We provide interpreter services to Superior, District and Juvenile Courts; District Court Probation; the Prosecutor's Office; and the Department of Assigned Counsel (Public Defender's Office). The office also assists with referrals for other agencies.
The law provides for interpreters to be paid at government expense for limited English proficient (LEP) and deaf/hearing-impaired persons in all court and court-annexed proceedings without distinguishing among criminal, civil, or administrative matters. The law also extends to provide meaningful access for LEP and deaf/hearing-impaired persons working with court-supervised personnel and other court-ordered functions that are conducted outside the courtroom.
Pierce County Interpreter Services Office
930 Tacoma Avenue South, Room 247
Tacoma, WA 98402
Phone: (253) 798-6091
Email: [email protected]
- Request for Service
- Role of an Interpreter
- Language Assistance Plan (LAP)
- Forms & Information for Court Interpreters
- How to become a Interpreter
- Other Resources
Interpreters are on personal contract and called on an as-needed basis. Outside of the Spanish language interpreter, there are only a limited number of court certified or registered interpreters in the state. The office requires 3-5 business days to successfully process your interpreter requests.
To request for an interpreter, please complete this Interpreter Request Form and email it back to our office at [email protected] or by calling (253) 798-6091. Remember to include all the information below in your request:
- Name of individual(s) needing an interpreter
- Case #
- Date of hearing
- Time of hearing
- Language (Specify Chinese dialect: Mandarin, Cantonese, etc.)
- Type of hearing
- Approximate length
- Courtroom #
- Address where hearing will be held
- Attorney handling the case
- Contact phone #
Role of the Interpreter
A court interpreter is a language conduit whose participation allows an individual who does not speak or understand English to participate meaningfully in a judicial proceeding
Modes of Interpreting
Difference Between Interpreting & Translating
Interpreting is the conversion of speech (spoken language) while translation is conversion of text (written language) from one language into another.
Code of Contact for Interpreters - GR 11.1
Preamble: All language interpreters serving in a legal proceeding, whether certified or not certified, shall abide by the following code of conduct. A language interpreter who violates any of the provisions of this code is subject to a citation for contempt, disciplinary action or any other sanction that may be imposed by law. The purpose of this code of conduct is to establish and maintain high standards of conduct to preserve the integrity and independence of the adjudicative system. Interpreters will abide by the following:
Pierce County Interpreter Services Office is guided by:
- RCW 2.42 Interpreters in Legal Proceedings
- RCW 2.43 Interpreters for non-English-speaking persons
- Language Assistance Plan (LAP) for Pierce County Courts
Spoken Language Interpreters
Interpreters certification, as mandated by RCW 2.43 is available through the Washington State Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) in Olympia. If you are interested in becoming a court certified or registered interpreter, please contact the AOC Language Access Program Coordinator, Robert Lichtenberg at [email protected] or call his office at (360) 350-5373.
You will find additional information on becoming a Certified or Registered Court interpreter by going to the Washington Courts website.
Sign Language Interpreters
Sign language interpreters are certified by RID (The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc.). You will find additional information by going to https://www.rid.org/rid-certification-overview/.
- Map and Directions to the Gold Lot at the County-City Building (CCB)
- General Rule 11.1 - Purpose and Scope of Interpreter Commission
- General Rule 11.2 - Code of Conduct for Court Interpreters
- General Rule 11.3 - Telephonic Interpretation
- RCW 2.42 - Interpreters in Legal Proceedings
- RCW 2.43 - Interpreters for Non-English Speaking Persons
- Washington AOC - Certified Court Interpreters Webpage
- Modes of Interpreting
- Team Interpretation in the Courtroom
- Preparing Interpreters in Rare Languages
- Suggestions for Attorneys Working with Court Interpreters
- Interpreter Services Complaint Report Form
- Courtroom Interpreting Bench Card