1. How Do I Make a Service Request? 
  2. How Do I Request a Service Cancellation or Rescheduling?
  3. What Am I Required to Do with the Interpreter Service Record?
  4. How Can a Complaint Be Filed Against an Interpreter?
  5. How Many Courts Are Served by The Office of Court Interpreters During a Typical Business Day?
  6. How Many Different Languages Does the Office of Court Interpreter Services Provide?
  7. How Many Interpreters Does the Office of Court Interpreters Use?
  8. What Languages Are Requested the Most?
  9. What Happens When an Interpreter for a Given Language is Unavailable?

How do I make a service request?

The OCIS will schedule and provide court interpreters, upon receipt of a request pursuant to section 8.02 of the Standards & Procedures of the Office of Court Interpreter Services pdf format of Standards and Procedures for Court Interpreter Services
(Standards and Procedures), to appear at any and all criminal or civil judicial proceedings, including the institution of such proceedings (e.g., the filing of a complaint and affidavit seeking a restraining order pursuant to G.L. c.209A or other similar proceedings).  The OCIS will not provide or compensate court interpreters for witness interviews, depositions, or other interpretation outside of a court facility provided, however, that OCIS will provide and compensate court interpreters for investigations and evaluations ordered by the court and either required by statute or by the court for trial and/or disposition of a pending matter.

Designated Court Liaisons or court clerks will indicate a need for interpreter services via MassCourts, the Trial Court's new case management system. It is presently in operation at most divisions of the District Court, Boston Municipal Court and Juvenile Court Departments. In all other situations a Request for Interpreter Form pdf format of Request for Interpreter
must be prepared by the requesting court and signed by the Court Liaison each time a court-appointed interpreter is requested, including an ASL interpreter. In emergency situations where written requests are not possible, OCIS will provide court interpreters and will be responsible for compensating court interpreters for providing services upon telephone request.  Requests for an ASL court interpreter shall be immediately forwarded to the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing by OCIS.  Please, see Sections 8.01 and 8.02 of the Standards and Procedures for additional information regarding requesting and assignment of interpreters.

Office of Court Interpreter Services
Two Center Plaza, Ninth Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Ph: 617-878-0269; Fax: 617-367-9293

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How Do I Request a Service Cancellation or Rescheduling?

To cancel or reschedule a request for interpreter, either indicate the appropriate changes in MassCourts or fill out and mail or fax the Service Request Cancellation pdf format of Cancellation Form
form at least 48 hours in advance of any cancellation or rescheduling of a case requiring the previously scheduled assignment of a court interpreter, or as soon as possible. To request an interpreter for the new date, either submit the request via MassCourts or fax in a new Request for Interpreter pdf format of Request for Interpreter
form.

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What Am I Required to Do with the Interpreter Daily Service Record?

When a time stamp is available, the interpreter’s Daily Service Record (DSR) must be stamped upon arrival.  If a time stamp is unavailable, the Court Liaison should hand write and initial the per diem court interpreter's arrival time in the space provided on the DSR.  Space is also provided for signing in and out of the morning session for lunch time and for signing in and out of the afternoon session. Please, see Section 10.00 of the Standards and Procedures for additional information regarding signing per diem interpreters in and out of court.

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How Can a Complaint Be Filed Against an Interpreter?

Courts can complain about interpreters using the Interpreter Complaint Form pdf format of Complaint Form
. Please inform the Office of Court Interpreter Services of any violations of the Code of Conduct for Court Interpreters pdf format of Code of Professional Conduct for Court Interpreters
of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Code pdf format of Code of Professional Conduct for Court Interpreters
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.

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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.

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How Many Different Languages Does the Office of Court Interpreter Services Provide?

The Office of Court Interpreter Services provides interpreters in approximately 35 languages on a daily basis.

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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.

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What 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.

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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 617-878-0269, or for additional information.

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