Interpreter Scheduling Policy Update

Interpreter Scheduling Policy Update

To:       Cowlitz / Wahkiakum Bar Members and All Court Users

From:   Chad Connors, Court Administrator

Re:      Scheduling Interpreters for Superior Court per Local Court Rule 11

Since we have quite a few new attorneys practicing in Cowlitz County, we wanted to remind everyone regarding the limited availability of interpreters and the proper process for scheduling interpreters.

A written request must be made to the Interpreter Coordinator at least two weeks in advance if an interpreter is needed for a Superior Court hearing or trial.  Requests can be emailed to the Interpreter Coordinator at Court Administration.  More advanced notice should be given for specialized and/or high demand languages, longer hearings, or if multiple interpreters are needed.  If these timelines are not followed, an interpreter may not be available for a hearing and may require the matter be continued to allow for the presence of an interpreter.

Spanish interpreters are regularly scheduled ONLY on the following Criminal Dockets: Tuesdays 9am and 1pm Docket and Thursday morning dockets.  Out of custody defendants should also be set onto one of the Tuesday dockets.  If you note a 3pm motion or have a trial which needs an interpreter, please refer to the scheduling and notification requirements set forth in Local Court Rule 11.  If for some reason, a case MUST be heard on day/docket that doesn’t have a regularly scheduled interpreter, it is the attorney’s / party’s responsibility to inform the interpreter coordinator as soon as possible so that one can be arranged.

This written notification is also required if you are part of a civil, family law or administrative process that requires an interpreter (protection orders, trial assignments, or dockets). Attorneys and /or parties should notify the interpreter coordinator as soon as the matter is noted on for hearing. 

Please notify the Interpreter Coordinator if a hearing is continued or set over.  Failure to do so at least two days before the hearing, may result in the party being charged for the cost of the interpreter if the interpreter cannot be cancelled without a fee.

Please contact Alice Millward, the Interpreter Coordinator, immediately if you have a case that requires an interpreter other than Spanish per LCR11.  (Many times this information is not relayed from the courtroom and causes difficulties in hiring an interpreter and results in delays of hearings.)  It is not the interpreter’s job to notify Court Administration if a case has be set over to another date.  Alice’s contact information is millwarda@co.cowlitz.wa.us  and (360) 577-3155.

Here is a link to Cowlitz Local Court Rule 11.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Court Administration for further clarification.

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