A court interpreter is anyone who interprets in a civil or criminal court proceeding (e.g., arraignment, motion, pretrial conference, preliminary hearing, deposition, trial) for a witness or defendant who speaks or understands little or no english or is hearing impaired. Court interpreters must accurately interpret for individuals with a high level of education and an expansive vocabulary, as well as persons with very limited language skills without changing the language register of the speaker. Interpreters are also sometimes responsible for translating written documents, often of a legal nature, from English into the target language and from the target language into English.
Please see Evidence Code Section 754 for the appointment of a Sign Language Interpreter for the hearing impaired.
The court provides interpreters for the following case types: Criminal, Traffic, Juvenile, and Family Support matters. Parties and Counsel are required to provide at least forty eight (48) hours notice to the court's Interpreter Coordinator of any need for interpreting to assure that these services may be arranged on a timely basis.
The court does not provide interpreters for Small Claims and Civil cases. The attorney for the party or the party without an attorney, shall provide, in advance, for the interpreter and shall be responsible for his or her compensation.
The interpreter's role shall be limited to that of interpreting, not offering opinions or suggestions.
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