California Court Interpreters – How To Find

In California, the most diverse state in the country:

  • Over 200 languages are spoken.
  • 44% of households speak a language other than English.
  • Nearly 7 million speak English “less than very well.”
  • 19% of Californians cannot access the court system without language help.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau (2015)

Court interpreters

The California court system is aware of the diversity that exists within our state and is taking steps to provide services to all.  The California Judicial Council has a web page that allows you to search for a language interpreter who is in good standing with the court systems.

The search function available on the site allows you to search by language (including American Sign Language) and county.  The complete list of languages falls into two categories – certified and registered.

The results list provides name and contact information for the professional.

Use the Judicial Council Master List to search for court certified, registered and enrolled interpreters who are in good standing with the Judicial Council.  Interpreters included on the Master List have passed the required exams and officially applied with the Judicial Council.  For more information about the certification/registration process refer to California Government Code Sections 68561- 68562.

Written documents

Government Code §27293 permits California county clerks to certify documents translated into English only if the document has been translated by American Translators Association certified translators, California Certified Court Interpreters, or California Registered Interpreters.  California Certified Court or Registered Interpreters are authorized in a judicial proceeding to interpret orally the verbal content of documents, but the Judicial Council does not otherwise test or certify an interpreter’s written translation skills.

Complete information can be found on the California Judicial Council’s website at


Counter To Courtroom – Court Procedures Outlined – Resources From The Judicial Council Of California

Counter to Courtroom

Trying to familiarize yourself with procedures used by the California Superior courts?  The Judicial Council of California has a selection of materials used for court staff training available on their web site.  The documents cover, in separate titles, procedures relating to case matters for civil, criminal, probate, traffic, family and juvenile proceedings.

The titles, identifiable by a subtitle – Counter to Courtroom, are selections from the Council’s Court Clerk Training Institute reference materials.  These items are close to being textbooks for the procedures for the California courts – giving an insider’s view to forms and procedures, even going beyond the detailed information that can be found in Nolo titles or a title, such as, Litigation by the Numbers.

The information is practical, not discussing legal theories, but the procedural steps that are required at different points of California court litigation.  The information is provided in summary outline form.  California Code and Rules of Court citations are provided for reference.

The materials also include:

  • flowcharts of court procedures
  • a glossary of legal terms used in court procedures
  • discussion and examples of Judicial Council forms
  • checklists for use by court staffers
  • charts summarizing types of filings, example – motions and their purposes – “Motions” in Civil Procedures: Counter to Courtroom, page 32traffic-infractions-flowchart-clerk-training-institute

Alameda County Law Library has added print versions to the collection.  The volumes are currently on the New Titles cart.

You can also find PDF versions using the URLS listed below next to the title.

The Court Clerk Training Institute

Remember that individual courts may have adopted their own local procedures.  Check with the clerks of the court for confirmation.


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Alameda County Superior Court – Local Rules – January 2017

Here is a pdf version of the Alameda County Superior Court Local Rules, effective January 2017.


On every East Bay litigator’s Christmas wish list.


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Briefs For Appeals Pending In California Courts – Researching Public Employee Pension Cases

Last week, the California Supreme Court issued a grant-and-hold-order in the pension case of Marin Association of Public Employees v. Marin County Employees’ Retirement Association (S237460).  The court has decided to wait for a decision in the appeal of an Alameda County-centric case – a different pension case — Alameda County Deputy Sheriff’s Association v. Alameda County Employees’ Retirement Association (A141913) or “pending further order of the court.”

Six of the briefs for the Alameda County case are available for reading and downloading at Alameda County Law Library on our public computers through our access to the California Public Law Library Briefs Service.  Four of the documents filed in the Marin Association case are also available on the database.  Visit the Reference Desk in Oakland or Hayward for help with accessing the briefs.  ACLL is one of the select California county law libraries having access to this resource.

There is a delay in the upload of the text of California appellate briefs to the free database.  You can call the Oakland Reference Desk at 510-208-4832 to check on availability before making a trip to the library.

Grant-and-hold order

An information discussion of the procedural aspects of the not frequently used grant-and-hold order can be found on the At the Lectern blog in a post – “Supreme Court Case on Hold for Court of Appeal Decision in Another Case.”

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Warriors’ Arena Litigation – Mission Bay Alliance v. Hawgood – Petition For Writ of Mandate – Alameda County Superior Court

Mission Bay Arena Lawsuit

A suit was filed on December 17, 2015 in Alameda County Superior Court concerning the proposed San Francisco arena complex for the professional basketball team, Golden State Warriors, currently an East BayFeatured Image -- 2901 team, as well as, the NBA champions.

You can view, using the following link, a copy of the Petition for Writ of Mandate filed in Mission Bay Alliance, Jennifer Wade, and Bruce Spaulding v. Sam Hawgood, in his capacity as Chancellor of the University of California, San Francisco, Super Ct. Alameda County, Dec. 17, 2015,  No. RG15797095. Mission_Bay_Alliance_writofmandate_121715_acsuperior_warriors_cn_rg15797095

Alameda County Superior Court – Changes To Local Rules And Forms – January 1, 2016

Changes to the Local Rules of the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda – January 1, 2016 rcd_courthouse_OMuseumside

The Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, has updated its local rules.

The updates, effective January 1, 2016, will be available on the Alameda County Superior Court’s website by January 1, 2016.  (If you peek and use this link before January 1, 2016, you will see the “old” current rules on the court’s web page.)

Until the new year, you can use this PDF to see updated rules and forms.  Alameda Local Rules Effective Jan. 1, 2016

Here is a separate PDF that provides copies of all the Alameda County Superior Court local forms that will be in use as of January 1, 2016.



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Berkeley Balcony Collapse – Complaints Filed in Alameda County Superior Court – Culligan v. Black Rock, Inc

domainweb_headerComplaints were filed in Alameda County Superior Court this week to initiate negligence actions involving the recent deadly Berkeley, California balcony collapse.

A news article from the Bay Area News Group about the litigation can be read here.

For anyone interested in the causes of actions surrounding this incident, one of the complaints related to the disaster, Culligan v. Blackrock, Inc., RG1593019, can be read here – culliganvblackrock_acsup_complaint_rg1593019

The Alameda County Superior Court on-line public court records are kept behind a paywall.  But for the first week, new filings can be viewed without cost on the DomainWeb database.  A listing of documents with links can be can be viewed under the “Public Documents” link on the webpage.


Searches for information by case numbers are always available at no cost on the system.  Reading full text of the filings does require an on-line account and payment.

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