Non-English speaking persons gain greater access to Michigan Courts

Michigan Courts removed language barriers for non-English speaking persons, through 2 new court rules and 1 administrative order that went into effect September 11, 2013.  Click here for Michigan Court Rules 1.111 and 8.127 which specifies the requirements of Courts and interpreters as it pertains to people with “Limited English Proficiency”.  Additionally, Click here to see the Administrative Order known as the “Limited English Proficiency Court Rule” (LEP).

The gist of the LEP Court rules is for all Michigan courts to provide foreign language interpreters to people with Limited English Proficiency.  This applies to all areas of law and all languages spoken in Michigan.  There will be a uniform standard(s) applied throughout all courts in the state.  Anyone who needs an interpreter will receive one.  Those who can’t afford an interpreter will be provided with one at no cost.   

The court rules required each trial court throughout the State of Michigan to adopt a language access plan within 90 days of September 11, 2013. Various types of acceptable interpreters are noted in the Court rules, along with registration requirements for interpreters at the State Court Administrative Office (SCAO). The types of acceptable interpreters who may register with the SCAO include:

  1. “Certified” foreign language interpreters;
  2. “Qualified” foreign language interpreters;
  3.  A person who works for an entity that provides in–person interpretation services;
  4.  A person who works for an entity that provides interpretation services by telecommunication equipment.


Click here to view the 6 minute video explaining the intent behind the LEP Court Rules.  Chad Schmucker, State Court Administrator; Justice Bridget Mary McCormack, Michigan Supreme Court; and Chief Judge William Kelly, 62-B District Court in Kentwood Michigan are featured in the video link.

If you would like to discuss hiring an attorney for a Michigan legal matter, contact us for a free consultation. We work with affordable specialists in all areas of law in Michigan.

Lori T. Williams

Lori T. Williams is an attorney based in Birmingham, MI, licensed in 1989.  As owner of a legal referral business called Your Legal Resource, PLLC, Lori personally assists individuals and small businesses in need of legal advice or representation in Metro Detroit by connecting them with the right legal specialist to meet their needs.