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Court Interpreter Communications Archive

Court Interpreter Communication Archive Detail
Pandemic Response Update

Posted: Thursday, April 22, 2021

April 21, 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.
 
Greetings!  Please take a few minutes to review the important updates and messages below.

 

Pandemic Response Update

Minnesota District courts are continuing operations according to the Minnesota Supreme Court Order signed on March 22, 2021.  This means we will continue to conduct most hearings remotely with interpreters appearing remotely.  The exception will be criminal jury trials and a small number of other hearings.
 
Reminders for Court Interpreters Scheduled to Appear Remotely:
  • Most remote hearings in Minnesota District Courts are held using Zoom. Information on hearings using Zoom is posted on the MJB website, Remote Hearings Information page. Once on that page, click on Join a Court Hearing Using Zoom for general information and tips.  And click on For Court Interpreters interpreting in remote hearings for resources on simultaneous interpreting in Zoom. 
  • If you need urgent help when trying to connect to a hearing using Zoom, submit a Technical Support Request.
  • If you need additional help with simultaneous interpreting in Zoom, email the Court Interpreter Program to schedule a practice session.
  • Please pay special attention to the assignment offer details before you respond as interested in an assignment. If you cannot use a certain technology like Zoom and the offer says it will be held using Zoom, then do not click interested or add that information to your comments when you do click interested.
  • Once confirmed, you will find the information you need to join the specific remote hearing in the urgent comments for that work assignment in IRMA.
  • Please use the video function whenever possible and stay on camera at all times. When court is in session you must be on the call and visible until you are dismissed by the Judge. 
  • A Zoom hearing or hearing held using other remote technology is an official court proceeding so please avoid distractions and dress appropriately for court.
 
Reminders for Court Interpreters Scheduled to Appear In Person:
  • Allow for extra time to enter the courthouse and report to your assignment as there may be physical distancing requirements at check-in points and with elevators that can create delays.
  • Physical distancing is strongly encouraged.
  • You are required to wear a face covering at all times unless given permission from the presiding Judge during the proceeding.
  • In order to maintain physical distancing while interpreting, use your own interpreter wireless equipment or equipment provided by the court. If court staff does not give you the equipment, be sure and ask for it.
  • If the use of the equipment is not an option, maintain physical distancing from the LEP litigant and interpret in the consecutive mode loud enough for the record.
  • Safety is still our priority and local courts are taking safety precautions consistent with the Minnesota Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 
  • Check the MJB website COVID-19 pandemic response page for more detailed information.
 

General Reminders

  • If you are having trouble signing in or out of an assignment, please send an email to the scheduler or click on the envelope icon in the work request in IRMA to send them a written message.
  • Please use the regional scheduler email address so someone is sure to get your message right away.  Avoid phone calls please. 
  • Assignment details are generated in IRMA based on your roster qualifications and if the assignment will be remote or in person.  If you receive an offer and want to request a change in the offer or have anything to add to the offer, be sure and add that information before you click interested.  Schedulers cannot negotiate changes to an assignment once you have been granted the assignment in IRMA. 
 
Thank you so much for your continued work for the Minnesota District Courts and let us know if you have questions or concerns.
 
Sincerely,
Polly Ryan