DOJ Assistant Attorney General Letter to Chief Justices and State Court Administrators (2018) [pdf]

This letter provides state courts further clarity regarding the requirement that courts receiving federal financial assistance provide meaningful access to all court services for Limited English Proficient individuals including courtrooms and hearing in all types of cases and to court services including information counters, clerks offices, and all court ordered services (e.g., counseling, batterers treatment, guardians ad litem, child advocates). The letter emphasizes that:
“The Federal requirement to provide language assistance to LEP individuals applies notwithstanding conflicting state or local laws or court rules.”
“Dispensing justice fairly, efficiently, and accurately is a cornerstone of the judiciary.”
“Language services expenses should be treated as a basic and essential operating expense, not as an ancillary cost.”