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Victory for Client not provided with Chuj Interpreter During Trial

The Tennessee Fair Housing Council successfully set aside a $25,000 judgment against our client on the grounds that she was not provided adequate interpretation at trial. Several months earlier, before the Tennessee Fair Housing Council became involved, eviction proceedings were initiated against our client. Our client is an immigrant from Guatemala and speaks Chuj, a Mayan language. During the trial, our client was provided a Spanish interpreter. Spanish and Chuj are vastly different languages. The Tennessee Fair Housing Council successfully argued that our client is entitled to a new trial, with a Chuj interpreter, because the failure to provide adequate interpretation at trial is a denial of constitutional rights. Special thanks to Avery Dickins de Giron of Vanderbilt University’s Center for Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt University for her willingness to provide a written declaration of the linguistic differences between Spanish and Chuj. The unavailability of Mayan language translators is a growing issue across the country and there are currently no credentialed Chuj translators in Tennessee.

The New Yorker: A Translation Crisis at the Border

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