California Court Interpreters – How To Find

In California, the most diverse state in the country:

  • Over 200 languages are spoken.
  • 44% of households speak a language other than English.
  • Nearly 7 million speak English “less than very well.”
  • 19% of Californians cannot access the court system without language help.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau (2015)

Court interpreters

The California court system is aware of the diversity that exists within our state and is taking steps to provide services to all.  The California Judicial Council has a web page that allows you to search for a language interpreter who is in good standing with the court systems.

The search function available on the site allows you to search by language (including American Sign Language) and county.  The complete list of languages falls into two categories – certified and registered.

The results list provides name and contact information for the professional.

Use the Judicial Council Master List to search for court certified, registered and enrolled interpreters who are in good standing with the Judicial Council.  Interpreters included on the Master List have passed the required exams and officially applied with the Judicial Council.  For more information about the certification/registration process refer to California Government Code Sections 68561- 68562.

Written documents

Government Code §27293 permits California county clerks to certify documents translated into English only if the document has been translated by American Translators Association certified translators, California Certified Court Interpreters, or California Registered Interpreters.  California Certified Court or Registered Interpreters are authorized in a judicial proceeding to interpret orally the verbal content of documents, but the Judicial Council does not otherwise test or certify an interpreter’s written translation skills.

Complete information can be found on the California Judicial Council’s website at

ACLL Annual Memberships – Renew Before July 1st And Save

Change in ACLL membership fees

Fees for all levels of ACLL annual memberships will increase starting July 1, 2017.   Membership fees are just one of the many fund-raising methods ACLL uses to allow us to continue to provide free legal resource to the East Bay and beyond, in light of continuing decrease in filing fee revenues.  We appreciate the continued support of our members.  If you aren’t yet a member of ACLL, won’t you consider becoming a member in a show of support of county law libraries?  You can start your membership online HERE.  Thank you.

Below is a chart listing the benefits of ACLL membership levels with the corresponding annual fees:

Renew early and save

Renew now to take advantage of a time-limited offer to extend memberships at the lower 2016 fee levels.  Until June 30, we will renew your membership (up to your next expiration date) at the current price. You’ll save $25.00, avoiding the increase cost after July 1, 2017 while supporting ACLL now.

Example – Your ACLL membership expires on December 15, 2017.  Renew on or before Friday, June 30 paying the 2016 fee level and your membership will be extended until December 15, 2018.

With this opportunity to save, consider moving up in membership level.

Call the Circulation Desk at 510-208-4835 to renew or for more information.  Or stop by the Reference Desk.


No Ties To Dad?

This Sunday, June 18th, is Father’s Day.  Dads can be hard to buy for – a tie has been the old-fashioned, fallback gift for that important man in one’s life.   But the tech bro culture has asserted itself.  No one, outside our windows, but the lawyers heading to the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse can be seen wearing suits and ties.  Of course, if your Dad is a lawyer who needs to go to court, maybe he could use an addition to his wardrobe.  We suggest a subtle print.  Red ties have gained political meaning these days.  Best to stick with something neutral for an appearance before the bench.

Thumbs down on the tie?  Can’t quite decide on what to get?  Take a look on Amazon for some ideas.   Amazon has a large variety of gifts that are perfect for Father’s Day including electronics, clothing (ties!), and more.  By using this link – – to make your purchase, Amazon will make a donation to Alameda County Law Library.

We will be so thankful, in these times of revenue struggles, our stomachs will get all tied up in knots.

Three Genres – Art At The Alameda County Law Library – June 7th To 30th

New exhibit now at the Alameda County Law Library   ACLL is opened Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 4:30.  We are located at 125 12th Street in Oakland.

June Is Elder Abuse Awareness Month

This month is Elder Abuse Awareness Month.  Alameda County has an array of legal services available to help older citizens deal with situations in which they may have been taken advantage of due to physical, emotional, or mental infirmities.

Information on resources

During the month of June, staff from the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office Elder Abuses Unit, as well as, Victim-Witness Assistance Division will be traveling throughout the county to raise awareness of this issue.  A schedule of visits to local city council meetings is available HERE.  The representatives will be available to answer questions and provide further information about how the District Attorney’s Office can help with concerns in this area.

