According to a study recently conducted by the New York University School of Law, interpreting services in civil courts are not always required by state courts. Interpreters are generally requested in criminal cases but the study found that — despite increasing demand— they are not mandatory in civil cases in many state courts.
37 % of the 35 states which were examined due to their significant number of immigrants do not require interpreters to prove adequate qualification in civil cases. More appalling is the result indicating that 46 % of the states do not even require interpreters to be present in civil cases at all. Despite the fact that, as per Title VI of the Civil Code, it is federal law to provide interpreters to non- or limited English speakers in legal proceedings, courts do not pay for interpreting services in 80 % of the states.
Some would argue that a major problem is to keep up with the increasing demand in interpreters because not enough qualified interpreters are available. If they are available many courts often cannot afford to use them. In New York, for example, costs for interpreting services have increased from $ 6 million in four years. One solution to this problem might be the recently legislated State Court Interpreter Grant Program Act providing states with $15 million to develop or enhance their court interpreter programs.