Foreign Language Interpreter Program
The Fourth Judicial Circuit is committed to providing qualified interpreters to limited-English-proficient and deaf persons in order to eliminate communication barriers that may prevent full participation in court proceedings necessary to ensure due process and equal access to the courts.
Spoken Language Court Interpreters
The Fourth Judicial Circuit provides spoken language court interpreters to limited-English-proficient persons in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, section 90.606, Florida Statutes, and Rule 2.560, Florida Rules of Judicial Administration.
Qualified spoken language court interpreters will be appointed where a fundamental interest is at stake and the inability of individuals to understand or express themselves in English may prevent full and necessary participation in court proceedings. Such cases include, but are not limited to, circuit and county criminal, juvenile delinquency and dependency, paternity, domestic violence injunction, mental health and incapacity proceedings, and any other matters in which the court determines an interpreter is necessary.
Qualified spoken language court interpreters will also be appointed for limited-English-proficient witnesses in any proceeding and for limited-English-proficient victims in any circuit or county criminal or juvenile delinquency proceeding.
Requests for spoken language court interpreters must be received at least 7 days in advance of the scheduled proceeding. In the case of certain languages of lesser diffusion or unscheduled interpreting, more time may be necessary to arrange for a qualified interpreter and a remote interpreting service may be used.
To request a spoken language court interpreter:
Sign Language Interpreters
Additionally, the Fourth Judicial Circuit provides interpreter services and reasonable accommodations for deaf persons in all cases in accordance with section 90.6063, Florida Statutes, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
If you need a sign language interpreter or accommodation, you are entitled to one at no cost to you. Requests for sign language interpreters should be made at least 5 days prior to the scheduled event when possible.
To request a sign language interpreter or ADA Accommodation:
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The Fourth Judicial Circuit enters into an annual contract with Interpreters to handle court proceedings on an event-by-event basis that require their services
Court Interpreters are responsible for the accurate interpretation and translation of verbal and written communications from a source language (non-English) to a target language (English) in matters related to judicial proceedings. Court Interpreters facilitate communication between two or more parties in an impartial manner and do not serve as an advocate or perform clerical functions for the party requesting the interpreter.
As Officers of the Court, Court Interpreters are held to a high professional standard of conduct and code of ethics. The confidentiality privilege that exists between an attorney and a client also extends to Court Interpreters. Any information exchanged by the parties may not be revealed.
The State Courts System has developed a statewide program to assist judges and trial court administrators in assessing the qualifications of court interpreters. The Court Interpreter Certification and Regulation Program designates interpreters through the use of written and oral language proficiency examinations. The Office of the State Courts Administrator (OSCA) currently offers full oral qualifications examinations in the following languages: Arabic, Cantonese, French, Haitian Creole, Hmong, Ilocano, Khmer, Korean, Laotian, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. State certification of interpreters was implemented on May 6, 2008, the designations of Language Skilled and Provisionally Approved were implemented on May 1, 2014.
For more specific information, please access the website at flcourts.org/resources-and-services/court-services/court-interpreters.stml