SAN FRANCISCO—The Judicial Council at its January 14–15 business meeting will hear how California courts are increasing access for court users with limited English skills.
The update from the council’s Language Access Plan Implementation Task Force provides an update on its progress to carry out the Strategic Plan for Language Access in the California Courts. A recent report showed the judicial branch has instituted many of the plan’s 75 recommendations, including expanding court interpreters to civil proceedings, providing language help at court counters and self-help centers, multilingual translation and signage, and conducting outreach to communities about language services.
At the meeting, the council will also consider creating a standing Language Access Subcommittee under its Advisory Committee on Providing Access and Fairness to help ensure that any remaining recommendations are implemented after the language access task force sunsets on March 1.
Other items on the council meeting agenda include:
Overview of the State Budget: Irena Asmundson, chief economist at the California Department of Finance, will give an update for the council on the outlook for the state’s economy, revenues, and budget.
Funding for New Judgeships in Riverside: The council will consider allocating $1.9 million to the Superior Court of Riverside County to support two new judgeships provided in this year’s budget.
San Bernardino Court’s Videoconferencing Project: The Superior Court of San Bernardino County will highlight its pilot project that uses videoconferencing for certain child custody proceedings. The pilot is part of a grant program that allocated $25 million to the judicial branch in 2016 to promote court innovations and efficiencies.
Disaster Response: The council will hear from the superior courts in Butte and Shasta Counties on how they managed court operations despite the devastating wildfires that ravaged their communities last year.