NYC Transit Court Lacks Interpreters

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NYC Transit Court Lacks Interpreters

Without interpreters available, New York City residents who speak little to no English are being denied due process in the city’s Transit Court, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union. The court handles tickets issued for violations of transit-system regulations, including fare beating and littering. Attorneys from the civil liberties group spent eight months observing hearings at the court. They witnessed numerous instances of defendants being told to bring a friend or relative to act as an interpreter. They also cited cases where the defendant was asked to look for a volunteer interpreter in the waiting area. In a letter to New York City’s transit bureau, lawyers for the civil liberties group accused the agency of violating the constitutional rights of defendants with limited-English skills. The letter stated, “The transit authority’s practice of adjudicating cases against riders who are unable to understand the legal proceedings against them is grossly unfair.” Christopher Dunn, an attorney with the civil liberties union, added, "If you were issued a summons by a police officer and got sent to criminal court, you'd get an interpreter if you needed one. The government can't have a court process against you that you don't understand." The transit agency has yet to comment on the letter.

From "Transit Court Should Have Translators, Group Says"
New York Times (NY) (09/23/10) Zraick, Karen

Source: ATA Newsbriefs - September 2010
Ο λόγος είναι μεγάλη ανάγκη της ψυχής. (Γιώργος Ιωάννου)


 

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