The San Francisco Superior Court’s Interpreter Division offers interpreting services from Court employees and independent contractors proficient in nearly every language. Interpreters are available for litigants, defendants and witnesses in all cases. The California Constitution requires that a person unable to understand English charged with a crime has the right to an interpreter throughout the proceedings.
Effective January 28, 2015, the San Francisco Superior Court also expanded the case types for which interpreters are made available in accordance with a AB 1657
The unit has 19 employees and about 60 independent contractors. Spanish is the most frequently used language, followed by Cantonese, Mandarin and Vietnamese. Other widely used languages include Russian, Tagalog, Arabic and Korean.
How Do I Request an Interpreter?
Parties involved in Criminal, Traffic, Juvenile, Civil or Family cases also may request the services of an interpreter from the Clerk’s office or the courtroom clerk. If an interpreter is not available at the time of the hearing, the Court may continue the case until an interpreter can be assigned. Parties should request an interpreter when filing a motion or response.
Tell the Court About Your Experience
The Court wants all court users, including those who do not speak English well, to have access to the courts. If you would like to provide feedback or have a complaint about language access services at our Court, fill out and submit the complaint form.