NEW ORLEANS – Civil rights advocates say they are filing a federal complaint claiming that a suburban New Orleans court discriminates against Latinos — charging them for inadequate English interpreters and forcing them to attend overpriced, ineffective English classes as a condition of probation.
The Southern Poverty Law Center released a copy of the complaint Wednesday. It claims the practices in 1st Parish Court of Jefferson Parish effectively deny court access to Spanish speakers with limited English abilities. The complaint to the Justice Department also says that making Latinos to attend — and pay for — English classes means they have harsher punishments than English speakers.
The SPLC said the complaint is being filed on behalf of four people who suffered the allegedly discriminatory practices at the court in suburban Metairie, Louisiana.