror, the interpreter shall be available throughout the actual trial and may accompany and communicate with the juror throughout any period during which the jury is sequestered or engaged in its deliberations.
Other mattersIn addition to the above courtrooms, Spanish interpreting services are also provided to the Adult Probation and Psychological Services Divisions. These services include intake appointments, pre-sentence investigation reports, psychological evaluations and fitness interviews.