Board for Judicial Administration
Members Present:Members Present: Chief Justice Gerry Alexander, Chair; Judge Robert McSeveney, Member Chair; Judge Marlin Appelwick; Judge Leonard Costello; Judge Vickie Churchill; Judge Ronald Cox; Judge Sara Derr; Judge Susan Dubuisson; Judge Deborah Fleck; Justice Barbara Madsen; Judge Richard McDermott; Judge Larry McKeeman; Judge Marilyn Paja; Judge Linda Portnoy; Judge Christine Quinn-Brintnall; Judge Stephen Shelton; Mr. Butch Stussy and Judge Dennis Sweeney
Welcome and Introductions
Chief Justice Alexander called the meeting to order.
Chief Justice Alexander recognized new Board Members Judge Susan Dubuisson, recently elected to a four-year term as a DMCJA representative to the Board, and Judge Marilyn Paja, recently installed as President-elect of the DMCJA and serving on the Board as a non-voting member. Ms. Kathy Seymour, new President of the DMCMA was also welcomed to the meeting.
The May 18, 2007 minutes were approved as distributed by consensus.
Member Chair Election
Judge Robert McSeveney reported that at the May meeting there was a motion for one nomination, Judge Vickie Churchill for BJA Member Chair. The matter is on today's agenda for any additional nominations. No other nominations were received.
It was moved by Judge Larry McKeeman and seconded by Judge Leonard Costello to close the nominations and cast a unanimous ballot for Judge Vickie Churchill to be the Member Chair. The motion carried.
Reappointment to the OCLA Oversight Committee
Mr. Jeff Hall stated that at the July 1, 2004 Board meeting, the Board adopted the recommendation of the Court Funding Task Force to convene a work group to work on three areas regarding financial reporting. No action on this recommendation has been taken by the Board to date. It seems an appropriate time to pick this up and move forward. Mr. Butch Stussy has had some discussions with the Court Management Council (CMC) regarding their willingness to pick up the following tasks and move forward with them.
AOC staff spent six months analyzing court budgets to figure out how much money is spent across the state on trial court efforts. The data is now seven years old. It would be ideal if we could determine if there is a way to collect and look at this data on a regular basis and move forward.
The CMC is willing to take this on and would appreciate a judge to work with this group.
Mr. Stussy stated that AOC frequently gets questions from the Legislature and the public and it would be great to have the information available to address those questions.
It was moved by Judge Costello and seconded by Judge Shelton to request that the Court Management Council convene a work group to work on the 2004 Court Funding Task Force recommendations and report back to the Board in December 2007. Motion carried.
Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Plan and Language Assistance Plan (LAP) Template
Mr. Hall shared that the Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Plan and Language Assistance Plan (LAP) template is something the Interpreter Commission has been working on for quite some time. Mr. Hall introduced Mr. Robert Miera who is with the AOC Court Services Section and runs the Interpreter Program.
Mr. Miera stated that since 2005, the Interpreter Commission has been working collaboratively with Columbia Legal Services, the Northwest Justice Project and AOC to develop a statewide Limited English Proficiency (LEP) plan and a local model LEP plan for local courts to use. The impetus for developing the LEP plans was largely based on an executive order signed by President Clinton in 2000 mandating that all entities/organizations that receive federal funds create a plan to provide equal access to non-English speaking, deaf and hard of hearing persons.
The recent two million dollar appropriation to the courts to enhance court interpreter services and language assistance for LEP, deaf and hearing impaired persons also requires courts to create Language Assistance Plans (LAPs) in order to be eligible for interpreter funding. The statewide LEP plan also includes a template local jurisdictions can use to create their LAP. It was noted that local jurisdictions may create their LAPs either for each individual court, for clusters of courts, or for all courts in a county or region.
Mr. Miera provided an overview of the draft LEP plan included with the meeting materials.
Mr. Chris Ruhl explained that there is a strong impetus for local courts to move forward with creating and implementing their LAP plans quickly with the local courts because funding to assist local courts with plan development and implementation will expire in June 2008.
Chief Justice Alexander reminded the Board that the Legislature provided AOC with two million dollars in funding for interpreter enhancements in FY 08-09 and the LEP/LAP plan implementation will use a portion of that funding.
Mr. Hall said there is $340,000 in funding for creating and implementing LAP plans. AOC is in the process of hiring someone for a one-year project to assist courts in developing these plans.
