Board for Judicial Administration
Members Present: Chief Justice Gerry Alexander, Chair; Judge Vickie Churchill, Member Chair; Judge Marlin Appelwick, Mr. Stan Bastian (by phone), Judge Leonard Costello; Judge Susan Dubuisson; Judge Deborah Fleck; Ms. Paula Littlewood, Justice Barbara Madsen; Judge Richard McDermott; Judge Larry McKeeman; Judge Robert McSeveney; Judge Marilyn Paja; Judge Christine Quinn-Brintnall, Judge John Schultheis; Judge Stephen Shelton, and Mr. Butch Stussy
Guests Present: Mr. M. Wayne Blair, Ms. Roni Booth, Ms. Kathy Martin, Ms. Kathy Seymour, and Mr. Paul Sherfey
Staff Present: Ms. Beth Flynn, Mr. Doug Haake, Mr. Jeff Hall, Mr. Dirk Marler,
Ms. Mellani McAleenan (by phone), Ms. Regina McDougall, and Mr. Ramsey Radwan
Judge Churchill called the meeting to order.
October 19, 2007 Minutes
It was moved by Justice Madsen and seconded by Judge Dubuisson to approve the October 19, 2007, meeting minutes as written. The motion carried.
2008 Legislative Agenda
Mr. Hall introduced Ms. McAleenan who was recently hired by the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) as Executive Director of Policy and Planning. She comes to AOC with significant legislative experience having previously worked for the Association of Washington Business.
Ms. McAleenan reviewed the proposed legislative slate of BJA Request Legislation recommended to the full Board by the Executive Committee. Ms. McAleenan reported that the Cowlitz County District Court is seeking the creation of a third judge position. Ms. McAleenan does not anticipate any problems with the county commissioners supporting the request.
HB 2177 is a bill that was on the BJA legislative agenda last year. The Courthouse Security Committee asked the BJA to put forth legislation that would make it illegal to bring any knives into a courtroom regardless of intent. Ms. McAleenan met with Representative Pat Lantz who indicated her support in moving the bill forward this session.
Judge Dubuisson asked why the intent language was originally included in the statute. Mr. Hall stated the definition of weapons statute is very old and the court statute simply points to the definition of weapons statute so the two were not initially related.
It was moved by Judge McSeveney and seconded by Judge Schultheis to approve the 2008 BJA Request Legislation. The motion carried.
Ms. McAleenan explained that after a fairly extensive discussion of the BJA Executive Committee they recommended that the BJA take a position of “support” on legislation to be introduced, which is consistent with the Family and Juvenile Court Improvement Plan. The BJA Executive Committee agreed that the SCJA would be the lead judicial organization for this proposal with the BJA taking a supportive role.
Judge McKeeman stated he thinks it is premature to take a position on a bill that has not been reviewed. Judge Fleck asked if this could be tabled until December when the BJA could review the draft legislation. Mr. Hall said it might help to have the BJA’s support in hand before the legislation is drafted.
It was moved by Judge Schultheis and seconded by Judge Shelton to take a position of “support” on legislation to be introduced, provided it is consistent with the Family and Juvenile Court Improvement Plan. The motion carried.
JIJ Trial Court Operations Committee
Mr. Hall distributed a flow chart showing the various groups involved in the Justice in Jeopardy Initiative and how the budget requests are developed and coordinated.
Judge Fleck stated that the Justice in Jeopardy Initiative is focused on increasing state and local funding for trial court operations, civil legal aid, indigent criminal defense, and parents representation in dependency cases. Each area, except trial court operations, works through their own subject matter board to develop and review budget proposals. The JIJ Implementation Committee recommends that BJA establish a committee to develop the trial court operations funding proposals.
The committee would consist of a small group of judges and some court managers and they would develop funding proposals for approval by the Board. Once approved, the requests would be coordinated with the other Justice In Jeopardy proposals at the JIJ Implementation Committee level.
Judge Appelwick commented that the flow chart did not indicate that that BJA approves any JIJ Implementation Committee actions. It is clear that other groups have independent authority to recommend budgets. Judge Churchill pointed out that she would like to see a solid line between the Trial Court Operations Funding Committee to the JIJ Implementation Committee and not see dotted lines for other groups to JIJ Implementation Committee. The dotted line to the BJA from the JIJ Implementation Committee should be a solid line.
Mr. Hall explained that in prior years requests were presented to the Court Funding Implementation Committee which, in turn, made recommendations to the BJA regarding endorsement of the various proposals. For court operations, the BJA recommendation is a more direct request to the Supreme Court to include funding for the proposal(s) in the Administrative Office of the Courts budget.
Justice Madsen asked why the Trial Court Funding Operations Committee is not a subcommittee of the JIJ Implementation Committee, which seems to be the way the JIJ Initiative has always worked.
Mr. Hall responded that if you were to take the JIJ Implementation Committee out of the picture and it didn’t serve as a coordination committee, OPD and OCLA would be working individually. The BJA is to the trial court operations piece what the oversight committees of OPD and OCLA are to them.
Chief Justice Alexander said another question is whether the court operations piece should be under JIJ on the flow chart or off to the side of BJA.
Justice Madsen mentioned that it is confusing that we call this an implementation committee. If all the JIJ requests go through the committee, it is a coordination committee. Their coordination then goes to the BJA for approval.
