27

Jan

DEAF WOMAN DENIED RIGHT TO INTERPRETER IN COURT TAKES CASE TO WISCONSIN SUPREME COURT

Madison, Wis. – Attorney Susan R. Tyndall of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. is acting as counsel, filing a “friend of the court” brief in the Wisconsin Supreme Court, for several organizations championing the rights of citizens with handicaps,  Amicus Curiae Disability Rights Wisconsin, National Disability Rights Network and National Association of the Deaf, in a case considering individuals’ rights to an interpreter in court and to a meaningful appeal.

In a recent involuntary commitment hearing held by the Waukesha County Circuit Court, a 19-year-old woman who is deaf was denied access to an interpreter and therefore was unable to understand the hearing or defend against the allegations. The organizations contend that the circuit court infringed upon the young woman’s due process rights by proceeding on two occasions within three days without any interpretation services.

On February 10th, 2020 at 1:30 pm, the Wisconsin Supreme Court will hear this case, addressing not only the young woman’s rights, but also the rights of anyone who may require an interpreter. On behalf of the organizations, we have argued that interpreters are required to prevent such harm to Wisconsin citizens in future cases. We encourage those who are deaf and/or advocates of equal rights in the justice system to attend the hearing to help demonstrate to the court that these issues are important to the community. Pro bono interpreters will be be available.

“Adopting these rules will help level the playing field for people with disabilities, granting them better access to the courts and an ability to defend themselves, rights undeniably infringed upon here, and will fulfill the express public policy of this state. Justice requires no less.” – Susan R. Tyndall, Counsel for Amicus Curiae