The Massachusetts Trial Court Language Access and Court Records Department is responsible for overseeing court programs and services related to spoken language access to interpreters and translators for the limited English proficient (LEP), low literacy court users, and American Sign Language (ASL) or Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART) for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) individuals with court matters. The office also provides access to administrative records and trial transcripts of digitally recorded court proceedings for the bench, the bar, the public, and pro se, self-represented litigants (SRL).
The Office of Language Access (OLA), Office of Transcription Services (OTS), and Records Management Centers (RMC) ensure all laws, court rules, regulations, and standards for court programs and services are met, including but not limited to:
- Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Executive Order 13166 that strengthened Title IV in 2000
- The Trial Court's Uniform Transcript Format (UTF) of 2008
- The Standards and Procedures of the Office of Language Access of 2009 and 2021
- The Supreme Judicial Court's Rule 1:07 Fee Generating Appointments for all qualified candidates for appointments to produce trial transcriptions
- Rule 1:11 relative to disposing of court papers and retaining records.
Collectively, the department’s offices provide equal and meaningful access for everyone in the administration of justice.
The Department is directed by Sybil A. Martin, Ph.D., she/her/hers.
Records Management Centers (RMC)
The Records Management Centers (RMC) manage document records retention projects and provide resources and support in courthouses statewide. The manager is responsible for overseeing records retention projects, retrievals, and storage. The manager also conducts reviews of court collections to decide on appropriate retention schedules. The Trial Court's on-site locations retain active court records, and the off-site records centers retain inactive court records, collections, and historically valuable documents.
RMC is managed by Manager and Certified Records Archivist Nicholas Ringgard.
Office of Transcription Services (OTS)
The Office of Transcription Services (OTS) processes requests submitted by the court, judges, clerks, the bar, private counsel, assistant attorney generals, assistant district attorneys, CPCS appointed attorneys, and the public (often low income, pro se, self-represented litigants) for trial transcripts. Every courtroom has For The Record digital audio recording systems that are maintained by the clerks, recorders, registers, or office that releases the audio recording. Audio recordings are sent to OTS coordinators, who transmit the audio recording to the approved court transcriber on the Trial Court’s ACT list. The Request for Proposal (RFP) for Approved Court Transcribers (ACT) is posted to COMMBUYS annually so transcription vendors can enroll and renew.
OTS is managed by Manager Michael Beaulieu, M.A.
Office of Language Access (OLA)
The Office of Language Access (OLA) provides spoken language interpreters and translators for the courts and court programs and services. The Trial Court employs staff court interpreters for the top 9 languages and has contracts with per diem vendor interpreters for other languages that are scheduled according to their availability. OLA provides interpreters for over 100,000 court events and over 100 languages annually.
OLA is managed by Senior Manager, Language Access Coordinator, and Spanish Court Interpreter Narda Berrios, M.S.