Judge Norman Backes, Chair
Judge Benny Graff
Judge Everett Nels Olson
Justice Mary Muehlen Maring for Justice William Neumann
Judge Donald Jorgensen
The fact-to-face meeting was cancelled due to weather. A conference call was held to review legislation that was to be introduced in the 2001 legislative session.
Judge Backes called the meeting to order and asked Greg Wallace to review pending legislation. The Court Improvement Project bill drafts have been prepared relating to the federal adoption and safe families act and members had received the draft in the meeting materials. The first bill draft would change temporary custody orders issued by juvenile court officers from a 30-day order to a 96-hour order, and require the temporary order be reduced to writing within 24 hours, exclusive of holidays and weekends. Greg explained that this draft would be used with another draft when the court could issue a 60-day shelter care order.
The second bill draft clarifies that if a child is held in detention the initial hearing must be held within 14 days, not the hearing on the merits. It also clarifies that if a child is in shelter care, the hearing on the merits of the case must be held within 60 days.
The third bill draft clarifies that if the court is using the interlocutory order process, a hearing can be held while service is being accomplished by publication instead of waiting until the service process is completed.
A fourth draft shortens the length for filing an appeal from 30 days to 10 days.
Justice Maring pointed out that the court was moving in the opposite direction with time allowed for appeals in criminal cases by lengthening the standard.
Greg Wallace explained that the Court Improvement Project was looking for methods of shortening the appeals process for termination of parental rights cases. Shortening the time for appeal appeared to be the easiest to implement. After discussion, the Board approved forwarding the proposed legislation to the Chief Justice and to the legislature. Staff was directed to discuss Justice Maring's concern with Judge Christofferson, chair of the Court Improvement Project.
Judge Backes noted that the agenda items would be deferred until the next meeting, as they did not lend themselves to conference calls.
The conference call meeting was adjourned.