Judge Portnoy stated that she read the plan from cover to cover and thinks it is very practical and has great suggestions.
It was moved by Judge Shelton and seconded by Justice Barbara Madsen to endorse the statewide Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Plan and LAP Template. The motion carried.
Justice in Jeopardy (JIJ) Planning Retreat
Mr. Hall gave a quick update regarding the JIJ Planning Retreat. At the April 20, 2007 BJA meeting, the Board decided to hold a JIJ retreat in the fall. Mr. Wayne Blair, Judge Deborah Fleck, Mr. Hall and Mr. Dirk Marler are working together to plan the retreat. The retreat will be held September 14 in SeaTac and they are working on the agenda, attendees and searching for a facilitator.
Gender and Justice Annual Report
As Chair of the Gender and Justice Commission, Justice Madsen presented the 2006 Washington State Supreme Court Gender and Justice Commission Annual Report to the Board.
The report provides information about the Office on Violence Against Women STOP Grants to the Courts. The Commission administers the STOP grants under the authority of the BJA. In 2006 they received 61 proposals for court projects and awarded funding for 35 projects. They spent close to $600,000 on those projects since the program began.
The report also shows that the Commission has been able to expend STOP grant monies in almost every county in Washington State.
The Commission received 24 requests for funding to enable judicial officers to attend domestic violence training this year. The Commission will be able to fund six to ten judges for this training.
Access to Justice Board
Mr. Blair reported that Ms. Sara Zier, the Director of the Equal Justice Coalition, which coalition leads the lobbying effort of the ATJ movement, has been accepted to New York University Law School on a Root-Tilden Scholarship. Ms. Nell McNamara will be replacing Ms. Zier at the Equal Justice Coalition.
The 2007 Washington State Access to Justice Conference was held June 1-3 in Wenatchee and the keynote speaker was former U.S. Attorney John McKay. Chief Justice Alexander commented that he was an excellent speaker and it was interesting to hear from a newsmaker while the issue is hot.
Reports from the Courts
Supreme Court: Justice Madsen said the Supreme Court Washington Pattern Jury Instruction Committee worked with West Publishing and the WSBA regarding posting jury instructions on the West Publishing web site. At the June Supreme Court En Banc Administrative Conference, the court approved the committee's recommendation to go forward with that plan.
Justice Madsen shared that Justice Bobbe Bridge is retiring at end of this year.
Court of Appeals: Judge Ronald Cox announced that Chief Justice Alexander will receive the Outstanding Judge Award at the King County Bar Association's Annual Dinner on June 21 at the Grand Hyatt in Seattle.
Judge Dennis Sweeney commented that former Court of Appeals Judge Dale Green passed away last Wednesday. He was one of the founding members of the Court of Appeals, Division III. He was a powerful writer and very thoughtful. He was a former federal district attorney and he also hired the first female law clerk at Division III who went on to become a very successful attorney. His service will be held in Walla Walla on Tuesday.
Superior Courts: Judge Vickie Churchill reported that the SCJA held their Long-Range Planning Retreat in La Conner on June 9 and 10, with Janet McLane as the facilitator. The Board of Trustees, officers, and committee chairs brainstormed a number of ideas for the long-range plan. The next step is synthesizing the ideas into a workable 5-year Long-Range Plan, which the Board will then consider at the September meeting.
Courts of Limited Jurisdiction: Judge Shelton shared that he is pleased to be a voting member of the Board this year. He is the third municipal court judge to be President in the 40-year history of the DMCJA. As President, he will be taking some long-range approaches including establishing an ad hoc committee to look at Judicial Conduct Commission issues and improving outreach to the WSBA by appointing Judge Richard Fitterer as liaison to the WSBA.
The DMCJA Spring Conference was a joint conference with the court managers. The Education Committee provided a conference that was really educational for both the administrators and the judges.
Other BusinessAs Chair of the Board for Court Education (BCE), Judge Richard McDermott stated the BCE is in the process of trying to put together a one-day retreat in October to develop a five-year comprehensive education plan. Anyone interested in attending the conference should contact Judge McDermott.
Chief Justice Alexander noted that there are quite a few superior court and courts of limited jurisdiction judges attending ASTAR training this week at the University of Washington. Chief Justice Alexander will attend the training this afternoon.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
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