Best Practices Committee
May 24, 2010
Board for Judicial Administration
Best Practices Committee
May 24, 2010
Conference Call - Meeting Minutes
Judge Julie Spector, Chair
Mr. Jeff Amram
Ms. Pat Austin
Ms. Roni Booth
Ms. Susan Carlson
Mr. Steven Kinn
Judge Linda Krese
Ms. Tina Marusich
Mr. David Ponzoha
Judge Christine Quinn-Brintnall
Ms. Julia Appel
Ms. Jenni Christopher
Ms. Colleen Clark
Welcome and Call to Order
Judge Spector called the meeting to order at 12:15. The committee introduced themselves, and Judge Spector welcomed new member Judge Linda Krese from Snohomish Superior Court.
Approval of Minutes
Judge Spector asked if there were any changes to the November 16, 2009 minutes; there were none.
Ms. Roni Booth moved to approve the minutes; Judge Christine Quinn-Brintnall seconded the motion. The motion passed.
Finalized Measure: Effective Use of Jurors
The Committee has reviewed this measure and concurred with the staff assessment of the pilot tests. It is recommended for adoption, therefore, and it will go to the BJA for review with the next group of measures.
Next Measures: Caseflow Management Discussion
Measure 14: Clearance Rate (CourTools 2)
Measure 2a: Time to Resolution (CourTools 3)
Measure 2b: Age of Active Pending Caseload (CourTools 4)
Measure 3: Trial Date Certainty (CourTools 5)
The Committee decided to start with the first three measures (Clearance Rate, Time to Resolution, and Age of Active Pending Caseload) and to combine them within one measure as they are inter-related. The Committee also decided to begin with superior courts as their caseload measurements are clearly defined, and data is readily available. Once the superior court standards have been finalized, the Committee will continue with standards for the courts of limited jurisdiction (CLJ) and the court of appeals. It was noted, however, that the standards for courts of limited jurisdiction will be constrained by lack of both defined measurements and data for that court level. Dave Ponzoha noted that the Court of Appeals has well-defined and published measures that can be examined for audit purposes.
The superior court caseload data is published on the Courts’ website. It was agreed that during the measure testing phase, however, data used to set standards will be compiled without identifying individual courts.
The Committee discussed caseload data, time standards, problematic individual causes of action, and dependency cases. Ultimately, the Committee decided that the following major superior court case types should be part of the audit measures: criminal (case type 01); civil (case type 02); domestic (case type 03); and juvenile offender (case type 08). (To avoid duplication of effort, dependencies were excluded as the Dependency Timeliness Report, which documents dependency case processing in each county, is sent to the legislature annually.)
It was mentioned that caseload data might be entered differently in each county. Jenni Christopher explained that the county clerks and AOC staff have worked diligently to establish a small group of docketing codes that drive this process. Training has been conducted, and data entry instructions have been provided. Ultimately, during a court audit, if a court’s data varies considerably from the established standards, the auditor will discuss this with the court and the county clerk, and document possible reasons (risk and protective factors), one of which might be local data entry practices.
The Committee agreed on the following initial standards (to be modified as statewide data are developed):
A. Clearance Rate: The rate of outgoing cases to incoming cases should be at least ninety percent.
B. Time to Resolution: Cases should be resolved within five percent of the time standards recommended by the Board for Judicial Administration for each case type.
C. Age of Active Caseload: No more than fifteen percent of active cases should be pending beyond the maximum time standard for each case type.
Interim Staff Work
Before the next conference call on June 2, staff will send out statewide superior court clearance rate data and active/pending case data which will help the Committee to determine whether the standards being suggested are appropriate.
The next conference call is scheduled for Wednesday, June 2 from 12:15 – 1:30 p.m. The call in number is the same: 360-407-3780 PIN 158394#.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:10 p.m.
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