Present: Judge Sonja Clapp Judge David Reich Connie Portscheller Dale Rivard Bob Rutten Karen Kringlie Tara Mulhauser
Absent: Judge Todd Cresap Dennis Herbeck (retired) Scott Davis Robin Huseby
Staff: Louie Hentzen Lee Ann Barnhardt Catie Palsgraaf, scribe
Judge Clapp called the meeting to order. A motion was made by Dale Rivard to approve the
March 30, 2012, minutes. The motion was seconded by Karen Kringlie, motion carried.
Annual Court Improvement Conference Mr. Hentzen discussed the upcoming annual Court Improvement Conference in Washington
D.C. on June 27–29, 2012. A special meeting of all court improvement directors will be held
on Wednesday, June 27, 2012, which Mr. Hentzen will attend. Judge Clapp, Ms. Portscheller,
Mr. Hentzen and Ms. Palsgraaf will attend the conference and report back to the Committee in
GAL Sub-Committee – Dennis Herbeck, Chair. Mr. Rivard reported on behalf of Mr. Herbeck,
who recently retired. Prior to Mr. Herbeck’s retirement, the sub-committee met in April 2012 to
update the GAL portion of the strategic plan. Existing data from the GAL program will be
utilized to track contacts with parents, children, social workers and others. The current tracking
system will need to be expanded to include additional contact information. The GAL report to
the court will also be reworked so GAL’s include consistent topics in each report.
Ms. Palsgraaf met with Brad Swenson and Lannon Serrano, of the North Dakota Guardian Ad
Litem program, in May 2012 to discuss expanded reporting of GAL contacts and developing a
rubric for minimum content in GAL reports to the court. Mr. Swenson and Mr. Serrano will
discuss the programming implications with their IT contact for expanding contact reporting and
will work on the minimum topics that must be included in every GAL report.
ICWA Sub-Committee – Connie Portscheller, Chair. The sub-committee met in April and June
2012. Work is nearing completion of a QEW master list, which will be emailed to the
Committee as soon as it is completed. The sub-committee will also try to allow access to the list
online. Work is continuing on an ICWA hardcard that will likely be attached to the benchbook,
since it has grown to approximately 8 pages. Many relevant ICWA topics have been included,
which contributed to its increased size. Janet Kracher of Casey Family Services, met with the
sub-committee at the June 2012 meeting to discuss a court monitoring system of ICWA cases.
She brought two representatives from the Minneapolis American Indian Center who coordinate
the QUICWA Compliance Collaborative, which is a court monitoring system of ICWA cases.
The possibility of monitoring ICWA cases and the QUICWA Compliance Collaborative will be
discussed at the next sub-committee meeting.
The sub-committee is currently working on an RFP for an ICWA compliance audit, as per the
2012-2016 CIP Strategic Plan. A draft of the RFP was provided to the CIP Committee for
review and discussion. Clarification was provided on who would receive the reports as per the
strategic plan. The reports would be provided to the CIP Committee. The representatives on the
committee would then provide the reports to groups they represent. If the CIP Committee
approves the RFP, the process will move forward.
A motion was made by Bob Rutten to approve this RFP to move forward. The motion was
seconded by Judge Reich, motion carried.
Education Sub-committee – Robin Huseby, Chair. Ms. Barnhardt reported on behalf Ms.
Huseby. Planning has begun for the 2013 ICWA Conference. It will be held February 20–22,
2013 at the Seven Seas in Mandan, ND. Ms. Barnhardt attended the first planning meeting
where logistics, speakers and topics were discussed. Ms. Barnhardt reported that she reviewed
the grant requirements for funding with the ICWA conference planning committee to ensure a
portion of the conference is tied to the ICWA audit. The planning committee reviewed
evaluations from the 2012 ICWA conference. Ms. Portscheller will let Ms. Barnhardt know of
anything that comes out of the ICWA Sub-committee that could be given to ICWA conference
The Children’s Justice Symposium will be July 24-26, 2012 at the Ramkota in Bismarck, ND.
The symposiums will each have targeted themes that relate to CIP grant and outcomes from
topics to measure in CFSR’s. Ms. Barnhardt can be contacted for the registration link for the
2012 symposium. Ms. Mulhauser reported that NDDHS has some stipends available for social
work related attendees by contacting the appropriate regional supervisor. Ms. Barnhardt may
approach CIP Committee members to work a room, introduce speakers, etc.
