Riverside, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/05/2014 -- Non-English speaking litigants in criminal courts have long had the right to translators in their hearings and trials. But that has not been the case in civil court. These litigants have had to bring or hire their own translators.
"I have often seen family law litigants bring their children to translate for them," says a Riverside Attorney Julian Fox. "That is definitely not a good thing because it puts the kids in the middle of the lawsuit when custody is one of the issues being determined."
But a new federal probe is forcing California courts to rethink their use of translators. The U.S. Justice Department has concluded that the lack of translators in civil court violates the Civil Rights Act. That means that now, free language services have to be available in all courts, not just in the Criminal ones.
The state's courts have fallen on hard budgetary times lately and have had to close courts and trim staff. Still, the Justice Department found that there was an $8 million surplus in the budget funding translators that could be spent on the civil courts.
The probe arose out of a complaint filed by the Legal Aid Society of Los Angeles over two cases involving Korean speakers. One had been sexually assaulted and was filing a restraining order against her attacker and could not get services in her language. The other had filed for custody and support of her child and had nowhere to turn within the court system for language support.
"The number of non-English speaking litigants is enormous," Fox says, "and we need to make the courts accessible for them."
For more information about The Law Offices of Julian Fox go to www.FoxFamilyLaw.com.
About The Law Office of Julian Fox
The Law Office of Julian Fox, headed by Attorney Julian Fox is a family law firm devoted to providing outstanding divorce, child custody, and child support services to the people of Riverside, CA and the Inland Empire.
Stacy Fox, firstname.lastname@example.org