Criminal Defense of Immigrants


§ 4.42 B. Providing an Interpreter on Appeal

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Where an attorney is representing a non- or partially-English speaking defendant on appeal, it is incumbent upon counsel to ensure the defendant understands the appellate proceedings.[246]  This is accomplished by using a competent interpreter to assist appellate counsel to communicate in person with the appellant.  If counsel communicates with the appellant in writing, it is necessary to translate all documents from English into the defendant’s language, and to ensure that the defendant is sufficiently literate in the native language to be able to read and understand the complicated legalese in which appellate documents are often couched.

[246] United States v. Leyba, 379 F.3d 53 (2d Cir. 2004) (counsel ordered to ensure Spanish-speaking defendant received adequate notice in Spanish of (1) the substance of the Anders brief, (2) defendant’s right to proceed pro se or seek appointment of new counsel, and (3) the likely consequence of failure to respond to the Anders motion); but see Khan v. Ashcroft, 374 F.3d 825 (9th Cir. July 2, 2004) (due process does not require immigration courts to translate notice of hearing into a language respondent understands).