The North Carolina Judicial Branch is committed to removing barriers that hinder equal access to justice by individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP). This commitment serves the court’s interest in ensuring accurate communication in court proceedings, protecting the integrity of evidence, and providing language access policies, services, and resources that enhance the quality and availability of interpreting and translation services in North Carolina state courts. Fulfilling this commitment will require substantial time, effort, and resources, and the Judicial Branch is committed to taking all reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to its courts for all individuals, regardless of national origin, ethnicity or limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand English.
The North Carolina Administrative Office of the Court's (NCAOC) Office of Language Access Services (OLAS) serves the North Carolina Judicial Branch by helping to facilitate equal access to justice for LEP individuals in our courts by:
- Developing standards for the provision and efficient use of language access services
- Providing daily support and guidance for questions, concerns, and issues involving interpreting and translating services
- Ensuring that proficient and ethical foreign language court interpreters are provided to the courts
- Administering court interpreter training and certification testing for court interpreters provided by the National Center for State Courts
Bilingual Forms Court forms are an important part of the court process and failure to understand and complete them correctly can delay proceedings. For this reason, OLAS continues to work to provide bilingual versions of official NCAOC forms in Spanish and Vietnamese. Forms are identified for translation and distributed as resources allow. Over 225 bilingual court forms are available at this time.
ADA Accommodations for Individuals who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing Language Access Services also provides assistance and information concerning communication access for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. Interpreters and other accommodations for the deaf and hearing impaired. Please visit the Disability Access section of the website for more information.