Court Interpreters are responsible for the accurate interpretation of verbal communications from a source language (non-English or American Sign Language) to a target language (English) in matters related to judicial proceedings. They facilitate communication between two or more parties in an impartial manner and do not serve as an advocate or perform clerical functions for the party requesting the interpreter.
Click this link to view a video provided by the Ohio Supreme Court regarding “The Role of Interpreters in the Legal System:
When is an interpreter necessary?
An interpreter is needed when, if upon examination by the court, counsel, or court personnel there is a party, witness, victim or jury member who is unable to speak English. In order to ensure that all judicial proceedings are understood by counsel, the court, the jury, and all parties involved if any participant is unable understand, speak or hear English sufficiently the Court provides interpreting services. Upon this determination, the requesting attorney or department should contact Caroline Kopel, Language Access Coordinator at (614) 525-3761 to schedule interpreting services.
Who is responsible for payment of interpreting services?
The Court will pay for all interpreting services requested for official court proceedings in criminal cases. Any non-court proceedings are the responsibility of the party or department requesting the services.
Interpreter Scheduling Process
Interpreting services may be requested for persons scheduled for official court proceedings with any of the Franklin County Common Pleas Court – General Division Judges and/or Magistrates. You must provide at least 48-hour notice to schedule interpreting services.
- If you are requesting an interpreter for yourself, contact your attorney to arrange with the Court for an interpreter.
- If you are an attorney, contact the person below by email, fax or phone. The information that will be needed is as follows:
- Defendant's name
- Type of interpreter
- Person requesting service
- Phone number
- Case number and charge
- Defendant’s name
- Courtroom location
- Judge’s name
- Date and time service required
NOTE: You may submit this information via phone, fax or email utilizing the attached forms and the contact information listed above.
Hours of operation: 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM / Monday through Friday, excluding Court holidays.
Cancellation or Rescheduling Interpreting Services:
Scheduled interpreter services that are no longer required, or that require rescheduling MUST be cancelled or rescheduled. To cancel or reschedule interpreting services contact Caroline Kopel, Language Access Coordinator at the information listed below (NOTE: you will need all the information that you provided to schedule the interpreting services)
Caroline Kopel, Language Access Coordinator
Franklin County Common Pleas Court – General Division
345 S. High Street, 2nd floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 525-3761 (phone)
(614) 525-4480 (fax)