Justice Maring called the meeting to order. Lee Ann Barnhardt had a correction to the February 18, 2008, minutes, adding an "n" to Judge DeNae Kautzmann's name. A motion was made by Judge Kautzmann to approve the February 15, 2008 minutes as corrected and seconded by Judge Anderson. Motion carried.
I. Staffing: Education and Special Projects Coordinator - Update
Lee Ann Barnhardt announced that the Supreme Court hired Kim Dockter for the position of education and special projects coordinator. The Court received 47 applicants for this position. Kim is currently coordinating the 21 Century Grant program at Jeanette Myhre Elementary School in Bismarck. She will begin work for the Supreme Court on June 16, 2008.
II. UpdatesA. June Judicial Conference - Ethics and Self-Represented Litigants
Judicial Conference is scheduled June 12, 2008 at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks. A morning business meeting will be conducted followed by a two-hour session on Ethics and Self-Represented Litigants facilitated by Judge Reich, Justice Maring, and Judge Foughty.
B. July Children's Justice Symposium
The Children's Justice Symposium is scheduled July 22-24, 2008, at the Ramkota Hotel in Bismarck. This free symposium is sponsored by the Court Improvement Committee.
C. Fall Municipal Judges Conference
The Municipal Judges Conference is scheduled October 13, 2008, at the Seven Seas in Mandan. Lee Ann Barnhardt has contacted the ABA Judicial Division for assistance with faculty.
D. Fall Judicial Conference
The fall Judicial Conference is scheduled November 24-25, 2008, in Bismarck. Cathy Ferderer, Director of the family mediation pilot project has agreed to organize a presentation on pilot mediation programs that are taking place in Grand Forks and Bismarck.
Lee Ann Barnhardt has contacted Jeff Whiteman, a psychologist from New York City who teaches nationally about the intersection of psychology and law in custody cases. Jeff Whiteman teaches at the New York State Judicial Institute on this particular topic. He also teaches with Timothy Tippens who focuses on legal issues.
Lee Ann Barnhardt has also contacted Robin Deutsch, Ph.D., the Director of Forensics and Children and Law Programming at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, who specializes in high conflict custody cases, particularly those involving allegations of domestic violence, child abuse or neglect.
After discussion, it was determined that Robin Deutsch, Ph.D,. will be the core facilitator for the fall Judicial Conference.
Web Based Courses
Lee Ann Barnhardt has been working with Barry Stein of ITD on web-based training. A live test will be conducted in June 2008.
III. 2009 Judicial Institute
The next Judicial Institute is scheduled May 18-21, 2009 at the UND Law School in Grand Forks. To allow travel time, the institute will begin at 12:00 noon Monday, continue all day Tuesday and Wednesday and conclude at 12:00 noon on Thursday.
The survey results on mental health training were sent out to all committee members. Ninety- one percent of the judges responding indicated that mental health is an issue in the cases that the judges are hearing. Sessions on alternatives to incarceration and dual diagnosis have been planned. The survey revealed there was little interest in the child and adolescent area and also deprivation cases. Areas that interest judges are custody, psychological assessments, and post- traumatic stress disorder.
To facilitate, Lee Ann Barnhardt has contacted Kathleen Sciacca who focuses on post-traumatic stress, co-occurring disorders and addictions; Peter Early who was a reporter for the "Washington Post" and author of the book "Crazy"; Judge Leifman, a national advocate on mental health disorders and the law and chair of the National Judges Criminal Justice Mental Health Leadership Initiative who assisted Peter Early with his investigation.
Judge Leifman's co-chair, Justice Evelyn Stratton from the Ohio Supreme Court has also been asked to speak. She is an advocate on the mental health issues.
In addition, Lee Ann Barnhardt has talked with Dr. Rick Greenwald who specializes in child and adolescent trauma and loss. Dr. Greenwald presents on child abuse and neglect, along with domestic violence, and what the impacts and effects they have on children.
Lee Ann Barnhardt would like to conduct a "starter course" with Dr. Mark Hanlon, Dr. Benn Haynes, and Dr. Cheryl Huber, staff psychiatrists with the North Dakota Department of Corrections. These individuals conduct the evaluations of the inmates when they enter prison and assess how they are placed in the different programs offered.
Justice Maring stated it would be beneficial to learn about psychological assessments of sex offenders. Judge Anderson stated that during civil commitments she is concerned with the effectiveness of the treatment. She would like an overview of where the professionals in this field are and exactly what they are doing for these individuals.
IV. Advanced Faculty Development: Report
Advanced Faculty Development was conducted April 30-May 2, 2008, with 27 people in attendance. Many of the presentations will be incorporated into future conferences. This particular conference will be conducted every other year.
I. 2009-2011 Proposed Education Budget
Lee Ann Barnhardt updated the commission on the status of the education budget. She left the budget at 100%, which is approximately $790 less than the last budget. Travel was increased by 10%, which includes miles and flights.
In the past, the budget for the Justices Teaching Institute was figured annually. Because the Institute will be held every other year, monies were shifted into programming elsewhere. The faculty honorarium is allocated at $2,500 which is standard.