KAT Communications created an online training on mandated reporters for DHS. The training
itself was good, but the program lacked the ability to obtain a certificate of completion at the
end. Ms. Barnhardt received a proposal of $5500.00 to program, design and launch the
completion certificate. The completion certificate would be tied to the quizzes in the online
training and provide a tracking report. Ms. Barnhardt brings the proposal to the committee to
determine if the completion certificate is a good use of CIP education grant funds. The
committee discussed the increased likelihood of teachers, nurses and others to complete the
training due to the necessity of proof of completion for outside entities. A question was asked
whether the $5500.00 could be added to the grant and Ms. Barnhardt responded that the current
education grant includes a line item with money available that this proposal fits under.
A motion was made by Connie Portscheller to approve the expenditure. The motion was
seconded by Dale Rivard, motion carried.
Ms. Barnhardt reported that training will begin to be measured during the next grant cycle, as per
the 2012-2016 CIP Strategic Plan.
Mr. Hentzen reported that he received an inquiry from the ABA Center for Children and the Law
about the quality of parent representation in North Dakota. Mr. Hentzen asked about sending
defense attorneys to training, to which Ms. Barnhardt responded that the 2012-2016 CIP
Education grant does not include funding for defense attorney training because continuous
quality improvement for this type of training cannot be measured within reasonable expense.
Mr. Hentzen asked the committee who should complete the inquiry from the ABA. The
committee discussed whether to ask Ms. Huseby of indigent defense or judges to complete the
survey. The survey was reviewed and appeared to be a compilation survey that does not identify
specific state information. Mr. Hentzen will decide who will complete the survey.
Data Collection and Analysis Sub-committee – Karen Kringlie, Chair. The sub-committee is
developing a continuance report in Odyssey in order to determine the impact of continuances on
the timeliness of permanence in child welfare cases. The sub-committee gathered information
about who enters rescheduling information in Odyssey in each judicial district. In the course of
gathering information, confusion arose about when to use the reset hearing option versus the
continued hearing option in Odyssey. Odyssey defines a reset hearing as a court requested
rescheduling and a continuance as a request by any party to the case. Judicial Branch IT
provided the sub-committee a sample report of continuance/reset hearings for all case types. IT
will assist in creating a report that will be accessible from the reports screen in Odyssey. Ms.
Kringlie provided a screen shot of the entering screen for entering resets/continuances, which
includes a comment field. Currently, the comment field is the only way to include the reason for
the continuance, but the descriptions are inconsistent and often blank. The sub-committee
proposed adding descriptions of the most common reasons in the drop down field where reset or
continuance is selected. The sub-committee proposed four reset reasons and six continuance
reasons, and is ready to ask the Odyssey user group to add these to the drop down field. Mr.
Hentzen requested that the sub-committee ask the Odyssey user group to determine the impact of
the proposed drop down additions on all case types, since the drop down reasons would be
available for all case types, not just juvenile. The CIP committee agreed that the sub-committee
should move forward on submitting the drop down proposal to the Odyssey user group for
review. The next step in the process is to ensure all who enter in the screen understand what the
reset/continuance drop downs mean.
For the Good of the Order
IDEA, Foster Care and Education – Mr. Rutten reported that he received an issue brief from the
ABA Center for Children and the Law that intersects nicely with CIP work. The document is
getting wide distribution in state education agencies around the nation. Mr. Rutten’s office is
working with children who have disabilities and are receiving special education services (IDEA).
The issue brief shows the interface between IDEA, Foster Care and Education. Mr. Rutten
provided copies for the committee. A high percentage of IDEA children are in foster care or
adjudicated in some other way. The issue brief is a handy resource that could be useful in
dependency proceedings. If the issue brief sparks questions down the road, Mr. Rutten asked the
committee to call him. Mr. Rutten explained that all IEP’s in ND are in a secure database. IEP’s
can be transmitted to juvenile court under certain circumstances, especially if behavior is
Continuous Quality Improvement – Mr. Hentzen reminded the committee that Continuous
Quality is the focus of all the new CIP grants. Ms. Barnhardt asked sub-committee chairs to read
the strategic plan and keep it in mind moving forward. The first year of the new grants are about
setting initial benchmarks and then setting targets for the following years.
Replacement of Dennis Herbeck – Mr. Herbeck retired and Sally Holewa, the State Court
Administrator, will decide which Trial Court Administrator will be appointed to the CIP
Committee in his place. Mr. Hentzen would prefer to wait until the replacement is announced to
appoint a new chair of the GAL sub-committee.
A motion was made by Connie Portscheller to adjourn. The motion was seconded by
Karen Kringlie, motion carried.