Justice Dept. Pushes States On Translators Issue

The U.S. Justice Department is pushing states to ramp up access to language translators, but local court officials say that’s going to be difficult because of funding issues, according to the Tampa Tribune newspaper. The paper reported that the J.D. put states on notice in 2010 but there’s been little improvement.
“It’s a delicate issue,” Gregory J. Youchock, chief of court services for Florida, told the Trib. “It’s an evolving issue. It is a budgetary issue. In order to expand (court translations), we’ll need more funding.”
Florida funds translators for all criminal courts and for civil court proceedings in which the state has determined a “fundamental interest” is at stake, such as domestic violence hearings or when parental rights could be terminated. But in many other civil proceedings, including divorce and landlord-tenant hearings, the parties are responsible for providing their own translators. With certified translators costing upward of $75 an hour, litigants often bring relatives or friends to translate, officials say.

You can read the Tribune story here: Courts told to break down language barriers