Directive #10-22 – NJ Judiciary Language Access Plan (Updated 2022) (Supersedes Directive #01-17)

Directive #10-22 – NJ Judiciary Language Access Plan (Updated 2022) (Supersedes Directive #01-17)

The Supreme Court has approved the attached Language Access Plan (Updated 2022). The updated LAP supersedes and replaces Directive #01-17 (as supplemented in 2020).

The Judiciary's Language Access Plan continues to be grounded in the basic tenets that: (1) anyone who is limited in their ability to speak and/or understand English or is Deaf or hard of hearing is entitled to the same access to, and meaningful participation in, the court process and services as people without language access needs; (2) only qualified interpreters may interpret; and (3) all costs for interpreting are to be borne by the Judiciary, except in very limited instances.

The Judiciary is committed to ensuring equal access to the courts by providing free and qualified language access services to all court users who are Limited English Proficient (LEP) or who are Deaf or hard of hearing. In furtherance of that organization-wide commitment, the Judiciary's Language Access Plan (LAP) provides a comprehensive resource of language access policies and standards as well as an action plan for advancing the Judiciary's language access services program. This evolving document also sets out best practices for continuous improvement of language access services in support of ensuring meaningful access for all court users.

Over the past several years, two forces have substantially affected language services in New Jersey: (1) starting in 2018, the Judiciary has conducted in-depth visitations to assess language services practices in court locations, both to reveal and remedy any potential gaps and to identify best practices for possible statewide expansion; and (2) the COVID-19 pandemic forced widespread use of virtual court proceedings and, in so doing, expedited the transition to video remote interpreting (VRI) as a standard practice.

In light of those influences, the Supreme Court has approved updates to the LAP as recommended by the LAP Advisory Committee, including the following revisions and enhancements:

  • Addition of a definition of "legally interested person," so as to clarify the scope of court users for whom interpreting services must be provided;
  • Amendments to Standard 1.2.14 (Assistance to Court Users in Completing Forms), to align with the policy regarding forms assistance provided by court staff as set out in Directive #09-21 (Judiciary Staff Authority to Assist Court Users in Completing and Submitting Judiciary Forms);
  • Revisions to Standard 1.8 (Use of Remote Interpreting), so as to formalize judicial discretion to authorize remote interpreting services for emergent and routine proceedings conducted in on-site, hybrid, and virtual formats, consistent with current and ongoing practices;
  • Updates to Standards 2.3 (Who May Interpret for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing), 2.5 (Use of Interpreters Who are Deaf (Certified Deaf Interpreters (CDI)), and 2.6 (Sign Language Video Remote Interpreting), to provide current guidance regarding the expanded use of video remote interpreting (VRI) services; and
  • Enhancements to Standard 4.4 (Translation of Evidentiary Submissions to the Court), so as to reference and incorporate a new Sample Certificate of Translation (Attachment 21 to the LAP).

The updates to the LAP are intended to further advance the Judiciary' s commitment to access for all court users by improving access for court users who are limited in their ability to speak or understand English or who are deaf or heard of hearing.

Thank you for your continuing efforts to maintain and advance the Judiciary's language access program and ensure equal access to all, including those who are limited English proficient and those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Questions or comments about Directive # 10-22 may directed to

Brenda Carrasquillo,
Manager, Language Services Section
at 609-815-2900 ext. 52371 or

Attachment: New Jersey Judiciary Language Access Plan (Updated 2022)

Document Date: Sept. 30, 2022

Publish Date: Oct. 13, 2022