July 10, 2020
Ask for an Interpreter

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.

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

  • Send an email to courtinterpreter@sanmateocourt.org and inlclude the following:
    Please include Language, Date of hearing, Time of hearing, Case number, Name of the party requesting the interpreter and Case Type:
    e.g: Tagalog, 10/10/2010, 9:00 a.m., 19NF8953A, Jane Doe, Criminal Arraignment & 650-261-5023
  • Complete the form on the link below and click "Submit."
  • Submit the request in person to the Filing Window Clerk at our Northern, Southern or Juvenile courthouse
    • You may ask the clerk at the counter or the clerk in the courtroom for an interpreter. If an interpreter is not available at the time of your hearing, your case may be continued until an interpreter can be assigned. Parties should request an interpreter when filing a motion or response.

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 or courtinterpreter@sanmateocourt.org.

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. The Court will also provide you with a sign language interpreter if you are called for jury duty. Please tell a clerk at the counter or in the courtroom as soon as possible if you will need a sign language interpreter. 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 roster 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 who is authorized to provide interpretation services in California by selecting one from the list available at the JCC website.

Please contact the interpreter directly to inquire about availability, rates and qualifications. Payment for these services is the responsibility of the party privately retaining the interpreter

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