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Interpreter Information

The Twelfth Judicial Circuit is committed to providing qualified interpreters to limited-English-proficient persons in order to eliminate communication barriers that may prevent full participation in court proceedings necessary to ensure due process and equal access to the courts.

The Florida state courts have agreed to follow federal regulations and guidelines to provide a spoken language interpreter to limited-English-proficient persons for any court event when requested. 

As of February 1, 2017, Court Administration will be responsible for scheduling all interpreter requests, including Spanish, for all court events in Manatee and Sarasota Counties.  We will be using both staff interpreters and contractual interpreters to meet these needs.  If you require an interpreter in Desoto County, please contact the judicial assistant assigned to the case.

It is our policy that a staff Spanish interpreter is assigned to be present at first appearances, misdemeanor arraignments, criminal traffic arraignments, felony arraignments, juvenile delinquency and dependency arraignments, as well as detention and shelter hearings.  Court Administration requires that ALL other court interpreter requests be submitted online

The person needing the interpreter or his/her attorney is responsible for scheduling the interpreter. The court does not automatically schedule interpreters for you.  Each scheduled court event must be scheduled separately, as one scheduled event does not automatically schedule an interpreter for the duration of the case.

Requests for court interpreters should be made at least 5 days in advance of the scheduled proceeding.  It is in your best interest to schedule the interpreter when you are given your next court date.  We will try our best to honor interpreting requests made with less than 5 business days’ notice, but we may not be able to accommodate. In the case of less common languages, more time may be necessary to arrange for a qualified interpreter and/or a telephonic interpreting service may be used. 

Once an interpreting request is made, you will receive an email confirmation of that request and either a staff interpreter or a contract interpreter will be assigned to the case.  If there is an issue or question regarding your request, the scheduling assistant will contact you by phone or email to clarify.  To schedule an interpreter go to the Interpreter Request Form or please call 941-749-3659 for additional information.  

For emergency or last minute requests, you must contact Court Administration’s interpreter scheduling assistant at 941-749-3659. 

To summarize, the basic information to remember is:

  1. A staff Spanish interpreter is assigned to automatically be present at first appearances, misdemeanor arraignments, criminal traffic arraignments, felony arraignments, juvenile delinquency and dependency arraignments, as well as detention and shelter hearings.  If you require an interpreter for any other court event, you must schedule one.  
  2. It is not up to the presiding judge, judicial assistant, or trial clerk to schedule the interpreter.  If you are not represented by an attorney you must request the interpreter yourself; and if you are represented by an attorney, the attorney must request the interpreter on your behalf.
  3. You must make your interpreter request online using the Interpreter Request Form.  Requests should be made at least 5 days before your scheduled court event.  If you do not have access to a computer, please call 941.749.3659 for assistance.
  4. Trial dates and most hearing dates are given to you weeks in advance, so please make your interpreter request early.  
  5. If your court event is cancelled or continued or you no longer need an interpreter that you scheduled, please call the interpreting office at 941.749.3659 and leave a message.
  6. If you have an emergency hearing or last-minute plea, you must call Court Administration’s interpreting department at 941.749.3600 x7100 to request an interpreter and will attempt to accommodate your request, however, we may not be able to do so.  
  7. You cannot request a specific interpreter.

Become an Interpreter

The Court Interpreter Certification and Regulation Program administers the qualification, certification, and regulation process for spoken language interpreters on behalf of the Office of the State Courts Administrator.

There are formal requirements and testing that a prospective spoken language interpreter must complete in order to become officially designated or otherwise registered interpreters.

To learn more about interpreting in the Florida State Courts System and specific details on how to join this diverse group of professionals, please visit the website at www.flcourts.org, select Resources & Services from the main menu, then select Court Interpreting.

For additional information email interpreters@flcourts.org or call (850) 922-5107

Public Interpreter List

This Registry is provided as a resource for the Florida State Courts System to utilize in locating qualified spoken language court interpreters that have passed an approved oral performance examination. In Florida, court interpreters may be officially designated as either Certified, Language Skilled or Provisionally Approved. The official status* of an interpreter can be determined by consulting the following legend:

Certified: The interpreter has attended an orientation workshop, passed a written examination, passed an oral performance examination, passed a criminal background check, sworn an oath to uphold the Code of Professional Conduct, agreed to pursue Continuing Education, and applied for and was granted Certification. The interpreters' Certification Number will appear on the Registry if they fit this criteria, e.g. 08-00999 SPA.

Language Skilled: A designation reserved for interpreters who have completed all requirements in accordance with these rules but who are seeking certification in a spoken language for which there is no state-certifying exam, such persons hold a valid certificate issued by the Office of the State Courts Administrator (OSCA).

Provisionally Approved: A designation reserved for interpreters of spoken languages for which a state-certifying exam is available but although not yet certified, have passed the oral performance exam at a lesser qualifying prescribed level and hold a valid certificate issued by OSCA.
*= If the interpreter is not indicated in this Registry as Certified they are considered to have no official status with the Office of the State Courts Administrator or the 12th Judicial Circuit.

The following American Sign Language interpreter has the exclusive contract with the 12th Judicial Circuit:

Name and Contact Information  Language Spoken Certification
Number / Official
status
Certified
status
Other
status
County
McCarthy, CI, CT, Charlene 
941-363-1318, 941-726-1008
interpreter@VisComOffice.com
American Sign   X   DeSoto, Manatee &
Sarasota 

It is recommended that you contact an interpreter listed below who is under contract with the 12th Judicial Circuit. While we cannot verify the skills or credentials of the interpreters and assume no responsibility; they have courtroom experience in the 12th Judicial Circuit and have performed satisfactorily.

Name and Contact Information  Language Spoken Certification
Number / Official
status
Certified
status
Other
status
No Official
Status
Bezrouk, Irina
941-214-0483
Russian        X
El Farissi, Fahd
330-618-8250
Arabic, French, Italian       X
Margo Tobgui Interpretation Co.
727-376-1572
All languages        X
Moise, Alix
863-670-2549
Haitian-Creole  15-00359 HC   X    
Moscoso, Blanca (out-of
courtroom contract)
941-705-1886
Spanish   16-00410S SPA    
Nguyen, Thuy
941-350-1150 
 Vietnamese       X
Paulus, Nora
321-946-9493 
Hungarian, Russian        X
Sawa, Wojtek
 847-322-7387
Polish        X
Stewart, Eunice
 863-651-3919
 Haitian-Creole  11-00169 HC    

UPDATED: October 12, 2017