Deaf Juror Denied an Interpreter

Deaf Juror Denied an InterpreterJudge approved a new administrative order upholding that federal law requires the court to provide and pay for services to deaf and hard of hearing individuals

When Michelle Koplitz, a deaf District of Columbia resident, was summoned for grand jury service in Superior Court, the court would not let her serve because it refused to pay for an interpreter. Ms. Koplitz filed suit alleging violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act, which requires the courts to provide accommodations to those with hearing disabilities.

Joe Espo, a partner at Brown, Goldstein & Levy, and Caroline Jackson from the National Association of the Deaf Law and Advocacy Center, who represented Ms. Koplitz, argued that she should be given the opportunity to participate in any type of jury that is open to hearing individuals.

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