- 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. § 42.101–42.112). 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. From a statewide perspective, the following languages were listed with the greatest number of speakers who spoke English less than “Very Well” in Arizona (according to the American Community Survey estimate report from the U.S. Census Bureau dated April 2012):
- Pima County Consolidated Justice Court The Pima County Consolidated Justice Court will make every effort to provide services to all LEP persons. In this court, Spanish is the most common language needed for interpreter services. Other than Spanish, 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 LEP court customers including witnesses, victims and parent or guardians.
- Determining the Need for an Interpreter in the Courtroom The Pima County Consolidated Justice Court may determine whether an LEP court customer needs an interpreter for a court hearing in various ways.
- AOC Interpretation Resources Court Interpreter Registry and Listserv
- Language Services Outside the Courtroom The Pima County Consolidated Justice Court (PCCJC) is also responsible for taking reasonable steps to ensure that LEP individuals have meaningful access to services provided by the court outside the courtroom, including routine contact with court personnel and in situations where LEP litigants are ordered to attend mediation, or a treatment or educational program provided by a court employee or by a private vendor under contract with the court.
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 out of court proceedings.
The need for a court interpreter may be identified prior to a court proceeding by the LEP person or on the LEP person’s behalf by the information clerk, counter staff, or outside justice partners such as attorneys, probation officers or the jail. Courts should have a documented process to identify LEP needs for parties with notation in the physical or electronic case file.
Signage throughout the court building indicating interpreter services are available may also help to identify LEP individuals. The Pima County Consolidated Justice Court will display this sign at the following locations: Under the calendar display monitors located by the security clearance area and by the calendar monitors near the courtrooms.
The need for an interpreter also may be made known in the courtroom at the time of the proceeding. In a case where the court is mandated to provide an interpreter, but one is not available at the time of the proceeding, even after the court has made all reasonable efforts to locate one, as previously outlined in this plan, the case will be postponed and continued on a date when an interpreter can be provided.
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.
The AOC maintains a statewide roster of individuals who indicate they have interpreting experience and have expressed interest in working in the courts. The court will determine the competence of the persons listed. This roster is available to court staff on the Internet at http://www.interpreters.courts.az.gov.
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. If your court needs access codes or instructions to join the listserv, please contact Carol Mitchell at 602.452.3965.
Video Remote Interpreting
The AOC has installed video conferencing equipment at the State Courts building that will allow courts with compatible technology to remotely conference an interpreter from the Phoenix metro area out to their court to improve resource allocation and reduce time and costs associated with interpreter travel.
The court uses the following resources to facilitate communication with LEP individuals and court staff or providers of court-ordered services:
- Staff court interpreters and independent per diem interpreters
- Bilingual employees
- "I 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 "I do not speak Spanish, someone who does will help you in a moment"
- Slides informing customers how to request an interpreter placed multiple times throughout the lobby power point slideshow
- Video remote interpreting services, where available
- The terms of the court’s contracts with providers of court-ordered services
- Website link from court’s website (if applicable) to the Supreme Court’s Spanish translated webpage for court forms and instructions.
The Court has translated the following documents into other languages:
- Payment contracts
- Emergency eviction resource list for tenants
- Uniform conditions of supervised probation
- Change of Address
- Notice of Civil Traffic Trial
- Civil Answer
- Eviction Summons and Complaint
- Extension Form
- Bond Card
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;
- The court’s full time interpreter is a member of ACIA which provides quarterly continuous educational training; and
- AOC’s Language Access in the Courtroom Training DVD (6/2014)
- In partnership with Pima Community College to provide information regarding access to court services at the annual bilingual fair
- The court’s full time interpreter forms part of the Translations Studies Program Advisory Committee which make recommendations how to best reach and serve the LEP community
- In collaboration with the City of Tucson, the court participates on the City of Tucson Oral Interpretation Services Written/Audio Translation & Transcriptions Services to provide the LEP community adequate interpreter services
- LAP Approval and Notification The Pima County Consolidated Justice Court’s LAP is approved by the presiding judge and court executive officer. Upon approval, please forward a copy to the AOC Court Services Division. Any revisions to the plan will be submitted to the presiding judge and court executive officer for approval, and then forwarded to the AOC. Copies of the Pima County Consolidated Justice Court’s LAP are available on our website at www.jp.pima.gov and will be provided to the public on request.
- 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
240 N. Stone Ave.
Tucson AZ 85701
Court Services Division
Administrative Office of the Courts
1501 W. Washington Street, Suite 410
Phoenix, AZ 85007
(602) 452-3965, firstname.lastname@example.org
Doug Kooi, Court Administrator
Maria Felix, Administrative Presiding Judge