Interpreters & Language Access
Court Interpreter Service
Court proceedings are conducted in English. If a party or a witness does not speak English well, he or she may need an interpreter to testify, to speak to the judge, and to understand what others are saying in a proceeding. Certified and registered court interpreters are specifically trained to interpret in court proceedings. If you need language assistance, you should ask the court if it can provide a court interpreter by completing local request form ALA-INT-001 (see below in accordions).
There is no charge for the services of a court appointed interpreter.
Criminal & Traffic Matters do not use form ALA-INT-001 for criminal or traffic cases. If you are a defendant or a witness in a criminal matter, you may tell your attorney (or the DA) that you need an interpreter; if you are a traffic defendant, when you come to court to get a date set for a hearing, please let the clerk at the filing window know that you need an interpreter.
Interpreters are neutral and bound to confidentiality.
Note: Although the court attempts to meet all requests, the court is not always able to provide an interpreter in every language or in every civil case.
How to Become a Court Interpreter
Court Interpreter Program
Learn more about California’s Court Interpreter Program (CIP) and how to become an interpreter.
Laney College Language Interpreter Certificate Program
Laney College in Oakland currently provides a language interpretation certificate program with the support of the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda. For more information regarding their innovative interpretation programs, please visit Laney College's website.
Court Interpreter Complaints
Local Court Complaints
If your complaint is regarding the court's failure to provide interpreter services, general complaints regarding Alameda County Superior Court interpreters or local document translations provided by the Court, you may file a complaint by submitting a Language Access Services Complaint Form located below.
|Language||Request Form||Complaint Form||COVID-19 Safety|
|Complaint Form||Covid-19 Safety|
|Farsi||Complaint Form||Covid-19 Safety|
|Punjabi||Complaint Form||Covid-19 Safety|
|Spanish||Complaint Form||Covid-19 Safety|
|Vietnamese||Complaint Form||Covid-19 Safety|
For questions regarding language access or court interpreters or to submit The Interpreter Request Form or the Language Access Services Complaint Form, use the following contact information:
Phone: (510) 891-6006
Filing a Complaint with the Court Interpreters Program About a California Court Interpreter
You may file a complaint regarding a specific California court interpreter with the Judicial Council of California if you believe a certified or registered interpreter has:
- Violated Rule of Court 2.890, Professional conduct for interpreters.
- Is unable to interpret competently in English and/or in the language being interpreted
- Committed acts of wrongdoing or behaved unethically
Instructions and forms for filing your complaint can be found at: https://www.courts.ca.gov/42807.htm
Additional information regarding the California Court Interpreter credential Review Procedures an be found at: https://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/CIP_CRProcedures.pdf
Access to Programs, Services, and Professionals
Pursuant to California Rules of Court, Rule 1.300:
(1) As soon as feasible, courts must adopt procedures to enable court litigants with limited English proficiency (LEP) to access services provided directly by the court to the same extent as litigants who are English proficient.
(2) Courts should seek out opportunities to partner with other courts and with community service providers in the use of technology to expand access to bilingual staff members and interpreters among courts.
(3) Courts are encouraged to keep a list of language-accessible services that are available in their geographic region and to provide this information on a neutral and non-endorsing basis to bench officers and litigants, as appropriate.
(4) To the extent feasible, a court should avoid order an LEP litigant to a private program that is not language accessible.
If a court-ordered service is provided by court personnel, language assistance will be made available to LEP litigants. If a court-ordered service is provided by a social services agency or other entity under contract with the court, the court will obtain assurances from the agency or entity that it will provide language assistance to LEP litigants. If the Court has ordered you to participate in a private program, service, or with a professional that is not language accessible to you, you may inform the Court of this in writing. If you are unable to access language assistance or an alternative private program, service, or professional as ordered by the Court, or you are unable to complete them within the court-ordered time frame, you may submit Form LA-400: Service Not Available in My Language: Request to Change Court Order. The Court may respond by entering an alternative order or extending the deadline for completion.
Private programs, services, and professionals that would like to be included on the Court's informational list may confirm in writing to the Court annually that they offer language services, and indicated the languages covered by the program, service, or professional. The Court may require providers to use Form LA-350: Notice of Available Language Assistance-Service Provider for this purpose.