Judge Bruce Romanick
Judge Backes called the meeting to order. The minutes of the May 11, 2001, meeting were approved as distributed.
The Board took up discussion of proposed Policy 408. That policy would prohibit juvenile court officers from signing petitions for delinquency, unruliness, deprivation, and termination of parental rights cases. Greg Wallace reminded the Board that the proposed policy results from two sources. First, the general principle that juvenile court officers should not be the entity bringing the charges forward or "prosecuting" the case. Secondly, the policy is intended to clarify who is responsible for prosecution witness fees. An issue had arisen when a juvenile court officer had signed a petition and had helped arrange an evaluation for a party. The state's attorney had argued that the juvenile court should pay for the witness since the case was not criminal and a juvenile court officer had signed the petition.
The members of the Board reviewed the comments, including those from Judge Bekken and Ted Seibel from Wells County, who expressed opposition to the policy.
Judge Geiger had asked in his comments if the policy would prohibit a court officer from signing a petition if the officer asks the court to review a probation status.
Greg Wallace explained that the intent was to allow court officer to bring matters back to the court's attention. The prohibition would only be on new charges.
After discussion, the Board asked that clarifying language be added and that the policy be redistributed to the Board.
The Board then took up discussion of proposed juvenile court time standards, proposed Policy 409. The time standards would essentially require formal juvenile court cases to be disposed of in 120 days, with the final order due within 30 days of the disposition. The proposed policy would set interim time standards for specific events. Policy 409 goes hand and hand with proposed changes to Administrative Rule 12 regarding docket currency standards. The Council of Presiding Judges had voted to send the proposed amendments to AR-12 to the Supreme Court.
After discussion, JUDGE OLSON MOVED THAT THE POLICY BE SENT OUT FOR COMMENT. JUSTICE MARING SECONDED THE MOTION WHICH PASSED.
The next meeting is scheduled for December 6-7, 2001 at the Holiday Inn, Bismarck. It will be in conjunction with the strategic planning session which had to be postponed.