- Legal Basis and Purpose This document serves as the plan for the Pima County Consolidated Justice Court to provide services to limited English proficient (LEP) individuals in compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.s.c. 2000d et seq.; 45 C.F.R. § 80.1 et seq.; and 28 C.F.R. § 42.10142.112). The purpose of this plan is to provide a framework for the provision of timely and reasonable language assistance to LEP persons who come in contact with the Pima County Consolidated Justice Court.
- Needs Assessment
- Statewide The State of Arizona provides court services to a wide range of people, including those who speak limited or no English. According to April 2010 Census report data, the most frequently used languages for interpreters in Arizona courts were (in descending order of frequency):
- Pima County Consolidated Justice Court The Pima County Consolidated Justice Court will make every effort to provide services to all LEP persons. The following list reflects the foreign languages that are most frequently used in this court's geographic area.
- Language Assistance Resources
- Interpreters Used in the Courtroom
- Providing Interpreters in the Courtroom In the Pima County Consolidated Justice Court, interpreters will be provided at no cost to court customers who need such assistance for litigants, witnesses and victims in criminal, civil and domestic violence hearings.
- Determining the Need for an Interpreter in the Courtroom There are various ways that the Pima County Consolidated Justice Court will determine whether a LEP court customer needs an interpreter for a court hearing. First, through sign age displayed throughout the court building indicating interpreter services are available, the LEP person may request an interpreter. This signage will be displayed near the information counter and public areas of the courthouse.
- Court Interpreter Registry and Listserv The Arizona Supreme Court, Administrative Office of the Courts (AOe) maintains a statewide roster of individuals who have interpreting experience and have expressed interest in working in the courts. This roster is available to court staff at http://www.interpreters.courts.az.gov. The court maintains a list of qualified interpreters and works collaboratively with the other courts in Pima County to identify interpreters. Additionally, AOC created a statewide listserv to allow courts to communicate via email on court interpreter-related matters. The listserv is an excellent resource to locate referrals for specific language needs.
- Language Services Outside the Courtroom The Pima County Consolidated Justice Court will take reasonable steps to ensure that LEP individuals have meaningful access to services outside the courtroom. This is perhaps the most challenging situation facing court staff, because in most situations they are charged with assisting LEP individuals without an interpreter present. LEP individuals may come in contact with court personnel via the telephone, the public counter or passing through security.
This plan was developed to ensure equal access to court services for persons with limited English proficiency and persons who are deaf or hard of hearing. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) rather than Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, and therefore will not be addressed in this plan.
It is the responsibility of the private attorney, Public Defender or County Attorney to provide qualified interpretation and translation services for witness interviews, pre-trial transcriptions and translations and attorney/client communications during non court events.
Second, court personnel and judges may determine that an interpreter is appropriate for a court hearing. When it appears an individual has difficulty communicating, court personnel will err on the side of providing an interpreter to ensure full access to the courts.
Third, the case management system utilized by the Court has the capability of tracking interpreter needs through case records. If court personnel are aware that an interpreter is needed, the case can be flagged for all future court events.
Finally, outside agencies such as probation, law enforcement, or attorneys may notify the court about an LEP individual's need for an interpreter for an upcoming court hearing.
One of the most common points of service outside the courtroom is the court's public information counter. The court periodically calls on bilingual staff from elsewhere in the court to assist at the public counter.
To facilitate communication between LEP individuals and court staff, the Pima County Consolidated Justice Court uses the following resources to the degree that resources are available:
- Staff court interpreters and independent per diem interpreters
- Bilingual employees
- JlI Speak" cards, to identify the individual's primary language (Attached)
- Multilingual signage throughout courthouse locations in Spanish and English
- Telephonic interpreter services through Languageline
- An interactive voice response (IVR) telephone system with key instructions and court services provided in Spanish and English
- Public Website with key information translated into Spanish
- Cards for front counter staff that state JlI do not speak Spanish, someone who does will help you in a moment"
The Court has translated the following documents into other languages:
- Payment contracts
- Emergency eviction resource list for tenants
- Uniform conditions of supervised probation
Interpreters at court hearings are expected to provide sight translations of court documents and correspondence associated with the case.
- Recruitment of Bilingual Staff for Language Access The Pima County Consolidated Justice Court is an equal opportunity employer and recruits and hires bilingual staff to serve its LEP constituents. Primary examples include but are not limited to:
- Court interpreter serves as permanent employee of the court;
- Created a library of resources for court and per diem interpreters;
- Bilingual staff serves at public counters and to answer telephone calls; and
- Other bilingual staff available to assist with contacts from LEP individuals, as needed.
- Diversity Training;
- Cultural competency training;
- LAP training;
- New employee orientation training; and,
- Judicial officer orientation on the use of court interpreters and language competency provided by the AOC.
- LAP Approval and Notification The Pima County Consolidated Justice Court's LAP is subject to approval by the presiding judge and court administrator. Upon approval, a copy will be forwarded to the Superior Court Presiding Judge and to the AOC Court Services Division. Any revisions to the plan will be submitted to the presiding judge and court administrator for approval, and then forwarded to the AOe. Copies of Pima County Consolidated Justice Court's LAP will be provided to the public on request. In addition, the court may choose to post this plan on its public Web site.
- Annual Evaluation of the LAP The Pima County Consolidated Justice Court will routinely assess whether changes to the LAP are needed. The plan may be changed or updated at any time but reviewed not less frequently than once a year.
Each year the court's Court Operations Manager will review the effectiveness of the court's LAP and update it as necessary. The evaluation will include identification of any problem areas and development of corrective action strategies. Elements of the evaluation will include:
- Number of LEP persons requesting court interpreters and language assistance;
- Assessment of current language needs to determine if additional services or translated materials should be provided;
- Assessment of whether court staff adequately understand LEP policies and procedures and how to carry them out;
- Review of feedback from court employee training sessions; and,
- Customer satisfaction feedback.
Pima County Consolidated Justice Court
115 N Church Ave
Tucson AZ 85701
Court Services Division
Administrative Office of the Courts
1501 W. Washington Street, Suite 410
Phoenix, AZ 85007
(602) 452-3965, email@example.com
Court Administrator: Lisa Royal Date: November 28, 2012 * AOC Language Identification Cards: