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Interpreter Services

Language Access


Franklin County is very diverse, a mosaic of many cultures, a welcoming place to immigrants. The Franklin County Municipal Court provides interpreting services for parties and witnesses appearing in Municipal Court in more than 45 languages and American Sign Language.

The Interpreter Services Department supports the Judiciary's goal of ensuring that persons who are limited English proficient (LEP) or who are deaf or hard of hearing have equal access to all proceedings for both verbal and written communication. Franklin County Municipal Court functions in accordance with the Court’s Language Access Plan and the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio. Court interpreters are not advocates and therefore cannot provide legal assistance or advice.​ On-staff interpreters interpret Spanish, Somali, French, MayMay, Swahili, and Italian. The Interpreter Services Department contracts with external language services for other languages as well as for American Sign Language and Certified Deaf Interpreters. Captions are also available. For the blind and deaf-blind, Print on Palm, Protactil, and Haptics are available.

For more information about the Interpreter Code of Conductroster of interpreters, common misconceptions about deaf people, and other general resources, visit the Supreme Court of Ohio.  

If an interpreter is needed, please make the request soon as possible.


Interpreter services are available at no cost for hearings and court functions for:

  • Civil and Criminal Hearings and Trials
  • Court Services
  • Driving Privilege Hearings
  • Eviction Court
  • Felony Preliminary Hearings
  • Mediations
  • Pretrial and Jury Trial Assignments
  • Probation Department Referrals and Assessments
  • Psychiatric Evaluations
  • Self Help Center
  • Small Claims Civil Court Cases
  • Summoned Jurors
  • Traffic and Criminal Misdemeanor Arraignment
  • Wedding Ceremonies

HOURS: Mon - Fri  8 AM - 5 PM
LOCATION: 375 S. High St., 16TH Fl.

EMAIL: [email protected]
PHONE: (614) 645-7455
FAX: (614) 645-8465

Parties may have the right to a court-appointed interpreter. If one is not provided, please contact us!


What is an interpreter?

  • An interpreter orally conveys a message from one language to another. Interpretation is spoken or signed. Court Interpreters are not advocates, consultants on culture or customs, nor can they help with forms or instructions. Interpreters cannot provide legal assistance or advice.

What is the role of Interpreters in the Legal System? 

  • Court Interpreters serve as a conduit between non-English speakers and English-speaking participants for court functions and official court proceedings. Interpreters have a critical role in making it possible to ensure the rights of due process and participation in the court system for all parties involved. The goal is to enable the Judge, jury, and all participants to interact and react in the same manner to a non-English speaking party as they do with parties who speak English. Court interpreters are not advocates and therefore cannot provide legal assistance or advice.
  • Learn more about The Role of Interpreters in the Legal System  .

What are the different Modes of Interpretation?

  • Simultaneous Interpretation - The rendering of a speaker's or signer's message into another language while the speaker or signer continues to communicate.
  • Consecutive Interpretation - The rendering of a speaker's or signer's message into another language when the speaker or signer pauses to allow interpretation.  
  • Sight Translation - The rendering of a written document directly into a spoken or signed language, not for purposes of producing a written document.
  • Interpreters provide their service for the Court most often in person, but can also work by video or by telephone.

How do I know if a party or witness needs an interpreter?

  • The services of an interpreter are needed when the Court determines a party, witness, or juror is limited in communication due to limited English proficiency or being deaf or hard of hearing. If deemed necessary, an Interpreter will be appointed by the Court when requested by a non-English speaking party. Read More   
  • Requests for an interpreter should be made as soon as the need is identified, preferably fourteen (14) days in advance of the court date.  An interpreter will be assigned or accommodations for hearing, speech, or visual impairment will be made with notification provided to the individual making the request.  

Who is responsible for payment of interpreter services?

  • The Court provides court-interpreting services free of charge to individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have limited English proficiency during all hearings, trials, motions, and court functions. Typically, this service is limited to plaintiffs, defendants, victims, next of kin, guardians, and witnesses.

How do I become a certified court interpreter?