Justice Department checks Ala. court interpreters


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Court officials say the U.S. Justice
Department is investigating whether Alabama's courts are following
federal civil rights law in providing interpreters for people who
are not fluent in English.

A lawyer for the state's Administrative Office of Courts, David
Sawyer, said Justice Department personnel have visited Birmingham,
Albertville, Athens, Decatur, Fort Payne and Oneonta.

Justice Department spokesman Alejandro Miyar said the goal is to
determine if the courts are making federally required
accommodations for people with limited English skills.

Sawyer said the investigation was prompted by a complaint more
than a year ago. Since the complaint was filed, Alabama has started
offering certification for court interpreters.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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