Judge Quinn-Brintnall said she has been a member of both the BJA and the JIJ Implementation Committee. By having the Trial Court Operations Funding Committee work on vetting the projects/programs, it would eliminate some duplicative efforts. She agrees the new committee should report to the BJA and then go to JIJ Implementation Committee.
Mr. Hall will correct the flow chart and distribute it to the BJA members.
It was moved by Judge Fleck and seconded by Judge McKeeman that the BJA establish a Trial Court Operations Funding Committee to do the vetting process for court operations funding proposals. The motion carried.
2008 BJA Meeting Dates
Mr. Hall stated that the proposed 2008 meeting schedule was included in the meeting materials but there is one question to be decided. The BJA usually meets in conjunction with the Annual Judicial Conference and in 2008 the conference is in October. The result is that there are only two weeks between the September and October meetings and then six weeks between the October and November meetings.
Judge Fleck moved and Judge Shelton seconded to reschedule the October 5 meeting to October 17. Motion carried.
Ms. Littlewood said the WSBA Board of Governors and the Supreme Court are scheduled to meet on the morning of January 18 in Olympia. This is the same date as the proposed January BJA meeting date.
By consensus, it was decided to begin the January 18 BJA meeting at
1 p.m. Additionally, it was noted that the SCJA Legislative Committee would move their regular Friday afternoon meeting to the morning of January 18.
Marriage Dissolution Task Force
Mr. Marler gave a brief update on the Marriage Dissolution Task Force. The task force met on October 30 at AOC’s Olympia office and the members chose Professor Helen Donigan to serve as chair. They then created four groups to work on the business of the task force: point of first contact, training, dispute resolution, and parenting evaluators.
Presiding Judge/ADA Support
At the September BJA meeting there was a discussion regarding support AOC could provide to presiding judges. In response to that motion, AOC developed the following outline as a proposal to begin addressing some of the issues that were raised during the September meeting.
Judge Fleck asked if the services would only be provided to presiding judges and Mr. Marler explained that there was no intent that the service would be exclusive to presiding judges.
Judge Paja stated she thinks any assistance AOC can provide will be very useful and it is a very positive step.
Judge Shelton thanked Mr. Stussy and Mr. Marler for following-through with this and he appreciates the time they spent developing this.
Internet Access to Court Records
Mr. Hall spoke with Dr. Carl McCurley in the Washington State Center for Court Research and Dr. McCurley is ready to begin work on collecting information regarding internet access to court records. Mr. Marler asked the BJA how they want to handle work group appointments. Mr. Hall will send a notice asking for group members.
Mr. Hall attended the most recent Data Dissemination Committee meeting and they looked at a brief rule change and then looked at a more practical solution to address this issue. They are trying to find a practical solution to the problem that is being presented and they will keep working on it.
Agenda Items for Joint BJA/CMC Meeting
Mr. Hall explained that this agenda item was included to solicit agenda items for the joint BJA/CMC meeting. The following topics were suggested:
Access to Justice Board
Mr. Blair announced that the Northwest Justice Project is opening an office in Longview to provide free legal assistance in civil matters to low-income families. They will hold an open house on November 28. The office will serve Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties and will be staffed by three attorneys.
Chief Justice Alexander shared that the Aberdeen office open house had a great turnout. He hopes funding can continue to be secured to beef up operations in the rest of the state.
Mr. Blair attended a dinner in Kitsap county last night which was a joint celebration of Kitsap Legal Services and the Dispute Resolution Center of Kitsap County. Judge Leonard Kruse was the moderator and former U.S. attorney John McKay was the featured speaker. Mr. McKay spoke about some of his experiences in the legal services arena. He commented that the strongest organizations in various states were those where the judiciary provided a lot of the support. He also noted the program in the state of Washington was very strong and thanked the judiciary for the success.
Washington State Bar Association
Mr. Bastian reported that he is looking forward to attending the JIJ Implementation Committee meeting on November 26. Mr. Bastian, Ms. Littlewood and Mr. Russ Aoki will all attend as WSBA representatives.
Ms Littlewood shared the following regarding the work of the WSBA:
Judge Appelwick shared that the Council on Public Legal Education of the WSBA helped coordinate the expansion of Youth Courts at middle and high schools throughout the state. About 175 teens, advisers, and juvenile justice experts met November 9-11 at the University of Washington School of Law for the first Washington/Alaska Youth Court Conference. The fact that there has been WSBA, Judges’ Foundation, AOC and court support has made a big impact on the success of this program.
Reports from the Courts
Supreme Court: Justice Madsen reported that the Budget Committee is working to come up with a more coordinated approach to the judiciary budget.
Court of Appeals: Judge Appelwick stated that the budget is in process and Division I is experiencing a lot of change. They are waiting for an appointment to fill Judge H. Joseph Coleman’s position and they will have another appointment for Judge William Baker who is retiring soon.
Judge Quinn-Brintnall shared that the Tacoma Housing Authority has made an offer on the building Division II is housed in. The Tacoma Housing Authority wants Division II to remain a tenant. If this deal falls through, then the building goes on the open market.
Judge Schultheis said there was nothing new to report in Division III.
Superior Courts: Judge Churchill reported that the sentencing and supervision group met last week to try to pin down legislation they would like to see during the session.
There is a SCJA Legislative Committee meeting November 30 in Seattle at the Mayflower Hotel which should bring out some interesting information.
Judge Churchill thanked Regina for keeping the SCJA on track.
Courts of Limited Jurisdiction: Judge Shelton reported the following regarding the DMCJA:
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
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