Interpreter Services

Your Rights


You have a right to an interpreter at no cost to you. If you need an interpreter in order to assist you in court, one will be provided for you at no expense.

For criminal cases the court will provide an interpreter to assist you in the process of your case. The Cottonwood Municipal has a Spanish interpreter available and has access to other language interpreters. If your case is civil in nature you will need to provide your own interpreter at your own expense.

If you need an interpreter you should contact the court as soon as possible to have the arrangements made, especially if your need is for other than Spanish.


Request an Interpreter


The Court is required to provide reasonable accommodations for all litigants and required parties. Please note that parties in a criminal case may not use their own friends and family as court interpreters; an official court interpreter must be appointed by the Court.

If you need an interpreter for any non-English language, please call 928-634-7537 or fax or mail your request to The Cottonwood Municipal Court.

Appear As Directed


Unless you receive a written continuance from the Court before your scheduled court date, you should assume that the accommodation can be met and you must appear as directed. You may also appear in person on your scheduled date and have an English-speaking friend or family member ask the judge to reset the case after an interpreter has been appointed.


Examples of the Work Performed (Illustrative Only)


  • Interprets simultaneously and consecutively from Spanish to English and English to Spanish for the Municipal, Justice and Superior courts in the Cottonwood area during interviews, hearings and court proceedings, and gives oral translations during interviews, hearings and court proceedings of documents such as court petitions, reports, notices and agreements.
  • Translates from Spanish to English and English to Spanish written materials such as court orders, notices, petitions, legal documents, trial documents and agreements.
  • Coordinates interpreting services in Spanish and other languages for all the courts in the Cottonwood area including Superior, Justice and Municipal Courts by maintaining a current list of available interpreters for various languages and investigate availability of interpreters as the need arises in all the courts in the Cottonwood area.
  • Responsible for maintaining on-call and weekend coverage for Spanish interpretation, providing appropriate individuals to cover all needed court events or by providing coverage themselves and must maintain a working ability to perform Spanish and English interpretation in a legal environment both simultaneously and consecutively and sight translation.
  • Provide Spanish interpreting to customers of the court as needed and when available, in-court interpreting needs take priority.
  • Review and verify accuracy of other Spanish interpreters used by the courts.
  • Assists management to develop and maintain operational procedures, interpreter testing and code of conduct that will guide and assist interpreters in performing services in the courts.
  • Assists management in preparation of statistical reports regarding the use of interpreting services in the courts and analyzing future needs.
  • Assists in developing other interpreting services in the Municipal, Justice and Superior courts.
  • Performs related work as required.

Required Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities


  • Comprehensive knowledge of English and Spanish as it is written and spoken appropriately.
  • Ability to perform all modes of interpreting (simultaneous and consecutive) and sight translation.
  • Good working knowledge of court procedures, court rules and Arizona statutes and how they apply at the Superior Court, Justice Court and Municipal Court levels.
  • Excellent customer service skills.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to pass a written and oral interpreting examination.
  • Ability to provide highly responsible administrative and technical work performed independently with minimal supervision.
  • Ability to work effectively with judges, administrators and court staff.
  • Ability to organize complex, organization wide requirements into an orderly program of operations, and assemble and present program and project plans.
  • Ability to understand and interpret policies and procedures and the interpreters code of conduct as they relate to a particular assignment.
  • Regular attendance is an essential function of this position to ensure continuity.
  • Provides excellent customer service to both internal and external customers.

Required Experience & Training


  • Successful completion of college level course work with at least four courses at the 300 level or above that demonstrates a high degree of proficiency in English and Spanish; or two years of experience in the Arizona court system as a professional interpreter with experience interpreting in English and Spanish, or six months as a court interpreter trainee (candidates may be hired as a trainee, performing as a trainee during their first six months with the court).
  • Any combination of experience and training predicting the ability to successfully fulfill the required knowledge, skills and abilities. Note – Acceptable experience is professional conference or formal interpreting experience.

Additional Requirements


  • Ability to travel to courts and training sites within Arizona.
  • Ability to prepare written materials using a computer terminal and keyboard.