Interpreters Office
 United States District Court, Southern District of New York

The SDNY Interpreters Office

The Southern District of New York Interpreters Office coordinates the provision of interpreters and/or translators as needed by the District Court, Pretrial Services Agency, Probation Department or other arm of the court.

Pursuant to the Court Interpreter's Act (28 USC 1827), each federal court is required to provide, at judiciary expense, a certified or otherwise qualified interpreter in judicial proceedings instituted by the United States for a party who speaks only or primarily a language other than English. According to the Act, the United States Attorney's Office is responsible for securing the services of interpreters for government witnesses.

Pursuant to Judicial Conference policy (September 1995), each federal court is required to provide, at judiciary expense, sign language interpreters or other appropriate auxiliary aids and services to participants in federal court proceedings (civil as well as criminal cases) who are deaf, hearing-impaired, or have other communications disabilities.

This site is designed to provide information about the field and practice of court interpreting —also known as judiciary interpreting or legal interpreting— to court personnel, members of the bar and bench, interpreters and the public.


The Courthouse Follies!

The SDNY's Courthouse Follies returned to the stage on December 5, 2014, for its 20th annual performance and pre-show party. The highly-acclaimed musical comedy satirizes the political and legal system, with a cast of lawyers, judges, court interpreters, court reporters, law clerks, courtroom deputy clerks and other personnel from the SDNY community. This latest performance was well-received by an enthusiastic audience.

Erika de los Ríos joins SDNY staff interpreters

The SDNY Interpreters Office is pleased to welcome Erika de los Ríos, who joined our office as staff Spanish interpreter as of October 6, 2014.

Humberto García joins SDNY staff interpreters

We are pleased to welcome the newest member of the SDNY Interpreters Office staff: Humberto García joined us as Court Interpreter (Spanish) effective February 24, 2014.

Notice to All Contract Interpreters

Please be advised that a new version of the contract has now been posted at

This updated version of the contract is valid from March 1, 2014 to October 1, 2014.

Please read the contract carefully. You will note that contract interpreters are specifically prohibited from submitting more than one voucher to any federal district court or CJA attorney for a work assignment (or travel expenses incurred) covering the same time period. In the event an interpreter works in one federal district in the morning and in another federal district or for a CJA attorney in the afternoon, the second half of the day must be billed at the second half-day rate, not the first half. If two half-days are worked on the same day in different districts, the total amount of the vouchers submitted should add up to one complete day.

A second document referenced in the full contract is the Standards for Performance and Professional Responsibility for Contract Court Interpreters in the Federal Courts. You do not need to sign this, but may download it for your own reference. By signing the contract, you are agreeing to abide by these standards.

All contract interpreters working with the SDNY will need to sign and submit the updated contract which will remain valid until October 1, 2014, the start of the new fiscal year. You may submit the contract by mail or in person. Please date it on the day you have signed.

Thank you for your cooperation in submitting the required paperwork before or on the day of your next assignment.

Contract Interpreter Rates

Please note the contract interpreter rates, effective 01-February-2010.

I need a court interpreter

For out-of-court Spanish interpreting services, please see our roster of federally certified interpreters and contact one of the interpreters listed there. To arrange for an interpreter for criminal matters in our District Court, please see our instructions for requesting court interpreting services.

I am a Spanish interpreter looking for federal court work

You will need to pass the federal certification examination. If you already have federal court certification and you are in the New York area, please contact us.

I am an other-than-Spanish interpreter looking for federal court work

Please mail a hard-copy résumé and cover sheet to our office. We will keep it on file and contact you if there is a need for interpreters in your language.

For other questions please see our FAQ file.

Web Site Credits

Most of the documents on this site were written by Nancy Festinger; some were authored by or with assistance from David Mintz. Design, construction, maintenance, server-side programming by David Mintz.

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Last updated 16-Jan-2015 1:02 pm

Interpreters Office   |   USDC-SDNY