Board for Judicial Administration
Members present: Chief Justice Gerry Alexander; Judge William Baker; Judge Vickie Churchill; Judge Sara Derr; Judge Stephen Dwyer; Judge Deborah Fleck; Judge Vicki Hogan; Judge Stephen Holman; Judge Ronald Kessler; Justice Barbara Madsen; Mr. J. Richard Manning; Commissioner Dirk Marler; Ms. Mary McQueen; Judge Robert McSeveney; Judge James M. Riehl; Judge John Schultheis; and Judge Karen Seinfeld
Guests present: Ms. Andra Motyka and Ms. Marianne Walters
Staff present: Mr. Gil Austin; Ms. Jude Cryderman; Mr. Doug Haake; Mr. Jeff Hall; Ms. Janet McLane; and Ms. Yvonne Pettus
Call to Order
Chief Justice Alexander called the meeting to order.
Chief Justice Alexander advised the Board that the 150 year anniversary of the creation of Washington Territory commences March 2 with the unveiling of an exhibit at the Temple of Justice. The Chief Justice briefly described the exhibit.
Judge Riehl reported the ABA mid-year meeting took place in Seattle earlier this month. Judge Riehl advised that Judge Anne Ellington was presented with an award from the National Association of Women Lawyers.
It was moved by Judge Schultheis and seconded by Justice Madsen to approve the minutes of the January 24, 2003 meeting as published. The motion carried.
Model Court Manager Job Description
Ms. Walters advised that as required by GR 29, a representative group of court managers has developed the proposed court manager job description. She advised the job description is just a model and it can be altered to fit a particular jurisdiction.
The Board briefly discussed the salary range recognizing the salary may change, and therefore the qualifications, county-by-county based on the county’s ability to compensate employees.
It was pointed out that the model job description should include a statement that the court manager reports to and serves at the pleasure of the presiding judge.
The Board agreed the model job description should be put before the associations and also distributed at the Presiding Judges Conference. Feedback from the associations will be placed on the March agenda.
The Board next discussed how far behind Washington is on the pay scale based on the minimum qualifications.
It was moved by Judge Churchill and seconded by Judge Fleck to ask Court Management Council to undertake a salary survey of court administrators. The motion carried.
Court Independence Response Team (CIRT)
Mr. Haake advised the Board that CIRT’s first meeting took place on February 7. During that meeting CIRT reviewed Washington City/County Management Association’s request to be included on CIRT. In addition, the County Clerks also requested to be added to the membership.
It was moved by Judge Seinfeld and seconded by Judge Schultheis to amend the CIRT bylaws to include membership from the Washington City/County Management Association and the County Clerks’ Association. The motion carried.
The Board briefly discussed concerns regarding the number of judges on CIRT versus the number of executive branch representatives. It was proposed that one more judge from each court level be added to the membership. Chief Justice Alexander will discuss the concern regarding membership with Judge Frazier, chair of CIRT.
Ms. McLane reminded the membership of the presentation made by Mr. Kirk Johns at the September meeting. During that presentation Mr. Johns asked assistance from the judiciary in the development and publication of the ADR Handbook. Recently, Mr. Johns indicated no one from the judiciary had volunteered to assist with the handbook.
Court Funding Task Force
Ms. McQueen reported two of the five work groups have met. The others will meet the by mid-March. She indicated that a meeting with the Task Force, DMCJA, SCJA and BJA will be held sometime in June.
Mr. Hall reported a legislative position table is created and sent to members each Tuesday morning reflecting the actions taken by the Executive Committee during their weekly Monday conference calls. Mr. Hall advised that the position table will be distributed to all BJA members in the future. Mr. Hall reviewed the positions taken thus far by the Executive Committee.
In the course of discussing the mega-muni court bills, Judge Dwyer advised that an article in the Everett Herald reported that the Marysville Municipal Court is actually making a profit. The Board briefly discussed issues related to revenue generated by the courts.
Chief Justice Alexander indicated one of his priorities was to “kill” the mega muni court bill. In addition, the passing of the ATJ filing fee bill is a priority for the Chief.
Ms. McQueen reported the first hearing will be held in Vancouver on February 27. She indicated that each public hearing will focus on different groups whose salaries are set by the Commission. The focus of the April 24 hearing in Spokane will be the judiciary.
Chief Justice Alexander stated that even though the judiciary is not the focus of a particular public hearing, it is important to have judiciary representatives at each hearing to answer questions.
Ms. McQueen indicated she would work with the association presidents and the Court of Appeals to secure representation at each hearing.
Judicial Retirement Work Group
Ms. McQueen reported several retirement bills are being monitored. She advised that the work group is researching the possibility of creating other retirement benefits rather than changing the pension plan.
Presiding Judges Conference
Commissioner Marler reported 80 people have registered for the Conference. The Conference is scheduled for March 2-4 in Yakima.
Court of Appeals
Judge Schultheis provided an updated on the water rights bill that was introduced by Senator Honeyford.
Judge Schultheis advised that 21 applications were received for the U.S. District Court position for Eastern Washington. Of the 21, three names have been forwarded to the White House.
Judge Baker advised that he will participate in a symposium at Willamette University. He will be speaking about judicial selection.
Judge Fleck reported:
• Judge Murphy has written a guest editorial on race and justice initiatives that was published in the Everett Herald.
• SCJA continues to pursue moving state juvenile court funding from JRA to AOC.
• The Family and Juvenile Law Committee has been working with JRA to develop a proposal that would provide sentencing options that allow juveniles to remain in their communities.
• A letter has been sent to Dennis Braddock, DSHS Secretary, regarding the problems related to the centralized CPS intake system.
District and Municipal Courts
Commissioner Marler reported their current focus is legislative issues.
Mr. Manning reported:
• Mr. Hyslop from Spokane had met with Senator West regarding the filing fee bill. In addition, other Bar members have also met with Senator West.
• The BOG has forwarded two recommended changes to the discipline rules to the Supreme Court.
• Mr. Jim Danielson has been designated as Chief Hearings Officer.
• The BOG opposed most of the provisions in the proposed tort reform legislation.
Ms. McQueen provided an update on the Family Law Handbook and her meeting with Senator Hargrove.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
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