Case highlights shortage of court interpreters in Hawaii

AP News
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Posted: Jul 25, 2015 2:02 PM

HONOLULU (AP) — A recent case involving a man accused of shooting a woman and a police officer highlights Hawaii's growing challenge of finding court interpreters.

The man speaks Marshallese, and his right to hear his proceedings in the Marshall Islands language has led to delays in his case.

Officials with Hawaii's Judiciary note the state has a limited pool of court interpreters from which to draw, and the ones they do have often must travel between the islands for proceedings, creating logistical challenges.

Meanwhile, requests for their services have soared, fueled by an influx of migrants from certain Pacific island nations who come to Hawaii under an agreement with the U.S. government.

Hawaii's court system is trying to recruit more interpreters to fill the growing need.