Council to Consider Special Funds in Support of Trial Courts

for release

Contact: <a href="">Teresa Ruano</a>, 415-865-7740

August 15, 2013

Judicial Council to Consider up to $93 Million of Special Funds in Support of Trial Courts

Funds would increase access to justice by supporting self-help centers, technology initiatives, and other court costs

JC Seal

SAN FRANCISCO—At its public meeting next week, the Judicial Council will consider recommendations from its Trial Court Budget Advisory Committee on which projects and programs that support trial courts should receive a portion of $93 million from the Trial Court Trust Fund and the State Trial Court Improvement and Modernization Fund in the current fiscal year.

The Trial Court Budget Advisory Committee met on August 14 to discuss and finalize its recommendations to the council on the distribution of the special funds. Examples of areas that receive primary support from these funds include self-help centers, technology support and initiatives, the complex civil litigation program, education of judges and court staff, and reimbursement for other court costs.

The council will hold its two-day public business meeting from 1:30 p.m. to 4:10 p.m. on Thursday, August 22, and from 8:30 a.m. to 2:50 p.m. on Friday, August 23, in the Judicial Council Conference Center, Hiram Johnson State Office Building, Third Floor, Ronald M. George State Office Complex, 455 Golden Gate Avenue in San Francisco.

The meeting agenda and reports are posted online.

Other items on the council’s meeting agenda include:

Workload Allocation Funding Methodology Unique Factors Process: The Trial Court Budget Advisory Committee recommends that the council approve a modification to the Workload Allocation Funding Model to incorporate a process for evaluating unaddressed workload factors. The primary purpose of this process is to provide trial courts the opportunity to identify workload factors not addressed in the original methodology adopted by the council in April.

Funding to Replace Superior Court of Fresno County Case Management System: The Superior Court of Fresno County is requesting assistance not to exceed $2,373,200 in Trial Court Trust Fund monies over a two-year period to replace the V2 case management system. The court is expected to go live with the V2 replacement approximately 18 months after the project starts, and from that point on the judicial branch will no longer have a financial liability tied to the maintenance and support of V2. The Judicial Council Technology Committee (JCTC) and the Trial Court Budget Advisory Committee (TCBAC) have reviewed the court's business case. The JCTC recommends to the Judicial Council the replacement of the Fresno Superior Court V2 case management system. The TCBAC joins in the JCTC recommendation.

Fiscal Year 2014–2015 Budget Concepts: The council’s Advisory Committee on Financial Accountability and Efficiency for the Judicial Branch (A&E) and the AOC recommend that the Judicial Council approve its recommendation on the 2014–2015 budget concepts for the Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal, trial courts, and the Judicial Council/AOC, as well as delegate authority to the Administrative Director of the Courts to make technical changes to the budget proposals as necessary. Budget concepts approved by the council will be developed into full budget change proposals (BCPs), the standard process for proposing funding adjustments. This year the BCPs will be submitted to the State Department of Finance by September 13.

Domestic Violence Practice and Procedure Task Force Final Implementation Report: The task force recommends that the Judicial Council direct its Family and Juvenile Law Advisory Committee to be responsible for a proposal about firearm relinquishment in family law matters and that the Violence Against Women Education Project (VAWEP) Planning Committee—whose members are selected by the advisory committee co-chairs—be responsible for the remainder of the task force’s projects. The task force further recommends that the Family and Juvenile Law Advisory Committee and VAWEP consult with other interested committees and groups to develop a process to address ongoing and emerging issues of court practice and procedure in criminal and civil domestic violence cases.

Oversight of AOC Contracts: The council’s Advisory Committee on Financial Accountability and Efficiency for the Judicial Branch (A&E) recommends adoption of guidelines for the review of the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) contracting process. If approved, these guidelines will enhance the effectiveness of the council’s oversight of the AOC’s contracting process and provide increased financial accountability and transparency concerning AOC contracts.

Efficiencies and Restructuring at the AOC Center for Judiciary Education and Research: The council will receive a report on the Center for Judiciary Education and Research (CJER), which has provided education and training to the judicial branch for the past 40 years. Reductions in funding and personnel over the past several years, in combination with implementing directives of the Judicial Council arising from the Strategic Evaluation Committee’s final report, have necessitated a restructure of CJER. Overall, staff has been reduced by 37 percent.

California Blue Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care Report and Resolution: The commission, reporting on its ongoing implementation activities, recommends adopting a resolution declaring December 4, 2013, to be Keeping Kids in School and Out of Court Day to encourage courts and local communities to take special measures to address the issues of chronic absenteeism, truancy, and school discipline policies that can lead to negative outcomes for youth. December 4 is also the date of the Keeping Kids in School and Out of Court Summit, which will bring together representatives from more than 30 counties to learn about these issues and promising and proven interventions that they could implement in their own counties.

Distinguished Service Awards—Recipients for 2013: The council will consider a recommendation for the recipients of these annual awards—the highest honors bestowed by the judicial branch—which recognize individuals who exemplify the leadership strengths that create significant and positive contributions to court administration in California. Following council approval, the awards will be formally presented on a date and at an event to be determined.