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Circuit Court of Anne Arundel County
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Background

Court Interpreter Information PDF Print E-mail


If you have a Hearing at the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County for which a spoken language interpreter is needed, please click the following link:

Request for Spoken Language Interpreter Form 

PLEASE BE ADVISED: This form must be completed and received by the Office of the Court Administrator in Suite 401 of the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County at least 2 weeks prior to each scheduled hearing.  If you fail to appear in court and have not notified the court in writing at the above address at least two (2) business days prior to the trial/hearing date, you may be charged for the services of the interpreter (up to $55 per hour).


How To Become A Court Interpreter

The Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County utilizes interpreters who are certified by the Administrative Office of the Courts for the State of Maryland.  In accordance with Rule 16-819 (see below), the minimum requirements for interpreters seeking assignments in the Maryland courts include the submission of an application form, attendance at a mandatory orientation workshop, the passing of a written examination, an oral proficiency interview and the passing of an oral certification examination, if available in the target language.

In addition, interpreters must swear or affirm compliance with the Maryland Code of Professional Conduct for Court Interpreters and must not have, in a state or federal court of record, a pending criminal charge or conviction on a charge punishable by a fine of more than $500 or imprisonment for more than six months unless pardoned or expunged in accordance with law. A background check will be conducted to determine compliance. The Administrative Office of the Courts currently does not certify and has no plans to certify translators in the future.


MARYLAND RULES OF PROCEDURE
TITLE 16 - COURTS, JUDGES, AND ATTORNEYS
CHAPTER 800 - MISCELLANEOUS

ADD new Rule 16-819, as follows:

Rule 16-819. COURT INTERPRETERS

(a)  Definitions The following definitions apply in this Rule:

(1)  Certified Interpreter: “Certified Interpreter” means an interpreter who is certified by:

(A) the Maryland Administrative Office of the Courts;

(B) a member of the Consortium for State Court Interpreter Certification; or

(C) the Federal Administrative Office of the Courts.

(2)  Interpreter: “Interpreter” means an adult who has the ability to render a complete and accurate interpretation or sight translation, without altering, omitting, or adding anything to what is stated or written and without explanation.

(3)  Interpreter Eligible for Certification: “Interpreter eligible for certification” means an interpreter who is not a certified interpreter but who:

(A) has submitted to the Administrative Office of the Courts a completed Maryland State Judiciary Information Form for Spoken and Sign Language Court Interpreters and a statement swearing or affirming compliance with the Maryland Code of Conduct for Court Interpreters;

(B) has attended the Maryland Judiciary’s orientation workshop on court interpreting; and

(C) does not have, in a state or federal court of record, a pending criminal charge or conviction on a charge punishable by a fine of more than $500 or imprisonment for more than six months unless pardoned or expunged in accordance with law.

(4)  Non-Certified Interpreter: “Non-certified interpreter” means an interpreter other than a certified interpreter or an interpreter eligible for certification.

(5)  Person Who Needs an Interpreter: “Person who needs an interpreter” means a party or a witness who is deaf or unable adequately to understand or express himself or herself in spoken or written English.

(b)  Application for the Appointment of an Interpreter  A person who needs an interpreter may apply to the court for the appointment of an interpreter. The application shall be made by providing the information required by Form 1-332 in the Appendix to these Rules.

c)  Procedures to Determine the Need for Interpreters

(1)  Sign Language Interpreter: The court shall determine whether a sign language interpreter is needed in accordance with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §12101, et seq.; Code, Courts Article, §9-114; and Code, Criminal Procedure Article, §§1-202 and 3-103.

(2) Spoken Language Interpreter:

(A) Examination of Party or Witness: To determine whether a spoken language interpreter is needed, the court, on request or on its own initiative, shall examine a party or witness on the record. The court shall appoint a spoken language interpreter if the court determines that: (i) the party does not understand English well enough to participate fully in the proceedings and to assist counsel, or (ii) the party or a witness does not speak English well enough to be understood by counsel, the court, and the jury.

(B) Scope of Examination: The court’s examination of the party or witness should include questions relating to:
(i) identification;
(ii) active vocabulary in vernacular English; and
(iii) the court proceedings.

Committee note: Examples of matters relating to identification are: name, address, birth date, age, and place of birth. Examples of questions that elicit active vocabulary in vernacular English are: How did you come to court today? What kind of work do you do? Where did you go to school? What was the highest
grade you completed? What do you see in the courtroom? Examples of questions relating to the proceedings are: What do you understand this case to be about? What is the purpose of what we are doing here in court? What can you tell me about the rights of the parties to a court case? What are the responsibilities of a court witness? Questions should be phrased to avoid “yes or no” replies.

(d) Selection and Appointment of Interpreters

(1) Certified Interpreter Required; Exceptions: When the court determines that an interpreter is needed, the court shall make a diligent effort to obtain the services of a certified interpreter. If a certified interpreter is not available, the court shall make a diligent effort to obtain the services of an interpreter eligible for certification. The court may appoint a non-certified interpreter only if neither a certified interpreter nor an interpreter eligible for certification is available. A person related by blood or marriage to a party or to the person who needs an interpreter may not act as an interpreter.  Committee note: The court should be cautious about appointing a non-certified interpreter and should consider carefully the seriousness of the case and the availability of resources before doing so.

(2) Inquiry of the Prospective Interpreter: Before appointing an interpreter under this Rule, the court shall conduct an appropriate inquiry of the prospective interpreter on the record.

Committee note: The court should use the interpreter inquiry questions promulgated by the Maryland Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Interpreters and published, together with suggested responses, in the October 20, 1998 Report of the Advisory Committee. The questions and suggested responses are reprinted as an Appendix to these Rules.

(3) Oath: Upon appointment by the court and before acting as an interpreter in the proceeding, the interpreter shall solemnly swear or affirm under the penalties of perjury to interpret accurately, completely, and impartially and to refrain from knowingly disclosing confidential or privileged information obtained while serving in the proceeding.

(4) Multiple Interpreters in the Same Language: At the request of a party or on its own initiative, the ccourt may appoint more than one interpreter in the same language to ensure the accuracy of the interpretation or to preserve confidentiality if:

(A) the proceedings are expected to exceed three hours;
(B) the proceedings include complex issues and terminology or other such challenges; or
(C) an opposing party requires an interpreter in the same language.

Committee note: To ensure accurate interpretation, after interpreting for a period of forty-five minutes, an interpreter ordinarily should be granted a reasonable rest period.

(e) Removal From Proceeding

A court interpreter may be removed from a proceeding for good cause. Good cause for removal includes:

(1) failing to interpret adequately;
(2) knowingly interpreting falsely;
(3) knowingly disclosing confidential or privileged information obtained while serving in a proceeding; or
(4) failing to follow applicable laws, rules of court, or the Maryland Code of Conduct for Court Interpreters in the Appendix to these Rules.

(f) Compensation of Court Interpreters

Compensation for interpreters shall be in accordance with Code, Criminal Procedure Article, §§1-202 and 3-103 and Code, Courts Article, §9-114.

Committee note: Code, Courts Article, §9-114 provides for the appointment of interpreters for certain parties and witnesses, generally. Code, Criminal Procedure Article, §§1-202 and 3-103 provide for the appointment of interpreters for certain defendants in criminal proceedings and proceedings under Title 3
of that Article. 

 

 
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