Trial Court Coordination Councils
Trial Court Coordination Projects
2007 – 2009
Black Diamond/Buckley/Milton Municipal Courts —Set up internet-based video conferencing between each court and the Buckley jail (which they all use); sign an agreement allowing each to hold preliminary hearings for any member court; work with law enforcement to allow next-day hearings for those charged with domestic violence or DUI offenses but not held in custody; and open agreements to other similarly situated courts.
King County — Reduce juror non-response rates throughout King County courts through a marketing campaign that includes “larger than life” messages on Metro buses for eight weeks; and will modify the appearance and text of the juror summons and mailing notifications, which are managed for all King County courts by the King County Superior Court, to improve the initial point of contact with potential jurors.
Pierce County — Increase volunteer coordination by installation of an information booth at a key location in the County City Building, similar to the hospital model. TCCC funding will be used for consulting services to develop volunteer services and for the cost of the booth and computer tools.
Skagit County — Provide regional training for all line staff from Skagit, Island, San Juan and Whatcom counties (about 107 people). Line staff members do not get the same training opportunities that managers receive in annual conferences. Professional training will focus on communication skills.
Columbia County — Implement a video-conferencing system in order to solve a problem with insecure transport of in-custody defendants. System will allow judges, defendants and court personnel to interact from remote locations, improving security and reducing transport costs, particularly for defendants housed in adjacent jurisdictions.
2005 – 2007
King County — Organize a one-day summit on issues related to juveniles appearing in courts of limited jurisdiction, and impact on both the children and detention due to warrant and sentencing practices.
Kitsap County — Hire a consultant to conduct a feasibility study on regionalizing services of Kitsap’s limited jurisdiction courts, and to develop a strategic plan. The study will evaluate current practices, identify opportunities for regionalization of services, inventory facilities, technology and equipment, and formulate specific goals for enhanced delivery of services.
Kittitas County — Develop cross-court pro se assistance by implementing a courthouse facilitator program together with a pro se self help center and one-stop service counter. The goal is to provide basic services for pro set litigants in family law cases, and cross-jurisdictional assistance to all Kittitas County pro se litigants.
Pierce County — Institute cross-court issuance of protection orders. The project will reconcile protection, no-contact, harassment and domestic violence protection orders issues by Pierce County Superior and District and Tacoma Municipal courts, with physical documents filed with the Law Enforcement Support Agency. An electronic repository will be created, with a goal of providing instant access to the protection orders for judges, court staff, prosecutors, assigned counsel and eventually to all law enforcement officers to view from computers in their vehicles.
Skagit County — Initiate cross-court issuance of protection orders by having a single judicial officer reviewing existing protection orders and rescinding conflicting orders. Orders will be scanned into a unified data bank and in the near future, onto a secure Web site for use by the courts, prosecutors’ offices and law enforcement.
2003 – 2005
Okanogan — Remodel the former Okanogan County Sheriff’s records office into an in-custody courtroom to provide a location immediately adjacent to the Okanogan County Jail. This will allow Okanogan County Corrections staff to transport defendants into a secure courtroom directly from the jail. A secondary purpose of the courtroom is to conduct hearings over the Internet enabling judges, defendants, and court personnel to interact from remote locations.
Kitsap — In order to provide greater protection for victims, scan domestic violence full orders issued by all levels of courts in Kitsap County onto an existing web site, allowing parties to review the orders in their entirety 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Kitsap County District Court web site will provide a secured location accessible by password to law enforcement, the prosecutor’s office, the courts, and victims advocacy agencies. The Kitsap County District Court will coordinate the collection, scanning and maintenance of the information and the web access.
King – Review and improve customer services provided by the three downtown Seattle courts (King County Superior, District and Seattle Municipal Courts) in order to provide standardized, consistent, useful, easy-to-understand information at all points of initial customer contact. Standard information will give the courts a consistent capacity to redirect customers to the correct court.
2001 – 2003
Island/San Juan — Undertaking a project to install equipment that will enable court hearings to be conducted using video conferencing between the Island County jail and the San Juan County courthouse to avoid the transportation of defendants on private charter flights.
King — Providing wireless laptops to the specialty courts to enable access to databases cross-jurisdictionally and to streamline information exchange among King County Superior Court, Seattle Municipal Court, and King County District Court. This furthers the long-term goal of the creation of a united substance abuse and mental illness court to allow for better control and service to the 30% of substance abusers who are also identified as having mental health issues and the 70% of mental health court users identified as having substance abuse problems.
Yakima —Yakima County Court Administration has the authority and countywide support to consolidate the administrative and operational structure of the superior and district courts. Under this model, there is one court administrator and functions and tasks previously duplicated in various court units have been grouped together with standardized policies and procedures. Yakima is now planning to expand the model to include municipal courts, the juvenile court, and district and municipal court probation services.