Present:Absent: Judge Sonja Clapp, Chair Judge Doug Mattson Judge David Reich Judge Dan Narum Dennis Herbeck Scott Davis Tara Muhlhauser Robin Huseby Connie Portscheller Dale Rivard Dave McGeary
Staff: Louie Hentzen Lee Ann Barnhardt
Judge Clapp called the meeting to order. She asked for comments on the minutes from
September 25, 2009 meeting. Connie Portscheller moved to approve the minutes; Dale Rivard
seconded. Minutes approved.
Report from Summit III: Protection of Children - Louie Hentzen reported on the
Summit III: Protection of Children conference held October 15-17, 2009 in Austin, Texas. Those
attended are: Louie Hentzen, Bob Rutten from the Department of Public Instruction, Judge Sonja
Clapp, Lee Ann Barnhardt and Tara Muhlhauser. Please refer to hand out provided.
It was recommended by this committee to add another education representative to the
Court Improvement Committee that person being, Bob Rutten of the Department of Public
Instruction. This request will be presented in the year end report to Chief Justice VandeWalle by
Judge Sonja Clapp, Chair of the Court Improvement Project Committee.
GAL Sub-Committee - Dave McGeary, Chair. Dave reported the sub-committee has not
met since the last Court Improvement Meeting. Louie Hentzen reported the GAL contract with
UND will be ending in June 2010. An RFP will then be sent out for bids on a new contract.
Education and Training Sub-Committee - Robin Huseby, Chair. Robin reported the
Regional Child Welfare workshops are set for December 1, 2009 in Minot at the Holiday Inn,
December 2, 2009 in Bismarck at the Doublewood Inn, and December 3, 2009 in Fargo at the
Radisson Inn. All dates have good participant numbers. These workshops are free of charge and
participants ranging from social workers, referee's, district judges and GAL's. Lee Ann Barnhardt reported that she has met with Pete Tunseth from UND and Tara
Muhlhauser on the upcoming Children's Justice Symposium, which will be geared towards
attorneys. A save the date has been sent out.
ICWA Sub-Committee- Dennis Herbeck, Chair. Dennis gave a brief introduction on the
North Dakota ICWA File Audit. Please refer to handout distributed. After extensive discussion
by this committee, Dennis asked for approval from this committee to go ahead with the ICWA
File Audit. Dennis Herbeck moved to go ahead with the ND ICWA File Audit; Robin Huseby
seconded. Motion approved.
Data Collection and Analysis Sub-Committee - Judge Narum, Chair. Louie Hentzen
reported on behalf of Judge Narum stating that this sub-committee has not met since the last
Court Improvement Committee meeting. He did state that Kate Harrison Consulting is requiring
some time from the Supreme Court I.T. department for some data time; however, the I.T.
Department is extremely busy with the new Odyssey Program.
Louie Hentzen, Sally Holewa, State Court Administrator and Kate Harrison will meet on
November 6, 2009 to discuss options in resuming this project.
Membership Terms - The three year terms for Court Improvement Committee members
is up December 31, 2009 except for Robin Huseby, Dale Rivard and Tara Muhlhauser. Those
requesting to stay on the committee are: Dennis Herbeck, and Dave McGeary who are appointed
by Sally Holewa, State Court Administrator. Chief Justice VandeWalle will appoint a new judge
from the NW Judicial District replacing Judge Doug Mattson.
2010 Committee meeting dates are as follows:
February 2010 - Date to be announced - will be in conjunction with Children's Justice
Symposium. June 15, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. - Bismarck September 30, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. - Fargo December 2, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. - Bismarck
By consensus, meeting adjourned at 3:15p.m.
Respectively Submitted, Lana Zimmerman, scribe ND Supreme Court