II. Municipal Judge's Education
A. Judges not in compliance -There are 3 municipal judges and 6 alternate judges not in compliance with the education requirements. They are:
1. Cathy Gilbertson from Michigan
2. John Schafer from Flasher
3. Patricia Hodny from Lakota
1. Robert Palda from Surrey
2. Wes Welch from Park River
3. Christian Anderson from Wahpeton
4. James Frueh from Harvey
5. Richard Seklecki from Max
6. Brenda Selinger from Dickinson
The deadline for submission of compliance was April 1, 2008, with a grace period until April 15, 2008.
Judge John Schafer arranged to meet with Judge DeNae Kautzmann to attend a court proceeding/mentorship. However, Judge Schafer underwent open heart surgery and was unable to participate.
With respect to Judge Schafer, it was recommended by this committee that Judge Schafer submit a letter to Justice Maring, Chair of the Education Commission asking the Supreme Court to waive his education requirements for 2007 due to his medical situation.
The commission discussed the requirements of N.D.C.C. 40-18-22, which states that if any judge fails to fulfill the requirements of this section without being excused by the Supreme Court, the State Court Administrator shall report the judges failure to the Judicial Conduct Commission for appropriate action.
A motion was made by Judge Kautzmann to send the names of the judges and alternates not in compliance with continuing education requirements to the State Court Administrator to handle appropriately under N.D.C.C. 40-18-22 and Administrative Rule 36. Seconded by Judge Reich. Motion carried.
B. Changes to Municipal Judges Education Guidelines -
Lee Ann Barnhardt submitted proposed changes to the Municipal Judge Guidelines for Completion of Education Hours to coincide with the recent amendments to AR 36.
Judge McCullough asked how the 20 percent credit allowed for self study, page 2, paragraph 3,determined and authorized.
Lee Ann Barnhardt explained the 20% is authorized under AR 36, which refers to "judge" but does not specify what type of judge.
Under AR 36 (6) ©, the commission may grant credit for self study courses and other educational means approved in advance on a case -by- case basis and 20% of the required hours for any reporting period may be acquired through self study. The faculty provision also applies to the Juvenile Court Officers and Judicial Referees.
Judge McCullough noted that in Rule 4 of AR 36, there are 4 subsections, 1)each judge, 2) each municipal judge, 3)each magistrate, and 4) each juvenile court director, and by process of statutory interpretation, when the word "judge" is used, it relates to the first of the four and it is only when the word municipal judge is used thereafter that the language of the rule relates to a municipal judge.
Judge Kautzmann moved to amend the proposal in subsection 3 and 4 of the guidelines based on the rationale given by Judge McCullough and to provide the maximum hours a municipal judge can obtain through self study and serving as faculty be limited to 6 hours per category. Seconded by Judge Anderson. Motion carried.
Judge McCullough moved to delete the last line of the guidelines, "failure to complete and report the required 18 hours of training as required in Administrative Rule 36 shall be a basis for referral to the Judicial Conduct Commission." Judge Kautzmann seconded the motion. Motion carried.
Judge McCullough moved to add the language from AR 36 (4) (B) to the first paragraph of the guidelines - 'In addition, each new municipal judge must complete a judicial education course within the first three months of taking office. Municipal judges serving at least one year, but less than two from the end of the last three reporting period will be required to report 6 continuing education hours and those serving at least 2 years, but less than three will be required to report 12 continuing education hours. Continuing education requirements with less than one full year of service will be waived."
Upon further discussion, Judge McCullough amended the motion to not include section (4) (B) language but to add "a municipal judge is required to complete continuing judicial training as required by Administrative Rule 36." Seconded by Judge Kautzmann, Motion carried.
Judge Kautzmann moved to approve the adoption of the guidelines as amended, seconded by Judge McCullough. Motion carried.
The Commission directed Lee Ann Barnhardt to send out the amended guidelines and Administrative Rule 36 along with a letter of explanation to all municipal judges, and to include a discussion of the changes at the next Municipal Court Conference in October.
III. Orientation Program for New Judges
Lee Ann Barnhardt reported on the development of orientation programs for new judges. Initially, the orientation program will be provided to District Court Judges and then extended to the Municipal Court Judges. Lee Ann Barnhardt's recommendation is to develop a core curriculum that can be taught by anyone when the judges start their judgeship.
Kim Dockter, the Education and Special Projects Coordinator, will be responsible for the programs and will work with Judge Narum and Judge Herauf.
Lee Ann Barnhardt asked for volunteers from the Judicial Branch Education Commission to volunteer on this program. Judge McCullough and Judge Reich volunteered to help. Judge McCullough suggested asking Bill Neumann from SBAND to be involved in the program. Judge McCullough suggested also to have Bill Neumann from SBAND involved as well.
Judge McCullough recommended an assessment of the existing judges be conducted to obtain suggestions on documents etc., they would have liked to have received when they began their judgeship. The survey would give a time frame and priorities.
Justice Maring indicated Chief Justice VandeWalle is very interested in the orientation program and wants to stay informed as plans progress. In particular, he wants to ensure this is not a duplication of the training received in Reno, Nevada at the National Judicial College.
IV. Other Business
There was no other business to report.
Motion to adjourn by Judge Kautzmann, seconded by Judge Anderson. Motion carried.
The next meeting of the Judicial Branch Education Commission is scheduled for August 29, 2008, at 9:00 a.m. in the Supreme Court Front Conference Room.
Lana Zimmerman, ND Supreme Court