The following are steps a complainant may take to report the failure of a local court to appoint an interpreter or provide other language assistance in any court-related event. The complainant may file a complaint regarding any language access issue related to the complainant’s interactions with the Kentucky Court of Justice. Please be aware that filing a language access complaint does not constitute an appeal of any underlying judgment or order. Upon request by the complainant, the Office of Language Access will provide appropriate language access services, including access to an interpreter, to assist the complainant in completing the complaint process.
1.) Initiating a Complaint. A person may file a complaint by taking one of the following actions:
- A complaint may be filed and submitted online by filling out the online complaint form.
- A complaint may be filed over the phone by calling 502-573-2350 and asking to be transferred to the Office of Language Access. With the assistance of an interpreter, a representative from the Office of Language Access will speak to the complainant personally and take the necessary information in order to initiate the complaint process.
- A complaint may be filed in writing by sending a complaint letter to the following address:
Administrative Office of the Courts
Attention: Office of Language Access
1001 Vandalay Drive
Frankfort, KY 40601
2.) Intake. The Office of Language Access will review the complaint and obtain all pertinent information from the complainant. If, upon initial intake, the complaint is determined to have merit, the Office of Language Access will assign the complaint an intake number for tracking and filing purposes. If, however, the complaint is determined to be without merit upon initial intake, the Office of Language Access will dismiss the complaint and notify the complainant that no additional action will be taken.
3.) Acknowledgement of Complaint. Except in the case of time-sensitive matters, the Office of Language Access will respond to the complainant within 10 business days by letter, e-mail, or telephone in order to acknowledge receipt of the complaint. The Office of Language Access may also request additional information and/or documentation from the complainant at the time of acknowledgement in order to thoroughly investigate the complaint. In the event of a time-sensitive complaint (e.g. a complaint regarding an upcoming hearing scheduled before the end of the 10 business days), the Office of Language Access will work to expedite the acknowledgement and subsequent investigation of the complaint in an effort to resolve any valid issue in a timely manner.
4.) Notification to the Local Court. Upon receipt of all requested information and/or documentation, the Office of Language Access will send a letter to the local court against which the complaint is alleged in order to notify the court that a complaint has been received. All pertinent details concerning the complaint will be included in the letter. Please note that all complaints regarding an Office of Language Access employee or contractor will be handled using the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Court’s established internal employee disciplinary protocol.
5.) Investigation of the Complaint. The Office of Language Access will initiate an investigation of the allegations outlined in the complaint within 10 business days of having notified the local court of the receipt of the complaint. Although the investigative process will vary based on the details of each complaint, possible activities include interviewing the subject(s) of the complaint, including judges, clerks and interpreters, and taking written statements of all information gathered during the interview process.
6.) Review by the Office of Legal Services. Upon completion of the investigation, the Office of Language Access will forward its findings, including all written statements and proposed resolutions, to the Office of Legal Services for review. Based on guidance provided by the Office of Legal Services, the Office of Language Access will either direct the local court to implement the proposed resolution, propose that the local court implement a new solution, or advise the local court that the complaint is without merit. The local court will be required to file a progress report to the Office of Language Access after the implementation of any proposed or suggested resolution.
7.) Notification to Complainant. The Office of Language Access will send a letter to the complainant within 10 business days from receipt of the progress report to detail the actions to be implemented by the local court as a means of resolving the complaint.
8.) Database and Public Access. The Office of Language Access will maintain a database of complaints and the steps taken to resolve them, and shall make them available to the public upon request.
9.) Prohibition on Retaliation. "No recipient or other person shall intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title VI, or because he has made a complaint, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding or hearing under this subpart." 28 C.F.R. § 42.108(e)