Accessibility and Interpreters

Access for Persons with Disabilities

A goal for the Maine Judicial Branch is to ensure that all citizens are provided access to the court system. In addition, the Judicial Branch does not condone discrimination in any form against persons with disabilities. For these reasons, the Judicial Branch has developed a Policy on Access for People with Disabilities. There is a procedure to be followed for providing reasonable accommodations to ensure access, as well as a grievance procedure for those persons who believe that reasonable accommodations have not been provided.

Interpreters for People with Limited English Proficiency

If you need a interpreter, please complete the Interpreter Request Form or contact the Clerk of Court of where the matter is being held. Contact information can be found at the links below:

Maine’s State Courts will provide all LEP individuals who are parties or witnesses in any type of court case, or parents of minors involved in juvenile actions, with an interpreter in all court proceedings, at the State’s expense. “All court proceedings” includes case management conferences, CADRES and judicially-assisted mediations, dispositional conferences, motion hearings, arraignments, commitment hearings, competency hearings, jury selection, trials, sentencing, appellate arguments, grand jury proceedings, and any other court events or proceedings authorized by the presiding judge or justice. (Administrative Order JB-06-3)

Many persons who come before the courts may be restricted in their ability to fully participate in the proceedings due to limited English proficiency, a speech impairment, hearing loss and/or deafness. It is essential that any resulting communication barrier be removed, as far as possible, so that these persons are placed in the same positions as similarly situated persons for whom there is no such barrier.

Interpreters are highly skilled professionals who fulfill an essential role in the administration of justice. As officers of the court, interpreters help assure that such persons may enjoy equal access to justice and that court proceedings and court support services function efficiently and effectively. Interpreters may be privately retained or paid through public funds.

For more information on becoming a court interpreter, see the Court Interpreters page.