Non-English speakers struggle to have their voices heard in housing court

The Eagle accompanied Queens Legal Services Tenant Rights Coalition supervising attorney Catherine Barreda through the Civil Courthouse Thursday to understand the challenges that non-English speaking individuals encounter in the court system.

News Story (New York)

Phineas Rueckert
Queens Daily Eagle
July 11, 2019

Tags: Language Access

Organizations mentioned/involved: Queens Legal Services (NY)


Despite the OCA’s best efforts to increase language access in Queens courts, the logistics of coordinating interpretation services in a borough as diverse as Queens means that many tenants whose rights have been violated continue to fall through the cracks in the system, Barreda said. Finding an interpreter also slows down the process, further clogging court’s perpetually full dockets.

Even with advocates like Barreda on their side, many clients struggle to have their voices heard — and understood — in civil court.