October 6, 2022
Ask for an Interpreter
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All official court business in California is conducted in English. When a party or witness in a case has difficulty speaking/understanding English, that person may need a court interpreter to communicate in court proceedings and to understand what is happening. Court interpreters are experts in language interpretation and assigned to translate only; they do not offer legal advice.

If you need an interpreter assigned for your case, you should inform the Court as far as possible in advance of the hearing. If an interpreter is not available, the Court may postpone the case until one can be assigned.

To avoid the risk of having your hearing postponed, notify the court at least two weeks in advance. Please direct any questions to the Interpreter Division at (650) 261-5023 or courtinterpreter@sanmateocourt.org

Please choose one of the following options to request an interpreter:

  • Complete the form at the link below and click "Submit."
  • You may ask for an interpreter at the clerk’s office or in the courtroom. Parties should request an interpreter when filing a motion or response.
  • Send an email to courtinterpreter@sanmateocourt.organd include the following: Please include Language Needed, Date of hearing, Time of hearing, Case number, Name of the person requesting the interpreter and Phone Number:
    Example: Tagalog, 10/10/2010, 9:00 a.m., 19NF8953A, Jane Doe, Criminal Arraignment & 650-111-2222

All official court business in California is conducted in English. When a party or witness in a case has limited English proficiency, that person may need a court interpreter to communicate in court proceedings and understand what is happening. Court interpreters are experts in language interpretation and are assigned only to render linguistically equivalent interpretation from one language into another.

If you need an interpreter assigned for your case, you should inform the Court as far as possible in advance of the hearing. If an interpreter is not requested in advance or is not available, the case may be continued by the Court until one can be assigned.

To avoid the risk of having your hearing postponed, this form must be submitted two weeks in advance. Please direct any questions to the Interpreter Division at (650) 261-5023.

Ask for a Court Interpreter Form

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REQUESTING AN AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE OR CERTIFIED DEAF INTERPRETER?

The Court will provide you with a sign language interpreter for any court hearing you may have, including civil, small claims, and family cases. Please inform the clerk at the counter or in the courtroom as soon as possible if you will need an ASL and/or CDI interpreter. You can also email courtinterpreter@sanmateocourt.org.

The Court will also provide you with a sign language interpreter if you are called for jury duty. To arrange an interpreter, please email ada@sanmateocourt.org. For more information on this and other Access and Accommodation needs please visit the American with Disabilities (ADA)

NEED TO HIRE YOUR OWN INTERPRETER FOR GENERAL FAMILY LAW OR GENERAL CIVIL MATTERS?

The Judicial Council Staff maintains a statewide list of certified and registered interpreters authorized to work in California courts. If you are a private attorney or a private party, you may obtain the services of a court certified or registered interpreter by selecting one from the list available at the Judicial Council of California website.

Please contact the interpreter directly to inquire about availability, rates, and qualifications. The court will not pay for the interpreter. Payment for these services is the responsibility of the party privately retaining the interpreter.

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