What You Should Know About Court Interpreters

  • Dan T. Matrafajlo
  • Wed Oct 2016
  • Personal Injury,
  • 0

Court InterpreterIt goes without saying that America is a melting pot.  This is especially true of New Jersey, which ranks especially high when it comes to diversity.  How does this affect litigants?  Does it limit access to the court system?

At the Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo, we are able to provide some language interpretation without the need for retaining outside services.  You may have already noticed that our website can be read in Spanish.  We also are fluent in both Polish and Portuguese.  If necessary, we employ the services of professional interpreters when necessary.

But, what about the courts?  How do they handle issues with language difficulties?  Obviously, it is important for litigants of all types to understand court proceedings.

Interpreting Standards in New Jersey Courts

New Jersey has some important interpreting standards in place since 2004.  They don’t only deal with those who are fluent in a foreign language.  Accommodations must also be made for those who are unable to hear or speak.  In those cases, a sign language interpreter may be assigned to court matters.

  • The court system requires qualified interpreters.  There are certain standards for those who wish to act as interpreters within the court system.  This includes successful completion of both oral and written exams.  This falls under the auspices of the Court Interpreter Approval Program.  Candidates who have completed these requirements are then invited to join the New Jersey Judiciary’s Registry of Interpreting Resources.
  • If the court is unable to find a qualified live interpreter, they may employ the services of a telephone interpreting agency.  New Jersey uses a specified Registry of Telephone Interpreting Agencies.  This list is quite extensive.


The object of retaining language interpretative services is to provide all people proper access to the courts.  An experienced attorney knows the procedure for obtaining a language interpreter and will contact the courts.

There are certain expectations from New Jersey language interpreters that include:

  • The interpreter should ensure that you are able to communicate with the judge, your attorney and court staff
  • Everything said in court must be translated to your native language
  • The court interpreter is not permitted to explain or change anything said during court proceedings
  • The interpreter may not offer their opinion concerning your case
  • Everything interpreted during court matters is considered confidential
  • Any questions concerning the court case should be translated to the proper party (In other words, the interpreter should not attempt to answer questions on their own.)

Contact Us

If you are involved in a case that involves the type of law our office handles, we would like to provide you with legal advice.  Contact us to see if we can assist you.  At the Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo, we understand the difficulties for those who are not fluent in English and are pleased to offer you experienced legal advice.

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