Language Access

Did You Know?

Nearly 7 million (20%) Californians report speaking English "less than very well'
pie chart showing Limited English Proficiency. Of the 19.8% of Californians who speak English  
   Source: U.S. Census Bureau (2010)

More than 200 languages and dialects are spoken in California.  Without proper language assistance, Limited English Proficient (LEP) court users may be excluded from meaningful participation in the judicial court process. The Judicial Council has created a Joint Working Group to provide recommendations, guidance, and a consistent statewide approach to ensure language access throughout the courts. The end result will be a statewide Language Access Plan (LAP).

The goals of the LAP are to:
  • Provide all persons with equal access to courts;
  • Ensure court procedures are fair and understandable; and
  • Respond to needs of court users from diverse cultural backgrounds.

What's New

Joint Working Group submits informational report to the Judicial Council regarding the draft Strategic Plan for Language Access in the California Courts. (August 14, 2014). Presentation (8/22). Audiocast (8/22)

Public Comment Sought on Proposed Strategic Plan for Language Access in the California Courts. Deadline for comments is September 29, 2014. (July 31, 2014)

Se solicita Comentario Público sobre el Plan preliminar Estratégico para Acceso Lingüístico en las Tribunales de California. La fecha límite para comentarios es el 29 de Septiembre 2014. (31 de julio, 2014)

Language Access in the News
California's Courts Face a Shortage of Interpreters, KPCC (Mar. 4, 2014) Audio

News Release - Public Hearings: Language Access Plan for California Courts (Feb. 19, 2014)

Public hearing dates have been announced. (Jan. 22, 2014)

The Joint Working Group for California’s Language Access Plan presented the Language Access Plan Report to the Judicial Council on October 25, 2013 to provide an update on the working group’s goals, timeline, and anticipated steps in the development of the plan.

What is Language Access?

Learn more about Language Access and how it impacts the courts and the community.


What are California Courts Doing?

Click to see what the branch is doing now and to find out more about who is coordinating this effort.


Get Involved!

Public hearings on language access issues were held in late February and early March, 2014 in San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles.

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