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Remote Interpreting

What is Remote Interpreting?

Remote interpreting is the use of technology, including ITV and telephone or conference phones, to provide spoken language or deaf and hard of hearing interpreter services from an onsite or offsite remote location.  

Example: BiAmp Demo 

For further information about  remote interpreting, including sound-enhancing Distance Court Interpretations (DCI) equipment for simultaneous interpreting, telephone conference interpreting and video remote interpreting:

Preference for Interpreters who Complete Basic Remote Interpreting Educational Programs

Courts will give preference to court interpreters with the remote interpreter designation when appointing court interpreters for remote assignments.

Spoken Language interpreters who successully complete the required training can be identified on the Statewide Roster of Court Interpreters with a telephone icon near their name.

American Sign Language interpreters who have successfully completed the required training for use of Video Remote Interpreting (VRI), can be identified on the Statewide Roster of Court Interpreters with the ITV icon near their name.

What is the process to be designated as a Remote Interpreter on the Minnesota Court Interpreter Roster?

Spoke Language Interpreters must complete two separate remote interpreting educational programs available to interpreters online.  Interpreters who successfully complete these two programs will be designated as an interpreter who has “completed basic remote interpreting education programs” on the public website Court Interpreter Roster  

See: Basic Remote Interpreting Education Programs

American Sign Language Interpreters must attend an in-person VRI training session offered through the Court Interpreter Program office.

What is the court’s process for appointing Remote Interpreters?

See: State Court Administrator Policy 513 (b) Use of Remote Interpreter Services

Preference for Certified Interpreters:

The same Rule 8.02 provisions of the General Rules of Practice for District Courts apply to remote interpreters as apply to in-court interpreters. Therefore, courts must make diligent efforts to appoint a certified interpreter; if none are available, the court must appoint an interpreter on the Court Interpreter Roster; and if none is available for the Roster, the court may appoint an otherwise qualified interpreter.

Courts will appoint Remote Interpreters in the following order:

  1. Staff interpreters, where available
  2. Certified interpreters with remote interpreting designation
  3. Certified interpreters
  4. Rostered interpreters with remote interpreting designation
  5. Rostered interpreters
  6. Non-rostered interpreters  

What type of equipment is needed for spoke language remote interpreting? 

For Interpreters:

Interpreters need a landline touchtone telephone in good working order to interpret from a remote location.  Remote interpreting can occur from any location with a land-line telephone which is free of bystanders, distraction and background noise.   

Use of cell phones for remote interpreting assignments is highly discouraged because connections are not always secure and cell phone sound quality can vary.  Cell phones should be used only as a last resort - when no land lines are available. 

For Courts:

The remote equipment installed in courtrooms across the state varies considerably; from use of a conference phone in the courtroom; to audio enhanced sound systems such as BiAmp DCI; to combined audio enhanced sound and video (ITV) systems.   

Courtrooms must be adequately equipped to ensure the interpreter, judge, attorney(s) and parties have no impediments to hearing what is said or communicated throughout the proceeding.  

When is it appropriate to appoint a Remote Interpreter for a court hearing? 

 The court has discretion to use remote interpreters for the following hearing situations:

  • In urgent, emergent or unexpected situations where no in-person staff or freelance interpreter is available;
  • For routine matters when it is more fiscally responsible to use a remote interpreter than an in- person interpreter and the quality of the interpretation will not be unduly compromised; and
  • When the person in need of an interpreter speaks a rare language and there are no in-person interpreters reasonably available.

What are the pay rates for Remote Interpreters?

On-Site Interpreter Rates: 

On-site interpreting is when an interpreter travels to the courthouse or other designated location.  Onsite interpreting is paid in the same manner as in-person court interpreting, including the two-hour minimum payment, with 15 minute increments thereafter.  Cancellation provisions for in-person court interpreting also apply. 

Off-Site Interpreter Rates: 

Off-site interpreting is when an interpreter decides the location from where to provide interpreting services.  Off-site interpreting is paid by the minute at the following rates:

  • Certified:                      $ 2.25 per minute
  • Rostered:                     $ 2.00 per minute
  • Non-Rostered:             $ 1.75 per minute  

A flat fee of $50.00 is due to the interpreter if the court fails to give at least 24 hours advance notice that a hearing has been cancelled.