In October 2018, AIJIC sued the Orange County courts when they refused to produce records that explained their policy of randomly turning away privately hired court interpreters in the civil courtrooms. After a year and a half of costly litigation, the judge assigned to the case finally ordered the court to produce the documents related to these policies.
The most relevant document (see AIJIC v. OCSC – Memo & Bench Card) is a memorandum from Ana De La Torre, Court Interpreter Manager, dated October 18, 2017 and addressed to all courtroom staff. This memorandum states that “parties can hire their own interpreter for proceedings in any litigation type” and that “the Court may exercise its discretion to appoint the privately retained interpreter, despite the availability of a court provided interpreter, as long as there’s no conflict of interest.” This memo was also sent to all judges and commissioners on October 12, 2017 (also attached, along with the other documents produced – 7 pages total).
If you’re hired by an agency, law firm or individual to interpret in the Orange County courts in the future, we encourage you to print out a copy of this memorandum and show it to the clerk (and the judge if necessary) if you’re not allowed to interpret.
Our next step is to petition the court to get reimbursed for attorney fees and costs, which the Orange County outside counsel are also fighting. Should we recover those funds, we intend to use them towards the fight to get an exemption from AB5.