Best Practices Committee
July 10, 2013
Board for Judicial Administration
Conference Call: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 (3:00 - 4:00 p.m.)
The meeting was called to order by Judge Rietschel.
Approval of Minutes
Judge Rietschel asked if there were any corrections to the December 5, 2012 minutes, there were none. The minutes were approved as written.
Proposed standard for trial date for civil cases in superior courts
Ninety-five percent of Superior Court civil trials occur in the week of the date set within three trial date settings.
This three setting standard assumes the following:
The first setting is the original filing trial date set at the time of filing.
The proposed trial date set at the time of filing is usually one year out.
Note: For counties that do not set a trial date at the time of filing, the standard is 95 percent within two trial date settings, the first being the date set after time has passed for settlement etc., the second any continuance of the first.
Mr. Elliott did a brief recap from the December 2012 meeting discussion of this topic. He continued that his next step is to start searching in SCOMIS/JIS to see if it can be done and if not, determine a methodology for field work.
There was general consensus among the committee that this is a livable standard and Mr. Elliott should proceed with seeing what data can be collected.
Mr. Elliott asked if he should concentrate on civil cases/data or should he work concurrently on criminal data.
There was a general consensus among the committee that this may be a data-driven exercise, so Mr. Elliott should proceed with the civil data collection before working on the criminal data.
Mr. Elliott has been looking at other states and how they do annual reporting (audits), specifically a yearly report that Minnesota does. It highlights performance measures and key results (Access to Justice, Timeliness, Integrity and Accountability, etc.).
It was noted that Pierce County and King County do similar reports that go to their county executive and commissioners. However, not all counties do reports.
After some discussion, the committee agreed that developing a template for other counties to use may be useful; and it would be nice to have consistency across the state.
It was agreed that Judge Rietschel and Mr. Elliott will move forward with developing a short survey for county clerks and superior court administrators on what kind of data they currently report and what is important. It will be stressed that we are just looking for input and not conducting an audit.
Mr. Elliott remarked that many of the member’s terms have expired and will need to be reappointed or replaced. However, given the ongoing Board for Judicial Administration (BJA) discussion about its restructure, this process has been delayed.
It seems likely that the Best Practices Committee will continue in some form, once we know the future membership and mission we will move forward on the appointment process. Prudence dictates waiting so that new members will know the task and current members can decide if they wish to continue. We have been advised that the BJA is planning to distribute its recommendations on July 19. This distribution should provide clarity and then staff can proceed with requesting membership appointments with the appropriate associations.
The committee will be polled for a September conference call.
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