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Feds question policy about Mich. court translators

Sep 25, 2013

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The federal government doesn't seem impressed with a new policy aimed at expanding translation services in Michigan courts.

The U.S. Justice Department says the income threshold to get free services is too high. The government suggests people who can't understand English should be treated like the deaf. Michigan doesn't charge people for sign-language services in court.
The Michigan Supreme Court recently announced that anyone who needs a translator in a civil or criminal case won't have to pay up front and may not have to pay at all, depending on their income. Judges will also have discretion to waive payment under other conditions.
In a letter, the Justice Department says its investigation of the availability of translators isn't over. Michigan Justice Stephen Markman believes the government is on a "crusade."