A brochure created by the Administrative Office of the Courts.
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Do you need help with English to make sure that your story is told in court?
Ask the clerk of the court for a form or help in getting an interpreter. The clerk is the person behind the counter. If the court decides that an interpreter is needed, the court will pay for the interpreter. The court will need at least 5 days notice.
The court will help you to find an interpreter.
To request a spoken language interpreter, please submit a Request for Spoken Language Interpreter (Form CC-DC41) to the court in which the case will be heard. Requests for interpreter should be submitted to the court not less than thirty (30) days before the proceeding for which the interpreter is requested.
If you have a lawyer, ask the lawyer to arrange for an interpreter.
If the clerk does not speak your language, s/he can call a special phone number where an interpreter can assist the two of you to make the arrangements for free.
The court will appoint an interpreter for free if one of the following is true.
Sometimes a clerk or someone else may have told the court that you need an interpreter, or it may be marked on your court file. In this case, no questions will be asked. However, if the court is unaware of your need for an interpreter, the court staff may ask you some questions in English. Here are some examples of questions that you may be asked.
You will be asked these questions to help the court decide if you need an interpreter. This is not the beginning of your testimony but you should answer truthfully.
Yes, or any other "reasonable accommodation."
This site offers legal information, not legal advice. We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information and to clearly explain your options. However we do not provide legal advice - the application of the law to your individual circumstances. For legal advice, you should consult an attorney. The Maryland State Law Library, a court-related agency of the Maryland Judiciary, sponsors this site. In the absence of file-specific attribution or copyright, the Maryland State Law Library may hold the copyright to parts of this website. You are free to copy the information for your own use or for other non-commercial purposes with the following language “Source: Maryland's People’s Law Library – www.peoples-law.org. © Maryland State Law Library, 2013.”