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FAQs

COURT INTERPRETER CENTER FAQs



What is the process for me to go and observe a proceeding?

Upon arrival, go through security on the first floor of the Edgecomb Courthouse; proceed to the second floor, cross the walkway (follow sign "Bridge to Annex") and take the first set of elevators on your right to the sixth floor of the Annex. Once inside the Courthouse, call our Interpreter Center main line, (813) 272-5947, identify yourself as a student to whomever answers the main line, likely our Administrative Secretary, Caitelin Herrera, to direct you to a courtroom. Otherwise, you're welcome to observe whichever courtroom that is open to the public. For more information about the 13th Judicial Circuit Court, explore the menu selections to the right. For information on parking in Downtown Tampa, please visit www.tampagov.net/parking.

 

DO:

• Choose any courtroom open to the public. Ask the bailiff at the door, if in doubt.

• Sit in the gallery with the general public.

• Turn OFF or SILENCE your cellphone before entering the courtroom.

• Refrain from talking while court is in session.

• Dress appropriately for court: casual for both men and women.

o No short skirts, low cut blouses, or tight clothing

• Take notes on all new or unfamiliar vocabulary used.

• Stand up when the judge enters and follow all other courtroom instructions.

 

DON'T:

• Approach the Court Interpreter while the Interpreter is on duty.

• Walk through the swinging doors that divide the courtroom.

• Interrupt courtroom proceedings in any way.


Are Court interpreters required to have any training or certifications?
Each staff interpreter at the 13th Judicial Circuit must pass a state Court Interpreter proficiency test.


What hearings are Court Interpreters provided for?

Proceedings covered by the court include: Preliminary Presentation Court (First Appearance), Arraignments (criminal traffic, misdemeanor, and felony), Jury and non-jury trials, Domestic Violence Injunctions, Dependency hearings, Child Support Enforcement hearings, Special Immigration hearings, Baker Act hearings, Marchman Act hearings, and Juvenile delinquency hearings. These proceedings are referred to as due process cases.


How do I get an interpreter for my hearing?

Court interpreters are provided by the Court Interpreter Center according to need in all due process hearings. 
All language arrangements must be made through the Court Interpreter Center ph. (813) 272-5947 or to the following emails Caitelin.Herrera@fljud13.org
 and ortizm@fljud13.org. Please make sure you have information regarding your case, i.e., time, location, name of defendant/party, language, etc.


Individuals involved in NON-DUE PROCESS cases must make arrangements for services themselves. Please click here for private interpreter resources
. These services are not paid for by the court.


What if I am in a Family Law case and no Court Interpreters are provided?

Court Interpreters aren’t provided in family law cases; parties need to provide their own or click here for private resources
.  The fee for services of an interpreter will be the responsibility of the requesting party. 


How do I become a Court Interpreter?

Information is provided at the Florida Courts: Court Interpreters Program website at
https://www.flcourts.org/Resources-Services/Court-Services/Court-Interpreting/Prospective-Court-Interpreters