Amount DWI case processing sped up after Guam’s courts hired a full-time Chuukese interpreter: From 2 years to 90 days

According to the Pacific Daily News, driving while intoxicated cases used to take between 2 and 2 ½ years for Guam’s courts to process.  After the court hired Merly Karsom as a full time Chuukese interpreter, the average time from beginning to end of a driving while intoxicated (DWI) case fell to 90 days.  A … Continue reading

Some State Courts Expand Court Interpreter Programs to Cover Civil Cases; Justice Department Investigates Others

In the past three years, Colorado, Rhode Island and Utah have begun making interpreters available to limited English proficient (LEP) court users in all types of civil cases. The Justice Department has found the North Carolina judiciary in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act for refusing interpreters to LEP court users in … Continue reading

Justice Department’s Civil Rights Case Moves Forward Against Sheriff Arpaio With Landmark Victory in Federal District Court

Yesterday, the Justice Department’s groundbreaking civil rights work received a boost when a federal district court allowed it to proceed with its civil rights case against the Maricopa County, Arizona sheriff, Joe Arpaio.  The Justice Department’s suit alleges that the Sheriff is harming the Latino community in a dozen mean-spirited and unlawful ways, including:  race-based stops, … Continue reading

California Watch Report Reveals DOJ Is Investigating Interpreter Denials in California Courts, Quotes Center’s Deputy Director

This month, the Department of Justice will visit California’s courts to investigate their failure to provide interpreters in many civil matters.  According to a December 6 California Watch article, the Department is following up on a 2010 complaint filed by the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, alleging that the failure to provide interpreters violates … Continue reading

Center Deputy Director Laura Abel to Speak on Language Access in the NY Courts at Long Island Language Advocates Coalition Conference

On November 9, 2012, the Long Island Language Advocates Coalition (LILAC) will hold its first conference, “Everyone’s Talking About It:  Raising Awareness About Language Access for a Better Long Island.”  At the conference, National Center for Access to Justice Deputy Director Laura Abel will participate in a panel on “Justice in the Courts.”  Laura will … Continue reading

NV Public Radio Covers Court Interpreter Shortage

Court interpreters make it possible for judges and parties to understand each other.  They are the key to courts doing justice in a community where many people have limited proficiency in English.  In a May 10 Nevada Public Radio story, Nevada Legal Services Attorney Heather Anderson-Fintak described how low-income people struggle to communicate in civil … Continue reading

What Can Be Done When the Courts Violate Civil Rights?

The Department of Justice has released startling evidence that language barriers are leading to serious injustices in courts in North Carolina.  In a March 8 letter, DOJ warned North Carolina that its ongoing failure to provide court interpreters in civil cases, and in some criminal cases, violates the federal Civil Rights Act, which bars courts … Continue reading

100 Days Promoting Access to Justice

On November 4, DOJ’s Senior Counsel for Access to Justice Karen Lash issued a challenge to advocates and academics gathered at the University of Colorado Law School:  report to me in 100 days about what you have done to advance access to the justice system.  Here is how the National Center for Access to Justice … Continue reading

ABA Puts the ALL in Equal Justice for All

Last week, the American Bar Association adopted a pathbreaking set of Standards for Language Access in Courts.  The Standards respond to a serious problem:  many court systems have little or no way to communicate with the growing number of Americans who have only limited proficiency in English.  As a result of communication gone awry, innocent … Continue reading

State Court Leaders Support ABA’s Language Access Standards

The two leading court organizations in the country have taken a big step towards opening our courts to people with limited proficiency in English.  This week, the Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators jointly released a resolution endorsing the American Bar Association’s draft Standards for Language Access in Courts.  This … Continue reading

  • DonateNow