The Alameda County Superior Court has special court services available to assist older citizens seeking to protect their legal interests and navigate the court system – including obtaining a restraining order.  Information on the Elder Dependent Adult Access Program is available HERE.

A flyer, Protecting the Elderly from Abuse, with the contact information for many county social service resources is available in multiple languages.   Links are provided below:

Alameda County Law Library has the title, Elder Abuse Litigation by Russell S. Balisok, available on Westlaw.  Also in the collection is  – Judges Guide: Abuse in Later Life  published by Judicial Council of California (KFC 604 .J83 2016).

Many elderly victims are unable to access services or assert their rights.  If others see something suspicious, or an elder who appears neglected or abused, the District Attorney’s Office encourages anyone to contact Alameda Adult Protective Services (APS) immediately at 1-866-225-5277.

More information on special services available to help those individuals in this special segment of our community is available from the District Attorney’s website.  Information includes clues to help identify some of the symptoms of abuse:

  • Not being given the opportunity to speak for self in presence of caregiver
  • Caregiver is too aggressive with individual
  • Caregiver has problems with alcohol/drugs
  • Caregiver tells the elderly individual that  he/she is the only one who cares about the person
  • Caregiver lies to others about how injuries occurred
  • Uncomfortable behavior by a caregiver towards individual
  • Caregiver using your money for their benefit. Repeatedly pressuring individual for money or power of attorney



Korematsu – An Old Case Gains New Relevance

Earlier this month, the Alameda County Law Library hosted the annual Witkin Symposium.  The speakers were authors of a recently published young-adult title, Fred Korematsu Speaks UpThe book tells the story of Fred Korematsu, a Japanese American who grew up in Alameda County.  Korematsu was one of the few citizens to challenge the law involving the mass incarceration of West Coast residents during World War II.  An executive order required the resettlement of Japanese Americans out of their homes and into internment camps.   Korematsu’s conviction for violating these rules by remaining in San Leandro was appealed to the United States Supreme Court.  The Court ruled for the government on national security grounds.

The top court’s ruling in the case has never been overturned but Korematsu petitioned to have his conviction overturned which the United States District Court did in 1984.

Korematsu cases

Korematsu v. United States, 323 US 214, 65 S. Ct. 193, 89 L. Ed. 194, 1944 –  “Petitioner, an American citizen of Japanese descent, was convicted in the United States district court for remaining in a designated military area contrary to Civilian Exclusion Order No. 34 of the Commanding General of the Western Command, U.S. Army, which directed that after May 9, 1942, all persons of Japanese ancestry should be excluded from that area.”

Korematsu v. United States, 584 F. Supp 1406 (1984) – “Petitioner citizen sought a writ of coram nobis to vacate his conviction on the grounds of governmental misconduct.  The citizen was convicted of being in a place from which all persons of Japanese ancestry were excluded pursuant to Civilian Exclusion Order No. 34. “  The court granted the citizen’s petition for a writ of coram nobis.

 Muslim travel ban

The effect of the Korematsu case still echoes through the United States legal system.   Korematsu has been under discussion, this month, in the Ninth Circuit when it was referenced in the arguments in the Trump Administration’s travel ban appeal.  (9th Cir., State of Hawaii, et al. v. Trump, No. 17-15589)  Questions involve the proper extent of federal government authority to insure national security.

You can find discussion at:

Legal scholars have continued to write about the case over the years.  Here is a link to a recent piece published on the American Bar Association site –  Yolanda C. RondonIs Korematsu Really Dead?, 41 Human Rights 23  (2015).

Fred Korematsu Speaks Up

Fred Korematsu Speaks Up is written by Laura Atkins and Stan Yogi with illustrations by Yutaka Houlette.  The title is published by the Berkeley firm of Heyday.  The title is currently found on ACLL’s New Materials Cart, call number ~ KF 228.K59 A87 2017.  Its aim is to educated a younger audience on the continuing need to stand up against discrimination whenever it is found in our society.