A person making a request to accommodate a disability should first make the request to the staff of the Judge's office or department they are dealing with. If they need further assistance, they should contact the Judicial Aide Department at (586) 469-5156. It will then be determined if further assistance can be rendered.
Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Accommodations
Macomb County Circuit Court Local Administrative Order 2012-03J was issued in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. The purpose of this Order is to assure that qualified individuals with disabilities have equal and full access to the judicial system.
Under the ADA, qualified individuals with disabilities must have equal access to court programs, services and activities. An individual is qualified when he or she meets the essential eligibility requirements for participation. When determining whether someone is qualified, courts must (1) make reasonable modifications to their policies, practices and procedures; or (2) furnish auxiliary aids or services when necessary to ensure an equally effective opportunity to participate. However, a court is not required to take any action that would constitute an undue financial or administrative burden or fundamentally alter the nature of the program, service or activity.
Judicial Aide has been designated with the responsibilities of being the ADA Coordinator for the Circuit Court to process ADA requests. We'd like to share some information with you:
SCAO From MC70 needs to be completed by the party making the request and submitted to Judicial Aide. This form can be obtained by clicking here.
American Sign Language (ASL) services for the hearing impaired is free. In addition, (a) a TTY line will soon be available; and (b) a functional and assistive listening device for hearing impaired is available in the courtrooms.
ADA benefits of providing disability related accommodations include: (a) ensuring due process, equal protection, and civil rights of individuals with disabilities; (b) empowering Michigan's citizens with disabilities to fully participate in the judicial system by exercising the rights and responsibilities expected of all citizens, such as jury service; (c) increasing the capacity of Michigan's courts to respond to accommodation requests and the specific needs of individuals with disabilities; (d) enhancing the usability and accessibility of Michigan's courts for a broad range of people with and without disabilities; and (e) use of guide dogs.
Defining "disability" pursuant to the ADA:
Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
Has a "record of" such impairment.
Being regarded as having such impairment. The following conditions are specifically excluded from the definition of "disability": transvestism, transsexualism, pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, gender identity disorders not resulting from physical impairments, other sexual behavior disorders, compulsive gambling, kleptomania, pyromania, and psychoactive substance use disorders resulting from current illegal use of drugs.
For more information, visit:
http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dleg/PA 204 Amended 2007 242542 7.pdf
Handbook for Michigan Courts on Accessibility and Accommodation for Individuals with Disabilities
Sign Language Interpreters
State and Federal laws give deaf, hard of hearing and deaf-blind people the right to an accommodation for effective communication. When the accommodation is an interpreter, that person must be qualified. A family member or friend, who knows sign language, is not necessarily "qualified." The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines the term "qualified interpreter" in its Title III regulation to mean:
"An interpreter who is able to interpret effectively, accurately and impartially both receptively and expressively, using any necessary specialized vocabulary."
Sign Language interpreters working within Michigan are required to comply with the Deaf Persons' Interpreter Act, 1982 PA 204 amended 2007:
"An ACT to provide for and regulate the use of interpreters in administrative and judicial proceedings and in certain other instances; to establish standards for interpreters; to provide compensation for interpreters; to prescribe the powers and duties of certain state departments and agencies; to prescribe penalties for the violation of the provisions of this act; and to provide for the promulgation of rules."
PA 23 now defines a "qualified" interpreter as a person who is certified through the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf or by the Division of Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DODHH) in the Department of Labor & Economic Growth (DLEG). The Act specifically requires interpreters to file an application for certification through that Division. This applies to both nationally credentialed interpreters and interpreters credentialed by the State of Michigan.
Individuals who misrepresent themselves as qualified interpreters would be guilty of a misdemeanor and punishable by imprisonment and/or a fine. Individuals who violate the law are subject to rejection of their application for certification, or revocation, suspension, or limitation of certification.
Michigan becomes one of only a few states to recognize the interpreting field for the skills and credentials it requires and make qualified interpreters mandatory in a broader range of situations. These factors serve the state well in attracting qualified interpreters to Michigan as well as training more people who want to become interpreters.
Foreign Language Interpreters
Foreign language interpreters are provided to defendants who are determined to be indigent by the Court and have pending criminal cases or domestic relations enforcement proceedings that may result in incarceration.
In January, 2000, the Michigan Supreme Court and the State Court Administrative Office instituted a state-level program that provides for the testing and certification of foreign language interpreters for use in Michigan courts. In addition, the State Court Administrative Office has established a code of professional conduct for interpreters, a recommended oath for courts to use, and an interpreter qualification screening checklist for use in local courts. For more information about testing and certification, contact the State Court Administrative Office at (517) 373-6670.
Interpreter Communication with Retained or Court Appointed Counsel
Court-appointed and retained counsel must keep in contact with the foreign language and/or ASL interpreter, including the agency that has been assigned to the case, for future dates and case status. Their court time must be scheduled accordingly. Interpreters are to be notified as soon as possible of any scheduling or location changes.
Requesting an Interpreter
The securing of and paying for a language interpreter for a case in which there is retained counsel is the responsibility of the party seeking to present testimony. The Court does not provide language interpreters for prosecution witnesses or victims or crimes. This is the responsibility of the Macomb County Prosecutor's Office. Counsel may contact Judicial Aide for a list of potential interpreters.