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English Only Ordered in NJ Court

January 17, 2002

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PATERSON, N.J. (AP) _ A city judge told court workers to speak only English at work, unless assisting visitors or doing translations.

Court employees said Judge Karole Graves gave the order Tuesday after a clerk complained that co-workers were speaking about her in Spanish. One worker said she agreed it was a problem.

``There are a bunch of girls that, when they huddle together just speak Spanish. Its very distracting,″ Barbara Zisa, a deputy court administrator, told the Herald News of West Paterson.

Graves did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment Thursday.

City Councilman Juan A. Torres said the order ``will create a bad feeling between workers and the administration.″

The other Hispanic council member in Paterson, about 20 miles northwest of New York City, disagreed.

``It’s a job and we are in America,″ said Jose Torres, who is not related to Juan. ``They should comply with the policies of the presiding judge.″

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