San Bernardino County Superior Court provides interpreters for all courtroom proceedings in all case types as resources are available. Please notify the Court of your interpreter needs in advance.
Local Rule No. 332 sets forth minimum standards for parties to notify the court of interpreter requests (2 court days for Spanish, 5 court days for all other languages) and cancelations (1 court day for Spanish, 2 court days for all other languages). Best practice is to exceed the minimum standards and notify the court of a request or cancelation as far in advance as possible. Local Rule No. 332 is posted on the court’s website under Local Rules.
Court interpreters do not help parties fill out or file their court forms.
Whenever possible, the court provides a state certified or state registered interpreter to interpret for Limited English Proficient (LEP) persons in their court proceeding. Because there is a shortage of certified and registered interpreters statewide, sometimes the court may instead provide an interpreter who has been provisionally qualified by the Court.
How can I get an interpreter assigned for my court case?
You should inform the Court that you need an interpreter 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. The Court may be able to appoint a “temporary interpreter” (adult family member or friend) at the request of the Limited English Proficient (LEP) person to prevent delay. At the request of the party, the Court may consider appointing a qualified interpreter provided by the party.
Search for an Interpreter
The Judicial Council Staff maintains a statewide roster of certified and registered interpreters authorized to work in California courts.
What is the Difference Between a Certified and a Registered Interpreter?
Certified Court Interpreters
Currently, court interpreters in ASL and the following spoken languages must be certified: Arabic, Eastern Armenian, Western Armenian, Cantonese, Farsi, Japanese, Khmer (Cambodian), Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. Only interpreters who pass the Court Interpreter Certification Examination and fulfill the corresponding Judicial Council requirements are referred to as certified interpreters. Certified languages may change periodically, depending on the results of studies of language use in the courts and other administrative factors.
Interpreters of languages not listed above can attempt the several-step processes for becoming a registered California court interpreter in a non-certified language. An interpreter cannot be “registered” or use registered exam scores for interpreting in one of the spoken certified languages.
Registered Court Interpreters
Court interpreters of spoken languages other than Arabic, Eastern Armenian, Western Armenian, Cantonese, Farsi, Japanese, Khmer (Cambodian), Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese are eligible to pursue status a “registered court interpreters.” Registered court interpreters are required to pass the Written Exam, and the Oral Proficiency Exam in English, and an Oral Proficiency Exam in their non-English language. The Oral Proficiency Exams in English and non- English languages assess the candidate’s functional ability to communicate in that language. All exams for both certified and registered status are administered under contract by an approved testing entity as required under Government Code §68562(b)
What if I need an interpreter that speaks sign language?
The Court will provide you with a sign language interpreter for any court hearing or court business you may have. Please notify the court of your request as far in advance as possible. The Court will also provide you with a sign language interpreter if you are called for jury duty. Please contact Jury Administration, prior to your jury service, 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) page on this site.
Where can I get more information on becoming an Interpreter?
See the Court Interpreters Program (CIP) and the links on the left.
Language Access Complaint Process
If you have a complaint or feedback about language access services at San Bernardino Superior Court, please follow the Language Access Services Complaints Procedure (see the left side of this page, click on Language Access Services). You may also contact the court’s Language Access Representative directly at 909-708-8816 or InterpreterServices@sb-court.org.