Chief Justice VandeWalle; Presiding Judges Backes, Graff, Holte, Paulson, Jahnke and Judges Anderson representing Presiding Judge Schmalenberger and Geiger representing Presiding Judge Christofferson
Presiding Judge Schmalenberger represented by Judge Anderson and Presiding Judge Christofferson represented by Judge Geiger
Keithe Nelson, Ted Gladden, Greg Wallace and Jim Ganje
Chief Justice VandeWalle called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. He extended a specific welcome to Judge Anderson and Judge Geiger. JUDGE PAULSON MOVED THE APPROVAL OF THE JUNE 8, 1999 MINUTES. JUDGE JAHNKE SECONDED THE MOTION. MOTION CARRIED.
JUDGE JAHNKE MOVED THAT JUDGE KLEVEN BE REAPPOINTED TO THE INDIGENT DEFENSE COMMISSION. THE MOTION WAS SECONDED BY JUDGE PAULSON. MOTION CARRIED.
Ted Gladden reported on the problem brought about by advice from Bob Benett of the AG's Office to the Highway Patrol that handing out waivers constitutes the unauthorized practice of law. The result is that cases are being delayed. Judge Paulson suggested that clerks should send out a notice of hearing and if the person doesn't show, forfeit. Ted stated another alternative is to reduce these infractions to administrative traffic. JUDGE PAULSON MOVED THAT TED WORK WITH THE CLERK OF COURT TO COME UP WITH A UNIFORM NOTICE SOLUTION. JUDGE HOLTE SECOND THE MOTION. MOTION CARRIED.
Ted Gladden briefed the procedures used to develop uniform Domestic Violence Protection Orders. He then handed out a revised set. JUDGE PAULSON MOVED THE REVISED SET BE SENT OUT FOR COMMENT. JUDGE BACKES SECONDED THE MOTION. The discussion next turned to the surrender of weapons. All agreed there is no authority to search and seize. If the individual denies he has weapons that is the end of it. If the answer is yes, then he can be ordered to surrender the weapons. If the evidence shows the victim was threatened with a weapon, he can be ordered to surrender the weapon. If he refuses, he can be found in contempt of court. Chief Justice VandeWalle suggested Duane Houdek be advised so he can instruct the domestic violence advocates and law enforcement educators and associations likewise be notified. JUDGE GRAFF SUGGESTED ADDITIONAL WORDS "EXCEPT AS PERMITTED HEREIN" BE ADDED. JUDGE PAULSON AND JUDGE BACKES AGREED TO THIS CHANGE TO THE MOTION. CARRIED AS MODIFIED.
Ted Gladden discussed two flow charts that were developed in the East Central District for processing evaluations of sexual offenders and PSI's involving psychological evaluations. This was presented for information only. The objective is to move toward statewide protocols by the Departments of Human Services and Parol and Probation.
Keithe Nelson briefed on the listing of tasks necessary to implement clerk of court legislation. As new tasks are identified, they will be added to the list with completion deadlines and responsible staff identified.
The question of jurisdiction was discussed. The Chief expressed the belief that the state has jurisdiction but he is concerned with the county paying for state services. JUDGE PAULSON MOVED THE ISSUE BE STUDIED BY STAFF AND REPORTED ON AT THE NEXT MEETING. JUDGE GRAFF SECONDED THE MOTION. MOTION CARRIED.
Ted Gladden briefed on the spring Docket Currency Analysis and brought up the need to address service of process in small claims cases and unnecessary delays in administrative hearing appeals. This was briefed for information purposes only and to receive council input. Ted also mentioned that juvenile cases are not part of docket management and perhaps they should be. Discussion followed on delay problems in juvenile cases. Judge Backes stated that if time standards were established and enforced, there would be accountability and cases would move faster. Chief Justice VandeWalle asked Ted to proceed with the three issues addressed (small claims, administrative hearing appeals and juvenile court case management). Chief Justice VandeWalle reported he sent letters to judges whose cases were not waived and letters of concern to other judges that had overage cases that were waived as part of the spring reporting cycle.
Ted Gladden briefed on the technology plan proposed for an interactive television project (three sites). He asked for the council to authorize a project in the South Central Judicial District. If approved, Judge Graff will form a board based users committee. Gary Raedeke, staff for the Joint Procedures Committee; Kurt Schmidt, Director of Technology; and Jim Gaarder of Information Services will staff the committee. JUDGE PAULSON MOVED APPROVAL. JUDGE HOLTE SECONDED THE MOTION. JUDGE GRAFF SAID THAT UNLESS CRIMINAL CASES ARE INCLUDED, IT WILL NOT BE COST EFFECTIVE. THERE AREN'T ENOUGH CIVIL CASES TO JUSTIFY THE COST. MOTION CARRIED.
Ted Gladden presented a proposal to involve the sheriff departments and county commissioners in a course designed to develop county security plans. JUDGE JAHNKE MOVED TO PROCEED. JUDGE PAULSON SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED
Keithe Nelson stated this article was inserted for information. Chief Justice VandeWalle spoke of the need to listen to people who used the courts and the concerns of the public in general. It is essential we gain and maintain public trust and confidence.
Ted Gladden handed out revised statistics. Five cases (one civil and four criminal) settled on the day of trial. The number of jury trials was down a bit last quarter compared to the quarter a year ago.
A letter from Judge Christofferson to Keithe Nelson was handed out. Staff will present alternatives at the next meeting. Judge Paulson outlined a mediation case he had and has sent to Keithe Nelson. This will be turned over to Ted Gladden and Greg Wallace.
Kurt Schmidt negotiated good connection rates for the counties. Details can be found in his letter.
Judge Holte mentioned the October 7, 1999 meeting conflicts with Bench & Bar scheduled for October 7 and 8, 1999. There was agreement that the meeting should be rescheduled to an evening meeting on October 7, 1999 to avoid a conflict. The judges were asked to check their year 2000 calendar and let Keithe Nelson know if there are conflicts with the proposed meeting dates in 2000.
The Legislature gave Human Services $200,000 for indigent defense counsel and guardians ad litem expenses in foster care cases. They will transfer the money to the Judiciary. Staff will work with the districts to develop a procedure to disburse the money.
Ted Gladden reported on the need for presiding judges to encourage trial court administrative personnel to pass on information to district personnel and judges so everyone knows what is going on.
Greg reported on the final report on staffing standards for juvenile court officers based on implementing accountability based probation. The need for 8.7 new FTE's can be offset by contracting for services such as monitoring, etc. Greg is addressing this need district by district.
Keithe Nelson stated the general fund turnback for the 1997-99 biennium is $1,669,943.00, of this total $339,000.00 is attributable to vacated judgeships.
Keithe Nelson states he learned at a recent IV-D Conference that several states charge a small fee such as $25.00 for non-IV-D cases. This provides an incentive to ask for IV-D processing which is free. IV-D processing provides federal reimbursement to both the IV-D unit and the judiciary. IV-D processing can also provide many advantages to the custodial parent. There was no interest expressed by the presiding judges for such a fee. Judge Backes asked staff to prepare a pamphlet on the advantages of IV-D processing. The clerks could then hand out the pamphlet to the parties.
August 24, 1999 adjourned at 1:55 p.m.