Dovetail Communication Group specializes in American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting for all legal and court settings. This includes, but is not limited to criminal court, civil court, hearings, trials, client-attorney interactions, law enforcement investigations, interviews, interrogations, and a wide range of other legal proceedings.
Yes. The right to effective communication between state and local government entities and people who are Deaf is guaranteed under Title II of the federal government’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which prohibits discrimination based on disability (42 U.S.C. 12131-12134).
The Court. Chapter 21 of the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code requires the court to appoint an interpreter when a person who is Deaf or hard-of-hearing is a party or witness in a civil case or deposition, or when the person serves as a juror. The fees and expenses for the interpreter must be paid from the county’s general fund.
Additionally, the proceedings must be in a language, including sign language, that the individual can understand. Interpreter fees may not be included in court costs that are typically passed on to one or both parties in a lawsuit. Court systems are not equally accessible to Deaf litigants if the Deaf party must bear the additional burden of paying for a sign language interpreter. In recognition of this fact, the federal government has placed an obligation on state and local courts to provide sign language interpreters at no cost to the Deaf individual.
Yes. Interpreters must be court certified for legal work within Texas. This includes all Texas civil and criminal court proceedings. According to Section 21.003 of the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code, a “qualified interpreter is an interpreter of the Deaf who holds a current legal certificate issued by the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf or a current court interpreter certificate issued by the Board of Evaluation of Interpreters." Dovetail Communication Group provides court certified interpreters for all legal work.
Sometimes. In most instances, an in-person interpreter or in-person interpreting team will be required. However, there are some situations where Video Remote Interpreting is appropriate. This will vary on a case by case basis, so call or email us and we will provide free, professional consultation and a recommendation based on your situation. You can also learn more about our Video Remote Interpreting Services here.
In most legal and court assignments, it is always a good idea to have more than 1 interpreter. There are instances where only 1 interpreter is appropriate. For example, short pleas, paying fines in municipal courts, attorney-client meetings lasting less than an hour, etc.
But for any trial, witness testimony, deposition, interrogation, interviews, as well as anything recorded or anything lasting more than 1 hour will need at least 2 interpreters. This is due to several factors including limiting an interpreter’s physical and mental fatigue, and the assistance of the team interpreter to check for the accuracy and integrity of the interpretation.
Yes. In addition to requiring interpreters in court, Article 38.31 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure (TCCP) states that judges must also appoint an interpreter for communications between the defendant and his defense counsel. This includes all in-court and out-of-court communications between lawyer and client.