How to assist someone with self-representation if their command of the English language is extremely limited?

My mother is a co-defendant in an interpleader action with a life insurance company. She cannot afford an attorney and she does not speak English. I’ve been communicating with the insurance company and other co-defendant’s attorney on her behalf through a Power of Attorney. I not an attorney. How do I speak for her in a pro se case or can I? Would she need a court appointed interpreter or can I continue to act on her behalf before a judge?

Asked on July 16, 2012 under Insurance Law, New York


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you have a power of attorney signed by your mother allowing you to assist in the matter that you have written about concerning the interpleader, that is sufficient.

As to an interpreter, if the court does not have an interpreter assisting on its own and if the other parties do not object to you acting as such, then you can act as your mother's interpreter at the court hearings.

If that does not work, you will need to retain an independent interpreter to assist with your mother's language issue.


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