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2022 California Rules of Court

Standard 10.17. Trial court performance standards

(a) Purpose

These standards are intended to be used by trial courts, in cooperation with the Judicial Council, for purposes of internal evaluation, self-assessment, and self-improvement. They are not intended as a basis for cross-court comparisons, nor are they intended as a basis for evaluating the performance of individual judges.

(Subd (a) lettered effective January 1, 2007; adopted as part of unlettered subdivision effective January 25, 1995.)

(b) Standards

The standards for trial court performance are as follows:

(1)  Access to justice

(A)  The court conducts its proceedings and other public business openly.

(B)  Court facilities are safe, accessible, and convenient to use.

(C)  All who appear before the court are given the opportunity to participate effectively without undue hardship or inconvenience.

(D)  Judges and other trial court personnel are courteous and responsive to the public and accord respect to all with whom they come into contact.

(E)  The costs of access to the trial court's proceedings and records-whether measured in terms of money, time, or the procedures that must be followed-are reasonable, fair, and affordable.

(2)  Expedition and timeliness

(A)  The trial court establishes and complies with recognized guidelines for timely case processing while, at the same time, keeping current with its incoming caseload.

(B)  The trial court disburses funds promptly, provides reports and information according to required schedules, and responds to requests for information and other services on an established schedule that assures their effective use.

(C)  The trial court promptly implements changes in law and procedure.

(3)  Equality, fairness, and integrity

(A)  Trial court procedures faithfully adhere to relevant laws, procedural rules, and established policies.

(B)  Jury lists are representative of the jurisdiction from which they are drawn.

(C)  Trial courts give individual attention to cases, deciding them without undue disparity among like cases and on legally relevant factors.

(D)  Decisions of the trial court unambiguously address the issues presented to it and make clear how compliance can be achieved.

(E)  The trial court takes appropriate responsibility for the enforcement of its orders.

(F)  Records of all relevant court decisions and actions are accurate and properly preserved.

(4)  Independence and accountability

(A)  A trial court maintains its institutional integrity and observes the principle of comity in its governmental relations.

(B)  The trial court responsibly seeks, uses, and accounts for its public resources.

(C)  The trial court uses fair employment practices.

(D)  The trial court informs the community of its programs.

(E)  The trial court anticipates new conditions or emergent events and adjusts its operations as necessary.

(5)  Public trust and confidence

(A)  The trial court and the justice it delivers are perceived by the public as accessible.

(B)  The public has trust and confidence that the basic trial court functions are conducted expeditiously and fairly and that its decisions have integrity.

(C)  The trial court is perceived to be independent, not unduly influenced by other components of government, and accountable.

(Subd (b) lettered effective January 1, 2007; adopted as part of unlettered subdivision effective January 25, 1995.)

Standard 10.17 amended and renumbered effective January 1, 2007; adopted as sec. 30 effective January 25, 1995.


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