Duties and Ethical Guidelines of an Interpreter
The Code of Professional Ethics
- Will need to hear you speak in your native language, and may ask you questions such as where you are from or if you have ever used an interpreter before.
- Will assist you in communicating with persons in the courtroom, including your lawyer, court staff and the judge.
- Will interpret every single thing you say into English. Don’t say anything to the interpreter that you don’t want the judge or others to hear.
- Will interpret everything said in court into your native language.
- Will interpret everything that is said by all parties without adding, omitting, or changing anything.
- Is bound by the rules of confidentiality and will not repeat to anyone what you say privately to your lawyer.
- Cannot give you legal advice.
- Cannot talk to you about your case.
- Cannot explain what certain words or terms mean.
- Cannot answer your questions or explain to you what is happening in court. If you don’t understand something, say so. The interpreter will interpret your question into English so the judge, a lawyer, or other person can explain it to you or say it in a different way.
- Cannot have private conversations with you, your family or friends.
Language Access Complaint and Feedback Form
Effective January 1, 2018, California Rules of Court, Rule 2.851 requires each superior court to establish a language access services complaint form and related procedures to respond to language access services complaints that relate to staff or court interpreters, or to local translations, as soon as reasonably possible but no later than December 31, 2018. If you have a complaint or feedback for Monterey County Superior Court, click on a language below to open a complaint form to complete and submit to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will receive an acknowledgment of the receipt of your complaint regarding the Court’s language access services within 30 days. You will also be contacted about the status of resolution of your complaint within 60 days.
Please be aware this will not change or modify any decision made by a judicial officer and that its review of the complaint does not, in any way, affect or extend any applicable deadlines or procedural requirements such as filing motions, appeals, modifications, etc.
Translations: Interactive (Fillable PDF) Model Complaint Form
You can also visit the Judicial Council of California to submit Court Interpreter Complaints.