Court Language Services
The Maryland Judiciary provides court services to many people, including those who are Limited English Proficient (LEP). Court interpreters are provided for litigants and witnesses in civil, criminal, and juvenile proceedings and are paid for by the Administrative Office of the Courts. To request a spoken language interpreter for a court appearance, please submit a Request for Spoken Language Interpreter (Form CC-DC-041) to the court in which the case will be heard. The request should be submitted to the court not less than thirty (30) days before the proceeding in which the interpreter is requested. Watch this 30-second introduction to Maryland’s court language services.
For additional information, please contact the clerk at the court location where your case will be heard.
To request an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter or other accommodation, please submit a Request for Accommodation for Person with Disability (Form CC-DC-049).
Every courthouse has an interpreter coordinator responsible language access.
- View a list of interpreter coordinators in the Circuit Courts (PDF)
- View a list of interpreter coordinators in the District Courts (PDF)
Judiciary Foreign Language Portals
A growing amount of content on the Maryland Judiciary’s web site is now available in languages other than English. The non-English pages provide forms, brochures, and other helpful information about the Maryland Courts. Visit the foreign language portals.
Several courts have full-time Spanish staff interpreters who provide interpretation services in courtrooms and anywhere in the courthouse where their services may be needed. Staff interpreters can assist court staff when communicating with Spanish speaking clients. Click here for the Staff Interpreter Directory.
Interpreters for Court-Related Events
To ensure meaningful access to the Maryland Courts, individuals may need the assistance of an interpreter in settings other than the courtroom. For this reason, Maryland Courts are authorized to assign court interpreters for any of the following court-ordered and court-offered services.
Interpreters for Video-Remote Hearings Via Zoom
The Maryland Judiciary has been conducting some court proceedings via ZOOM, a video conferencing platform. Litigants and/or their attorneys will receive a notification about their hearing to be conducted via ZOOM and instructions on how to join a ZOOM meeting. To request a spoken language interpreter for a video court hearing, please submit a Request for Spoken Language Interpreter (Form CC-DC-041) to the court in which the case will be heard. The request should be submitted to the court not less than thirty (30) days before the proceeding in which the interpreter is requested.
The ZOOM video conferencing platform offers an Interpretation Feature which allows the interpreter to provide simultaneous interpretation. Below please find three quick-reference cards (for the meeting host, the person who needs interpretation, and interpreters) on how and when to activate the Interpretation Feature.
ZOOM Instructions for Host (PDF)
ZOOM Instructions for limited-English proficient individuals (PDF)
ZOOM Instructions for Interpreters (PDF)
Introduction to the Interpretation Feature in ZOOM video
If you need language assistance when communicating with court staff
The Maryland Judiciary is also responsible for taking reasonable steps to ensure that Limited English Proficient individuals have meaningful access to services outside the courtroom. These points of service include the commissioner’s office, the clerk’s office, court help center, and the court’s public counters. To facilitate communication between LEP individuals and court staff, the Maryland Judiciary is pleased to offer telephonic interpretation services provided by Language Line. If you need the assistance of a spoken language interpreter while communicating with court staff in-person or over the phone, follow these steps:
- Say the name of the language you speak or point to your language on the Maryland Judiciary Language Card or Language Line Poster available at the counter.
- Once you identify the language, the court employee will make arrangements for a telephonic interpreter to assist you.
- Once you are connected with an interpreter, speak with the court employee directly. Speak slowly and pause to allow the interpreter to interpret your questions.
To read about the Maryland Judiciary Translation Services and Policy, click here.
Brochures translated into foreign languages
The Court Interpreter Program created the following brochures to assist LEP individuals and their representatives:
- Do You Need a Court Interpreter?(CC-DC-80BR)
- How to Work Effectively with Interpreters (CC-DC 81BR)