The Superior Court is committed to providing Equal Access to Justice for all persons in Cowlitz County, regardless of their native tongue. Acknowledging that persons who speak a language other than English require special consideration to ensure meaningful access to the courts, the Superior Court for Cowlitz County obtains interpreters to assist non-English speakers and hearing impaired individuals with court matters.
Our entire website has a translation feature at the top of the left hand menu. (documents posted in Adobe Acrobat PDF format will not translate automatically and the function may not work behind certain firewalls).
Types of Assistance
Interpreters help parties during most hearings, trials, and other court events. They also interpret for parents and truant youth, and for dependency (child abuse and neglect) cases. In cases not directly involving court matters, and for non-case participants, you may be referred to the Ethnic Support Council (360-636-2791) who provides assistance to non-English speakers in various areas including legal matters.
Scheduling an Interpreter
Parties and other participants asking for an interpreter should make a request in writing two weeks (never less than 5 working days) to the Court Interpreter Coordinator. It may take longer to get a certified interpreter in cases of less commonly spoken languages or for American Sign Language (ASL). In some cases an interpreter may be scheduled to interpret by phone for short matters. Please review Cowlitz County Local Court Rule 11.
The information we need to schedule an interpreter:
- Name of the person who needs the interpreter
- That person’s telephone number
- Are you a party, witness, juror, or interested person (choose one)
- The nine-digit Superior Court Case Number (found at the top right of any court paperwork)
- The language needed
- The date and time the interpreter is needed
- The estimated length of the hearing
- Your attorney’s name and telephone number (if you have one)
You may submit the above information by mail to:
Attention: Interpreter Coordinator
Superior Court for Cowlitz County
Hall of Justice
312 SW First Avenue
Kelso, WA 98626
You may also send the above information by e-mail to: Court Interpreter Coordinator.
If you have not received confirmation we have received your request within 3 business days of your request, please contact Superior Court Administration directly at 360-577-3085.
The Ethnic Support Council may be able to assist you in completing the above information.
Services are free for clients with a public defender or who are indigent, and for ASL interpretation. In most cases interpreter services will be provided at no cost to you. If you need help in preparing a Request and Order for interpreter services. You also need to fill out a Declaration to request and interpreter. please contact the Ethnic Support Council directly if you need assistance with these forms.
In accordance with state law, we strive to provide court-certified interpreters in the following languages:
American Sign Language (ASL)
The Court will carefully screen interpreters in all other languages to assure a qualified interpreter, or when no court-certified interpreter is available.