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Texas Civil Rights Project: Language Access Program for DV Survivors

Friday, December 11, 2009

Click Here for the Language Access Report Form,

* Texas Civil Rights Project is seeking stories from domestic violence survivors who did not have equal access to courts because they do not speak fluent English.
* Though courts consistently provide interpreters for defendants with limited English proficiency (LEP) in criminal cases, they do not always appoint needed interpreters in domestic violence cases.
* Many LEP petitioners have been denied interpreters in essential matters such as hearings involving domestic violence, protective orders, divorces, and custody. We want to change that.
* Courts also frequently force LEP petitioners to use a family member or friend rather than a court certified interpreter. This can lead to competency problems, conflicts of interest, and privacy issues.
* Even when courts inform LEP petitioners of their right to an interpreter, they often refuse to pay for the interpreter. The U.S. Department of Justice has called this is an “impermissible surcharge on litigants.”
* TCRP is looking for clients who want to challenge the treatment of people with LEP in Texas courts. In addition to Spanish speakers, we would like to hear from speakers of other languages, such as Vietnamese, Chinese, and Korean.
* If you know of anyone who has been harmed by her inability to receive adequate interpreter services in a court proceeding, please click here to fill out a secure form, and we will contact you.

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