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 Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. The article explains, “The Department of Justice has ‘made it very clear’ that the Civil Rights Act requires state courts that receive federal funds to provide interpreters in all types of cases, said Laura Abel, deputy director of the National Center for Access to Justice at Cardozo Law School in New York. ‘State courts around the country have been moving toward expanding court interpreter services to cover all civil cases, and California just hasn’t moved that way,’ she said.”
For more information on language access in the courts, click here.