Assistance for the Hearing Impaired
The United States Bankruptcy Court provides access to headphones for the hearing impaired in all courtrooms in Columbia, Charleston and Spartanburg. If this service is needed, you or your attorney may contact any Courtroom Services personnel To Contact Courtroom Staff, call 803-765-5436, option 7, option 1 upon arrival to the courtroom on the day of the hearing. They will provide a device and brief instruction for you before the hearing.
If you need a sign language interpreter, please consult the following information regarding the availability of interpreters.
Availability of Interpreters
I. Court Appearances
Federal law does not provide for language interpreters during proceedings, hearings or trials before the courts of the United States, unless the United States is a party to the particular matter. See 28 U.S.C. § 1827. You may bring a language interpreter with you to court to help you understand the proceeding so long as this is done without disrupting the proceeding or disturbing other parties.
If a language or sign language interpreter is necessary for your presentation of evidence in court you must provide the interpreter. The Court will determine if the language or sign language interpreter is qualified, and you should make the Court aware of the need to determine the qualification of the language or sign language interpreter well in advance. If you have questions regarding available services or need to make the Court aware that a language or sign language interpreter will be involved in your appearance before the Court, please contact the Public Services department at 803-765-5436 and they will direct your call to the appropriate courtroom deputy clerk for assistance.
II. Meetings of Creditors
The United States Trustee Program offers, free of charge, telephonic interpreter services for persons with limited English proficiency at the mandatory section 341 meeting of creditors (11 U.S.C. § 341). Interpretation is available in as many as 196 languages. Sign language interpreters are also available to personally attend meetings of creditors. Individuals (or their counsel) may contact either the private trustee assigned to their case or the local office of the United States Trustee (803-765-5250) if interpreter services are necessary. To minimize delays at the meeting of creditors, individuals wishing to take advantage of this free service are encouraged to contact the private trustee or the United States Trustee in advance of the section 341 meeting.