Court Interpreting Policies and Procedures

Applicable in ALL Courts

  • Directive #01-17 Language Access Plan (LAP)
  • Guidelines for Trials Involving Deaf Jurors - LAP Appendix 11
  • Guidelines for Using Specialist Interpreters - LAP Appendix 12
  • Code of Professional Conduct for Interpreters
  • Copy of N.J.S.A.34:1-69.7 Rights of hearing impaired persons
  • June 19, 1986 Press Release
  • Court Rules, Statutes and Rules of Evidence

    1. Court Rules
    2. Review the Code of Professional Conduct.

      1:34-7: "Interpreters, Transliterators, and translators shall be appointed and perform their duties in the manner established by the Chief Justice and shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority."

    3. Statutes
    4. "An Act Providing for Interpreters for the Hearing Impaired in Official Proceedings," N.J.S.A. 34:1-69.7 et seq.

    5. Rules of Evidence
    6. Rule 604. Interpreters

      The judge shall determine the qualifications of a person testifying as an interpreter. An interpreter shall be subject to all provisions of these rules relating to witnesses and shall take an oath or make an affirmation or declaration to interpret accurately.

    Supreme Court's Plan for Equal Access for Linguistic Minorities

    • Provide equal access for linguistic minorities
    • The Court reiterates its position that the courts and their support services shall be equally accessible for all persons regardless of the degree to which they are able to communicate effectively in the English language. Linguistic barriers to access shall be overcome by providing qualified interpreters and bilingual court support personnel.

      To reach these goals, the AOC shall expeditiously develop and submit to the Court for its consideration a comprehensive set of standards for assuring equal access to courts and their support services for linguistic minorities. The Judiciary shall also continue to seek adequate funding for full implementation of the goals of (1) providing qualified interpreters to all persons needing them, (2) expanding its program for training court interpreters, and (3) compensating interpreters adequately.

      As to bilingual court support personnel, the AOC shall extend its initiative on certain classes of bilingual personnel in the probation departments to all offices of the Judiciary where bilingual employees are needed in order to assure strategic deployment of bilingual employees statewide.

      Finally, each of the existing (Code of Judicial Conduct; Rules of Professional Conduct) and proposed (Code of Conduct for Judiciary Employees) codes of conduct for attorneys and employees of the Judiciary shall be revised to include the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of language. (at pp. 9-10)

      ** The Action Plan was published by the Supreme Court on August 16, 1993. The text reported here is the exact text published therein.

    New Jersey Judicial Branch's Prohibitions of Language Discrimination

      Code of Judicial Conduct, Canon 3
      A Judge Should Perform the Duties of Judicial Office Impartially and Diligently
      • The judicial duties of a judge take precedence over all other activities. Judicial duties include all the duties of the office prescribed by law. In the performance of these duties, the following standards apply:
      1. Adjudicative Responsibilities.
        ...(4) A judge should be impartial and should not discriminate because of race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, language, marital status, socioeconomic status, or disability.

        (5) A judge shall require lawyers in proceedings before the judge to refrain from manifesting, by words or conduct, bias or prejudice based upon race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, language, marital status, socioeconomic status or disability against parties, witnesses, counsel, or others. This section does not preclude legitimate advocacy when race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, language, marital status, socioeconomic status or disability, or other similar factors are issues in the proceeding.
      Code of Conduct for Judiciary Employees, Canon 1.E
      • No court employee shall in the conduct of official duties discriminate on the basis of, or manifest by words or conduct, bias or prejudice based on race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, language, marital status, socioeconomic status, or handicap.
      Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4 Misconduct
      • It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:

        ... (g) engage, in a professional capacity, in conduct involving discrimination (except employment discrimination unless resulting in a final agency or judicial determination) because of race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, language, marital status, socioeconomic status, or handicap, where the conduct is intended or likely to cause harm.

Applicable in Superior Court ONLY

  • Voir Dire to Determine Qualifications of Unregistered Interpreters
  • Operational Standards for Telephone Interpreting
  • Manual for Judges and Other Court Officials
  • Manual for Managers Who Coordinate Interpreting Services
  • Manual for Interpreters
  • Specifications for Interpreter Positions
  • Statistical Policy and Procedure Manual - October, 2007
  • Court Rules and Statutes

    1. Court Rules
      • 3:6-6, re Grand Jury

        “Who May Be Present; Record and Transcript

        (a) Attendance at Session. No person other than the jurors, the prosecuting attorney, the clerk of the grand jury, the witness under examination, interpreters when needed and, for the purpose of recording the proceedings, a stenographer or operator of a recording device may be present while the grand jury is in session. No person other than the jurors, the clerk, the prosecuting attorney and the stenographer or operator of the recording device may be present while the grand jury is deliberating. The grand jury, however, may request (1) either the prosecuting attorney and the stenographer or operator or (2) the clerk to leave the jury room during its deliberations. [emphasis added]”
    2. Statutes
      • N.J.S.A. 2B:8-1:

        “Title 2B, Court Organization and Civil Code

        Chapter 8. Interpreters and Translators

        2B:8-1. Interpreters. Each county shall provide interpreting services necessary for cases from that county in the Law Division and the Family Part of the Chancery Division. A county may provide interpreting services through the use of persons hired for that purpose. If interpreters are employed, they shall be appointed and shall perform their duties in the manner established by the Chief Justice, and shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority. For the purpose of determining their compensation, these employees shall be considered county employees. Source: N.J.S. 2A:11-28 to N.J.S. 2A: 11-30. L.

        1991, c. 119