of Court Interpreter Services
Instructions and Frequently Asked Questions
Planning and Development Department
How do I make a service request?
Massachusetts Courts may request the services
of an interpreter at any time giving the Office of Court Interpreter
Services at least 48 hour notice. Emergency requests will be filled
whenever possible. Please refer to Fiscal Year 1999, Fiscal Memo
#10 for specific directions and policies and procedures needed to
request foreign language interpreters and interpreters for the deaf.Whenever
you request the services of an interpreter you must fax a Request
for Interpreter Form at 617-367-9293 or mail your request to:
Office of Court Interpreter Services
Two Center Plaza, Ninth Floor
Boston, MA 02108
How Do I Request a Service Cancellation
To cancel a request for interpreter, please fill out and mail or
fax the Service
Request Cancellation form (PDF - 50k),
in order to request an interpreter for the new date, you must send
us a new Request
for Interpreter form.
What Am I Required to Do with the Interpreter Daily Service Record?
Please refer to Fiscal Year 1999, Fiscal Memo #10 (pages 2 and 4
for arrival procedures and page 5 for departure procedures). The
interpreter daily service record must be time stamped upon arrival
and departure to and from the court separately for the morning and
the afternoon sessions. Upon departure from the court, the record
must be signed by an authorized signatory.
How Can a Complaint Be Filed Against
Courts can complain about interpreters using the Interpreter
Complaint Form (PDF - 45k). Please
inform the Office of Court Interpreter Services of any violations
of the Code
of Conduct for Court Interpreters of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
outlines the duties and responsibilities of court interpreters,
and establishes rules for ethical behavior for professional court
interpreters. You may contact the Office of Court Interpreter Services
at 617-878-0343 if you require more information, or wish to discuss
a particular problem.
How Many Courts Are Served by The
Office of Court Interpreters During a Typical Business Day?
The Office of Court Interpreter Services fills daily requests for
foreign language interpreters from approximately 140 court divisions
in Massachusetts, including district, juvenile, housing, probate
and family, and superior courts.
How Many Different Languages Does the Office of Court Interpreter
The Office of Court Interpreter Services provides interpreters in
approximately 35 languages on a daily basis.
How Many Interpreters Does the Office
of Court Interpreters Use?
The Office of Court Interpreter Services uses the services of approximately
175 interpreters. For the most requested languages, the Office of
Court Interpreter Services has several interpreters. For some of
the other languages, there maybe only one or two interpreters available.
There currently are 59 Spanish, 14 Portuguese, 5 Haitian Creole,
7 Chinese, 8 Vietnamese, 5 Khmer, 5 Russian, and 5 Polish interpreters.
Languages Are Requested the Most?
The most requested languages are Spanish, Portuguese, Khmer, Cape
Verdean Creole, Haitian Creole, Vietnamese, Chinese (Mandarin and
Cantonese), Polish and Russian.
What Happens When an Interpreter for
a Given Language is Unavailable?
What if there isn't an interpreter available for the language we
need? The Trial Court has contracted with The Language Line,
a service that provides interpreters over the telephone in many
foreign languages. The language line may be used for intake interviews
at the probation department, for arraignments or other simple proceedings.
It takes only a few minutes to set up the conference call, and all
you need is a speaker telephone. Please call our language line coordinator
to set up the service at 617-878-0343, or for additional information.