Board for Judicial Administration
Members present: Judge James M. Riehl, member-chair; Mr. Dale Carlisle; Judge Christine Cary; Judge Vickie Churchill; Judge Chris Culp via phone; Judge James Gavin; Judge Robert Harris; Judge Vicki Hogan; Judge Stephen Holman; Judge Ronald Kessler; Judge Frank Kurtz; Justice Barbara Madsen; Judge Dirk Marler; Ms. Mary McQueen; Judge Robert McSeveney; Mr. Jan Eric Peterson; and Judge Karen Seinfeld
Members absent: Chief Justice Gerry Alexander, Judge William Baker, Judge Deborah Fleck
Guests present: Ms. Betty Gould, Thurston County Clerk; Ms. Anne Holdren, Retirement Systems; Ms. Rena Hollis, Skamania County Clerk; and Ms. Marijean Moschetto, Washington State Bar Association
Staff present: Mr. Gil Austin; Mr. Rick Coplen; Ms. Jude Cryderman; Mr. Doug Haake; Ms. Janet McLane; Mr. Victor Moore; and Ms. Yvonne Pettus
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by Judge James Riehl, member chair.
Ms. Marijean Moschetto provided a brief presentation of the 9 principles of the Bar's Creed of Professionalism. She informed the Board that plaques with the Creed could be obtained from their local county bar associations.
It was moved by Judge Kurtz and seconded by Judge Gavin to approved the minutes of the November 30, 2001 meeting as published. Motion passed.
GR-28-Presiding Judge Rule
Judge Riehl provided a brief outline.
Ms. Hollis explained the county clerks are separately elected officials. She continued, supervisory responsibility for the clerk's office staff, who are executive branch employees, lies with the clerk. Further, she said it was preferably to deal with the issue at the local level.
The Board briefly considered several proposed language changes. They agreed to convene a group to draft language that would be workable for all parties. Judge Kurtz, Judge Harris and Judge McSeveney agreed to participate in the group. Ms. Gould and Ms. Hollis will represent the County Clerks. Draft language will be presented to the Board at the February meeting.
It was moved by Judge Hogan and seconded by Judge McSeveney to reconsider GR 28 and place on February's agenda. The motion passed.
Judicial Retirement Account
Mr. Moore introduced Ms. Anne Holdren from Retirement Systems. He then gave a brief overview of the benefit account for those in the PERS system.
It was moved and seconded to approve adopting the same flexibility in distribution options for the JRA as set out in the deferred compensation account.
Judge Kessler said he felt the associations should review and approve the proposal before it's brought before the Board.
Judge Kessler moved to table Judicial Retirement Account until the February meeting. The motion failed for lack of second.
The vote on the motion to adopt the same flexibility in distribution options for the JRA account passed with one abstention.
General Rule 24 - Definition of Practice of Law
Ms. McQueen advised the Board the proposed rule was submitted by the Court Management Council in an effort to provide guidance for the proper dissemination of information to clerks and court employees.
The BJA briefly reviewed the proposed rule making the following addition:
(10) Serving in a neutral capacity as a clerk or court employee providing information to the public pursuant to Supreme Court rule.
It was moved by Justice Madsen and seconded by Judge Kessler to forward to the Supreme Court Rules Committee amended GR 24. The motion passed unanimously.
Judge Riehl and Judge Culp provided background to this issue.
It was moved by Judge Culp and seconded by Judge Harris that BJA establish a Judicial Independence Committee to assist all trial court levels in their relationships with executive branches. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Haake, AOC Court Services, will staff this committee.
BCE-Curriculum Assistance for Presiding Judges' Conference
Judge Marler reminded the Board of its request to the BCE for assistance in the development of the curriculum for the Presiding Judges' Conference. The BCE has also requested that one member of the BJA be designated to serve on the committee to develop this year's program and future curriculum plans. Judge Marler agreed to serve on behalf of the Board.
Judge Riehl reviewed the history of the BJA dues. A brief discussion followed during which the members agreed to provide the dues information their boards. The members will provide feedback from their associations at the February meeting.
Judge Riehl briefly reviewed the BJA bylaws issue. No proposed changes were suggested.
Mr. Moore reported on the following bills:
SB 5262 would change the threshold property values for crimes against property. The change in value would reduce the number of these cases in superior court and result in approximately 33% of the cases going to district and municipal courts.
It was moved by Judge Kurtz and seconded by Judge Kessler to endorse SB 5262 at a level of $1,000 or less. The motion passed.
SB 6293 provided for the sheriff or deputies' attendance during session of district court.
HB 2704 provides that a crime charged cannot be dismissed based on the time it takes to come to trial unless the rights of the accused have been prejudiced to such an extent that it has materially affected the accused's right to a fair trial.
It was moved by Judge Kurtz and seconded by Judge Hogan to correspond with the legislature that a joint study group should be convened to review the court rules relating to speedy trial.
The Board briefly discussed the motions.
Call for question. The motion passed.
Judge Riehl advised that the Executive Committee is hold weekly conference calls to review/discuss legislation of interest to the courts. Judge Riehl continued, there are two bills before the legislature requesting changes in the number of judges authorized in King County District Court (bill requests a decrease in the number of judges) and Spokane County District Court (bill requests an increase in the number of judges). Spokane's request is based on statute that identifies the weighted caseload as the mechanism for calculating the number of judges authorized, based on caseload.
Ms. McQueen advised the Board that the weighted caseload for the district courts is outdated and therefore judicial needs are inaccurate. She continued, that Judge Stilz, Thurston County District Court, has agreed to chair a committee that will develop a new district court judicial needs assessment mechanism.
It was moved by Judge McSeveney to declare a moratorium on any action by the Board with respect to district court statutes relating to judicial needs assessments until AOC has developed a reliable methodology.
The Board briefly discussed what action, if any, should be taken. They agreed not action was necessary at this point.
Judge McSeveney withdrew his motion.
Speedy Trial Rule
Judge Kessler reviewed his proposal for the speedy trial rule. The Board agreed to forward to the Speedy Trial Task Force.
Long-range Planning Committee
Judge Riehl reported the committee is continuing their review. A presentation will be made during the February meeting for action in March.
Trial Court Coordinating Council
Ms. McLane advised that Chief Justice Alexander and Judge Riehl has corresponded with Judge Stephen Holman, Judge Randel Fitterer, Judge James Murphy, Judge Jeffrey Ramsdale and Judge Jack Nevin requesting their participation on the committee. Judge Stephen Holman has agreed to chair the effort.
Ms. McLane continued, the group will meet in mid-February to frame out the process, develop a time frame and process and method for selection those courts eligible for monetary awards.
Ms. Pettus reported the conclusion of the first study effort was that mandatory settlement conferences are not a best practice. The committee's next meeting is scheduled for March 29.
District and Municipal Court Judges' Association
Judge Culp reported that the uniform standards for appointment of counsel had been forwarded to the Long-range Planning Committee. He advised that Judge Stilz would be chairing the weighted caseload effort.
Access To Justice
Written report provided.
Washington State Bar Association
Mr. Carlisle reported:
Next month's meeting is set for February 22 at the Temple of Justice, Olympia.
|Courts | Organizations | News | Opinions | Rules | Forms | Directory | Library|
|Back to Top | Privacy and Disclaimer Notices|