Court Interpreter Communications Archive

Court Interpreter Communication Archive Detail
Minnesota Court Interpreter Program Updates

Posted: Monday, December 6, 2021

This message is being sent to all court interpreters on the state roster, those who work regularly for the district courts and interpreter agencies, or those who are active on the existing Minnesota Judicial Branch interpreter database.

Please take a few minutes to review the following information -

  • Based on the continued concerns about Covid-19 and its variants, face coverings continue to be required in court facilities.

Zoom Hearings

Reminder:  When interpreting remotely, it is best if you can use a laptop, tablet or desktop computer and be a in a quiet, private location. Please avoid joining a Zoom hearing from your car. And please enable your video when working on a Zoom hearing.

Remember to edit your name on the Zoom screen so you are easily identified as the interpreter. (see sample instructions below)


Team Interpreting

When you are assigned to a hearing, in person or remote, and are teaming with another interpreter, please stay on the zoom call or in the courtroom the entire time.  I have heard recently that some interpreters are “stepping away” to take care of other business while their teammate interprets.  At the bottom of this update I have attached a reminder about team interpreting and how important it is to work together the entire time.  If you have any questions about team interpreting, please contact me directly.

Automatic Deposit

If you have signed up for automatic payment deposit and were a customer of TCF back, you know it has changed to Huntington Bank.  Because of the change, your bank routing number and possibly your account number has changed.  You may need to contact the Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) office as soon as possible to make the needed changes with MMB so your automatic deposits are going to the correct account.  Contact information can be found at the MMB Swift Vendor Resources webpage. If you do not use automatic deposit, there is nothing you need to do at this time.

Payment Policy Changes

As mentioned in an email you received a couple weeks ago, the Interpreter Payment Policy is being reviewed and changes should be announced in early 2022.  Thank you for your patience. 

Signing in & out of Hearings 

If you have any trouble with this task in IRMA, please review this Quick Reference Guide and let us know if you still need help.  

Travel Time

If you complete an on-site work assignment that is 35 miles or more each way from your home, you can be paid for travel time.  (See the current payment policy for details) With winter here, please remember that IRMA pre calculates how long it should take you to travel. If you experience extreme weather-related traffic problems, you must let the Scheduler know within 24 hours of the start of the assignment that travel took you longer than expected and why.  Use the envelope icon at the top right of the IRMA work request page to send an email to the scheduler.   

Thank you very much for your continued work for the District Courts and let us know if you have questions or concerns by contacting us.

Take care,


Team Interpreting Basics

Teammates collaborate, support and monitor each other to achieve a faithful and accurate interpretation.

  • Principles:
  • 2 interpreters, 1 interpretation
  • Your partner’s work is your work
  • Before Court, Discuss:
  • What you know and can anticipate about the case
  • How and when to switch roles
  • How to signal each other to seek or provide help; ex. whisper, write on pad, etc.
  • How to notify each other of errors
  • How to inform the court of corrections
  • How to ensure linguistic continuity within the team
  • During Court:
  • Team members work in close physical proximity and alternate between active and support roles
  • The support interpreter monitors, assists, and brings substantive errors to the active interpreter’s attention
  • Team members use neutral language, e.g., “The source language was X, the interpretation was Y.”  (NOT, “You are wrong.”)
  • The support interpreter must be ready at a moments notice to perform a secondary function; e.g. continuing the interpretation when the active interpreter addresses the court 
  • Team members address allegations of errors as a team
  • After Court, Debrief:
  • What surprised you?
  • What was successful?
  • What was not successful?
  • What might the team do differently next time?

From NAJIT position paper, Team Interpreting in the Courtroom.