This document describes procedures for requesting interpreters for each of the following groups:
Effective August 1, 2008, courtroom deputies -- or where there is no deputy, the judge's law clerks -- are responsible for notifying the Interpreters Office in timely fashion of the need for an interpreter in matters before the District Court.
The most convenient and efficient way to do this is via the Interpreters Office's request manager. Judges' staff are strongly encouraged to make use of this system whenever possible. Alternatively, or for late-emerging matters, please contact us at 212 805-0084 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Interpreters Office's web-based request system is also available to USPOs, and we strongly recommend its use in all cases.
The Board of Judges' SDNY Clerk's Office Committee approved a policy, effective August 1, 2008, for ordering interpreters for in-court proceedings in criminal cases. The objective is to increase the efficiency of court operations and manage resources effectively.
The only events for which AUSAs will be responsible for ordering courtroom interpreters are:
- new arrests (presentments)
- detention hearings, or
- matters referred to Magistrates Court
For new arrests, an AUSA should notify the Magistrates Clerk's Office as soon as he or she becomes aware that an interpreter will be needed, specifying the number of defendants and the language. Then the Magistrate Clerk will notify the interpreters office.
When you have a minimum of 2 business days' notice of the proceeding, you may notify us of proceedings in the Magistrate's court via email. (Please contact us if you do not know our email address).
In situations where 2-day notice is not practicable (e.g., an arrest on probable cause without a warrant, emergency bail hearings or urgent matters referred to Magistrate's Court), the AUSA is required to request an interpreter as soon as possible by calling the interpreters office directly, at 212-805-0084.
When a case is wheeled out to a district judge, the AUSA should call the judge's chambers to inform them that the judge has received a case, so as to schedule an initial pretrial conference. The new policy requires that in this phone call, the AUSA also inform the courtroom deputy of any defendant who needs an interpreter, and of what language.
Once the case goes before the district judge, the courtroom deputy (or law clerk) will become responsible for ordering the interpreter for any in-court proceeding. A new on-line system has been designed for this purpose.
For incoming arrests, notice should be given as soon as it is known the approximate time one or more defendants will arrive at the courthouse. For multi-defendant cases, we appreciate notice of how many people may require interpreters, and of what language.
(Note: interpreters for proffers or government witnesses are coordinated through Michelle Harris of your office.)
It is not always possible to accommodate unscheduled interviews in the cellblock. The same interpreter who is covering the court proceeding may assist you so long as the office has been notified and there are no prior scheduling conflicts. In-court proceedings take priority. Interpreter assistance in the cellblock is provided to a maximum of 60 minutes per interview.
Telephone: (212) 805-0084
Email: please contact us if you do not know our nysd.uscourts.gov address, or use our contact page.