Interpreter Billing - Motion Requirements and 2 Hour/1 Hour Minimum

Article author
Denise Torraco
  • Updated


The Trial Court Office of Court Interpreter Services is solely responsible for providing all IN-COURT foreign language interpreter services and those services are not payable by CPCS. CPCS only pays for interpreter OUT-OF-COURT services which have been requested by counsel and allowed by motion.

Motion for Funds Requirements

If the total interpreter services billed for the case is $500 or less no motion is required. However if the total interpreter services payable on the case exceeds $500, an allowed motion filed by counsel is required before payment exceeding $500 will be made.

Attorneys should file a motion seeking the amount of funds needed for the case including the amounts paid below the $500 threshold.

For example, if the interpreter/translator has used $250 to date and it is estimated that s/he will need an additional $500 worth of services, the attorney must motion for $750.00. If the attorney motions for only $500, CPCS will be limited to paying the remaining balance of $250.00 over the $250.00 paid prior to the allowance of the motion.

Foreign language interpreter services are paid at the rate of $38 per hour for non‐certified interpreters and $57 per hour for certified interpreters. A “certified interpreter” is defined as an interpreter certified by the Office of Court Interpreter Services or one who has passed the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts Federal Certification Examination. A “sign language interpreter” must be determined as such by the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Requests for compensation of services must be submitted through Vbill.

2 Hour/1 Hour Minimum

In Person Interpretation (excludes video conference) - CPCS will compensate interpreters a minimum of two hours per location for which in person services are required. For example, if an interpreter is needed to interview a client at his residence, and the interpreter’s combined travel time and interview time are only one hour, the interpreter will be compensated for a total of two hours of service.

If the interpreter’s travel time is one hour and the interview time is one hour, the interpreter will be compensated for one hour of travel and one hour of service, totaling two hours. If the interpreter’s combined travel and interview time is three hours, the interpreter will be compensated for a combined total of three hours of service.

If an interpreter provides services to more than one client at one location totaling less than two hours, the interpreter will be compensated for two hours of service.

Phone Interpretation - CPCS will compensate interpreters a minimum of one hour for translation services provided by telephone.

Zoom calls are considered 'phone interpretation' and subject to the 1 hour minimum.

Was this article helpful?

2 out of 2 found this helpful

Have more questions? Submit a request



Article is closed for comments.