1. Scope
  2. This plan describes the efforts of the Pima County Consolidated Justice Court to provide language interpretation and translation services to litigants with limited English proficiency (LEP) in compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Pursuant to Title VI, any court receiving Federal funding must provide interpreter and translation services at no charge to litigants in all case types, when requested or determined necessary by the Court.
  3. Need for Services
  4. Guidelines developed by the U. S. Department of Justice outline four factors that should be considered to determine when language assistance might be required to ensure meaningful access to the Court. They are:
    1. The number or proportion of LEP persons in the eligible service population;
    2. The frequency with which LEP individuals come into contact with the program;
    3. The importance of the program or activity to the LEP person (including the consequences of lack of language services or inadequate interpretation/translation), and;
    4. The resources available to the recipient (the Court/County) and the costs.
    A 2009 U.S. Census estimate is that 33.7% of Pima County's population is of Hispanic origin. This corresponds with a national percentage of 15.8% and an overall Arizona rate of 30.8%.
  5. Interpreter Services
  6. The Court employs one full-time Spanish interpreter that provides service in the courtroom and to customers at the service windows. Per diem interpreters are utilized for exotic languages, ASL and when additional Spanish interpreters are required. The per diem list contains contact information for over 150 interpreters representing approximately 50 different languages. In February 2009, the AGC created the Arizona Court Interpreter Registry which is helpful in locating rare language interpreters. The full-time interpreter, as well as the per diems, is qualified to perform written translations as directed by the Court.

    The Court also has access to the Teleinterpreter language line which can be useful in non-substantive matters such as setting new court dates.

    An interpreter will be provided for all court events in all case types upon request of the defendant or party to a case, or upon determination by the Court that an interpreter is required.
  7. Notices
  8. Many of the Court's critical forms are available in Spanish. Notice advising LEP persons of free language assistance will be added to the notice of court hearing forms as well as petitions for protection orders and eviction matters. Hearing notifications have information advising any party needing interpreter services to contact the court two weeks prior to the scheduled hearing. This is to give the Court sufficient time to secure per diem services prior to the court hearing. Signage has been posted in multiple areas of the court, in three languages, informing customers of free interpreter services offered by the court.

    Additionally, the Court will ensure its employees, as well as new hires, are familiar with this plan through new employee orientation and regular training.
  9. Interpreter Scheduling
  10. The Court will utilize its full-time interpreter or per diem interpreters for all substantive matters, including trials in criminal and civil cases, contested eviction cases, protective orders and small claims hearings.

    If the full-time interpreter and/or per diem interpreter are not available, the Court will reset the hearing to another date. The same is true if an interpreter is not requested but at the hearing the Court deems that one is necessary.
  11. Evaluation and Review
  12. This plan will be subject to review at least annually to determine whether the scope and delivery of services to LEP persons are appropriate and consistent with evolving standards of service and Title VI requirements.