Foreign Language Interpreter Program
The Sixteenth Judicial Circuit Court Interpreter Program is dedicated to providing qualified interpreters to hearing impaired and non-English speaking litigants in the courtroom as mandated by Florida Statutes 90.606 and 90.6063 and Rule 2.560, Florida Rules of Judicial Administration.
Sign language interpreters for hearing impaired individuals are also provided under the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Please refer to the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit Court Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Services web page for sign language interpreter services information and request form. The Sixteenth 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.
The scheduling of court interpreters shall occur only through the Court Interpreter Program. Requests for court interpreters shall be made in advance of the court date. Requests shall be made by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Persons making the interpreter request must include the following information:
1) The style of the case;
2) The date and time the interpreter is needed;
3) The language needed;
4) The name of the person requiring the service;
5) The name and telephone number of the person making the request;
6) The location of the event;
7) If possible the estimated duration of the event