Washington Courts: Press Release Detail
'Project 2001': New Subcommittee Formed to Improve Court OperationsJanuary 28, 2000
"Project 2001": New Subcommittee Formed to Improve Court Operations
At its meeting on January 21, the Washington State Board for Judicial Administration (BJA) voted unanimously to create a subcommittee to study court reform.
"In a statewide survey last year, we learned that the public feels the courts are too confusing, cost too much and take too long to reach a decision," said Washington Supreme Court Chief Justice Richard P. Guy. "Through this subcommittee, we hope to work with the Legislature to implement real reforms, increasing the availability of adequately funded public courts to all people, regardless of income, for civil as well as criminal matters."
Chairing the "Project 2001" subcommittee will be former Washington State Bar President Paul Steere and Thomas A. Swayze, a former President of the Superior Court Judges’ Association and former Speaker of the House for the Washington State House of Representatives.
"It’s a step that all court levels agreed is important to explore the resource and operational problems facing the judiciary," said Spokane County Superior Court Judge James M. Murphy. Currently president of the Superior Court Judges’ Association, Murphy was also recently elected "member-chair" of the BJA.
Washington State District and Municipal Court Judges’ Association (DMCJA) president-elect Michael P. Roewe said, "The DMCJA supports the Board in the formation of this group, which will study critical issues such as court jurisdiction in our state."
Citizen members, business leaders, and members of the Washington State Legislature will be invited to join the subcommittee. They will meet for the first time on February 11, and are anticipated to conduct town hall meetings with the public.
Charged with the adoption of policies and providing leadership for the administration of justice in Washington courts, the BJA meets on a bimonthly basis to take positions on legislative and administrative matters.
Under new court rules published this week, the Board will increase representation of all levels of court. A unanimous vote by the Washington Supreme Court this month led the way for the change.
"I see great potential in the newly-constituted Board for Judicial Administration," commented Chief Justice Guy. "Our hope is that the change will provide leadership for the courts at large, while allowing the judiciary to speak with one voice."
CONTACT: Mary C. McQueen, state court administrator (360) 357-2120.
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