Rauch Companies, L.L.C.
P.O. Box 783
Millburn, NJ 07041

Tel 973-921-0800
Fax 973-921-0800
Email: info@rauchcom.com



This report was written and submitted to the Idho Supreme Court by James Comstock, Idaho State Certified Interpreter. Telephone (208) 390-0256.

Thank you James for your efforts in proving the viability of remote simultaneous interpreting for the Idaho Supreme Court. You proved that a justice system can economically distribute skilled interpreting resources throughout their jurisdiction.

We thank the Idaho Supreme Court for funding this Equal Access Grant and for not objecting to the display of this information on our Website.

Italics added by Rauch Companies for clarification.

Telephonic Interpreting Access

Grant Application Report

Since installation one year ago (September 1999), the telephonic interpreting systems installed in Teton, Fremont, Butte, and Power counties have provided access to interpretation for non-English speaking litigants in a plethora of hearings and conferences. Eight months ago, systems were installed in Madison and Jefferson counties as well. Reaction to the systems has been positive from judges, clerks, litigants, and attorneys. A certified interpreter has been provided for hearings where because of distance and limited availability, an interpreter, (certified or qualified), would have been difficult if not impossible to obtain in a timely manner, and without great expense.

Statement of Problem: Many counties with cases involving non-English speaking participants lack access to a certified or qualified Court Interpreter which is required by Administrative Rule 52. Because of this, non-English speakers’ access to, and participation in court proceedings is limited.

Objective: Provide counties needing Spanish/English court interpretation with access to a certified interpreter, using specialized telephonic equipment.

Objective Completed: Systems were installed in Teton, Fremont, Butte, and Power counties in late September 1999. A certified interpreter was provided with a Voxolom Interpreter Console, and trained in its use. Systems were installed in Jefferson and Madison counties in February of 2000.


Magistrate Court

District Court














Of note:

Fremont County’s system was inoperable for three months, due to courthouse remodeling. (The necessary phone lines for the system were removed temporarily). The system was placed back online in May, but was only used for a short time before court was moved to a new smaller courtroom to facilitate remodeling of the large courtroom. Currently, the county is awaiting the availability of Phase 4 Stereo to wire the smaller courtroom for telephonic interpretation.

Interpretation for Butte County has been done exclusively by telephone throughout this project. This has included one preliminary hearing, and various court appearances by defendants in District as well as in Magistrate court.

Teton County also has used the telephonic equipment almost exclusively as their means to access the services of an interpreter for non-English speaking litigants. Both District and Magistrate Courts have used telephonic interpreting.

Power County used this system extensively as a means of filling in when their interpreter is unavailable, and handled various civil hearings, as well as many juvenile matters over the telephone. This changed in July, when Power County lost their local interpreter. Since then, the Magistrate and District courts in Power County have relied heavily on the use of the telephonic equipment to provide interpreting to litigants. Average use has been around 3 to 4 hearings per week.

Madison County has used their system to allow their onsite interpreter to travel to other counties where telephonic interpreting equipment was not available, without leaving them without an interpreter. This has resulted in more efficient use of interpreter time, less rescheduling of hearings, and a cost saving for the county.

Jefferson County has been slow to accept telephonic interpretation as an acceptable means of providing interpreting services to the courts. The system has been used by the District Court in Jefferson County without any problems, but has only recently been used by the Magistrate Court for a few sentencing hearings, and for unscheduled arraignments.

Use Statistics Summary:

Power County and Madison County have shown a higher number of hearings using the telephonic equipment since installation. Power County has shown a dramatic increase since they lost their local interpreter in July.

Percentage wise, Butte and Teton Counties have shown the highest use, using their equipment for nearly 100% of their interpreted hearings. Since July, Power County has used the equipment for a high percentage of their hearings.


Cost Savings:

Based on the rate charged by the certified interpreter providing service by telephone, below is a summary by county of the money saved by using telephonic equipment. The rate charged by the interpreter for on site interpretation is $25 per hour, two hour minimum, (four hour minimum for Butte and Power counties because of distance), plus mileage for travel to and from the location at the rate of $.32/per mile. For telephonic interpreting, counties are charged $25 for up to 30 minutes of interpreting, and $1 per minute thereafter. Hearings lasting more than 30 minutes are generally done with an onsite interpreter.




Savings on Services

Savings on Mileage
















Total dollars spent by counties on telephonic interpreting by a certified interpreter:


Total cost for the same services, provided on site by a certified interpreter:


Total dollars saved by telephonic interpreting equipment:



Total hearings receiving access to a certified interpreter using telephonic equipment:



Report Summary:

The use of the telephonic interpreting equipment by the four pilot counties, and the two additional counties has provided interpretation by a certified interpreter in many cases where for logistical and/or economic reasons a certified interpreter would more than likely not have been used. This equipment has allowed access by non-English speaking litigants to the judicial system, and to a certified interpreter. This has been facilitated without the delay normally associated with obtaining a certified interpreter in the more rural counties. Services have been provided without the added travel expenses normally incurred in brining in a certified interpreter from great distance. In short, the Telephonic Interpreting Access project has increased access of non-English speaking litigants to the judicial system, through a Certified Court Interpreter. It is anticipated that access through these systems will continue as long as the services are needed by the counties.

Several additional counties, (including Clark, Custer, and Valley), have expressed great interest in obtaining this equipment, in order to be able to access a certified interpreter by telephone. Though these counties presently lack the funds to purchase the equipment themselves, we are hopeful that funds for the addition of these counties to the Telephonic Interpreting Access Project might be acquired from some other source.