Legal Interpreting

Last Updated; August 7, 2013

"An Act To Clarify the Law Regarding Interpreting Services for People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing" took effect on July 30, 2004. The law clarifies the responsibility for providing and paying for communication services (interpreters or CART) for a deaf person or hard-of-hearing person whenever a court or a public agency conducts a proceeding involving the "personal or property interests" of the deaf or hard-of-hearing person.

The law specifies that "any authority, board, bureau, commission, department or officer of State Government or of any county, municipality, school district or any other political or administrative subdivision" that conducts a proceeding involving a deaf or hard-of-hearing person is responsible to provide and pay for communications services (interpreters or CART) during the proceedings.

The Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS) will pay for Qualified Legal Interpreters for attorneys/advocates if needed to “assist the attorney or advocate in effectively representing deaf persons or hard-of-hearing persons”. The BRS does not pay for interpreters/CART for court appointed attorneys (the Courts’ responsibility) or for actual agency or court proceedings.

The Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, through its Division for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing & Late Deafened, has the responsibility for maintaining a list of Qualified Legal Interpreters in Maine and to provide this list to any agency or court who asks for it.

Legal Interpreting Resources

For the complete text of the new law and a more detailed explanation of various agencies' responsibilities for funding legal interpreting services, see:
An Act To Clarify the Law Regarding Interpreting Services for People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

For the most current directory of Qualified Legal Interpreters in Maine, see:
Qualified Legal Sign Language Interpreters

To download a copy of the Legal Interpreting Fund Invoice used to submit bills to the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, right click on the link below:

Legal Interpreting Invoice


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