On Tuesday, July 17, 2012, the Supreme Court of Ohio launched an expanded news program – Court News Ohio – that features stories about the Ohio judicial system. This archived page on the Supreme Court’s website only displays news stories that occurred before that date. News stories that occurred on July 17 and thereafter can be found at www.courtnewsohio.gov.

Aug. 20, 2010
Supreme Court Exceeding Limited English Proficient Obligations

Guidelines issued this week by the U.S. Department of Justice show that efforts by the Supreme Court of Ohio are exceeding national standards in breaking down language barriers in the courtroom.

Ten years ago, President Clinton signed an Executive Order that ensures recipients of federal funds provide meaningful access to limited English proficient persons. The Justice Department letter to chief justices and administrators of state courts clarifies the obligation of courts to provide oral interpretation, written translation and other language services to LEP persons.

The Supreme Court’s Interpreter Services Program was created in 2003 and designed to provide assistance to judges and courts statewide on the issue of foreign language interpretation and to serve as a resource center for the judicial branch. The resources the program has developed include:

As one of the program’s latest projects, applicants are being tested to become certified under the Supreme Court’s new court interpreter certification program.

Program Manager Bruno Romero said the idea behind the creation of the program was to ensure that the fair administration of justice would not depend on the language Ohioans speak. “The initiatives we undertake are all designed to increase the likelihood that non-English speaking litigants knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily understand their rights and comprehend legal proceedings,” he said. “We continue to work hard on any aspect that furthers that goal.”

The Supreme Court also formed the Advisory Committee on Interpreter Services in 2005 to provide advice on the promotion of statewide rules and uniform standards for establishing and operating interpreter programs in Ohio courts and the development and delivery of interpreter services to Ohio courts including training programs for judges and court personnel.

Contact: Chris Davey or Bret Crow, 614.387.9250.

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