Present Paul Ronnigen, Co-chair Robin Huseby Rita Weisz Judge Lee Christofferson Theresa Snyder Bill Neumann Connie Cleveland Jolynn Foote for Renee Mayer James Schnabel
Absent Judge Sonja Clapp, Co-chair Pat Podoll Larry Bernhardt Vince Ament Sandra McDonald Lorrie Miner Tracy Many Wounds Bob Freed Jim Gion Ina Olson
Staff Tara Muhlhauser Lee Ann Barnhardt Louie Hentzen Other Lanny Serrano Brad SwensonSusan Sisk
The minutes of the December 12, 2005 meeting were approved.
Susan Sisk provided budget information and requested that the Executive
Committee meet and have budget proposals into her by July 1. One of the areas of
discussion for the budget will be the additional time for GAL's in TPR cases. The
committee requested a copy of the letter Sally Holewa sent to the courts regarding the use
of GAL's and attorneys for children in deprivation and TPR's. The average number of
hours of GAL's in cases has been reported at 10 to 12 hours per case.
The next order of business was subcommittee reports.
Theresa Snyder reported the ICWA subcommittee had met four times. (See
attached report). Among the topics discussed:
Qualified expert witness, language for NDCC 27-20, a bench book for judges,
next years ICWA conferences, compliance. Tara Muhlhauser reported that there is a
draft in the works for an ICWA manual.
Bill Newmann reported on the Education subcommittee (See attached report). He
discussed the additional grant opportunities for education/training and the
Louie Hentzen read a letter (See attached) from Vince Ament reporting on the
GAL subcommittee. It was reported that Dana Doan's report will be finished by the end
of May. The new director of GAL project was introduced, Brad Swenson. He indicated
he was still working on a statistical report system. He reported that there are 56-58
GAL's throughout the state presently. James Schnabel voiced concerns about the GAL
program especially in the rural areas and inquired as to the accountability of UND in the
The Collaboration and System Integration subcommittee had not met at the time
of this meeting.
All subcommittees were requested to get a list of their members to Louie
Hentzen. Volunteers were requested at this time for each subcommittee. Robin Huseby
volunteered for the Education subcommittee. Connie Cleveland volunteered for the
ICWA subcommittee. Larry Bernhardt and Rita Weisz volunteered for the Collaboration
subcommittee. James Schnabel volunteered for the GAL subcommittee.
Lee Ann Barnhardt reviewed the progress report from the 2004 re-assessment for
inclusion in the next grant application. She handed out the Strategic Plan guideline (See
attached). Each subcommittee is to meet and draft strategic plans and return plans to Lee
Ann by May 15.
Bill Neumann moved that the Court Improvement Program Advisory committee
recommend the application of the additional grants, education/training and
date/technology. Connie Cleveland seconded. Passed unanimously.
A question arose as to whether the CIP need to invite another Tribal judge since
Lorrie Miner no longer held that position. No action taken at this time.