Council of Presiding Judges
June 8, 1999 Minutes
Present: Chief Justice VandeWalle; Presiding Judges Backes, Christofferson, Graff, Holte, Paulson, Schmalenberger; Judge Kleven represented Presiding Judge Jahnke.
Absent: Judge Jahnke (but represented by Judge Kleven).
Others Present: Judge Lawrence Leclerc
Staff: Keithe Nelson, Ted Gladden, Greg Wallace, Kurt Schmidt.
Chief Justice VandeWalle called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. JUDGE BACKES MOVED THE MINUTES OF THE APRIL 15, 1999, MEETING AND THE MINUTES, AS CORRECTED, OF THE APRIL 26, 1999, TELEPHONE CONFERENCE CALL BE APPROVED. JUDGE SCHMALENBERGER SECONDED THE MOTION. MOTION CARRIED.
Warren Emmer briefed on the intermediate measures program as directed by the Legislature. This program mandates the opening of 125 beds through a Cognitive Restructuring Program. The program is 120 days long and located in the Stutsman County Jail.
JUDGE BACKES MOVED THE POLICY BE APPROVED. JUDGE SCHMALENBERGER SECONDED THE MOTION. CARRIED.
Addition of UCIS Counties
JUDGE CHRISTOFFERSON MOVED THAT THE FOLLOWING COUNTIES BE SCHEDULED TO GO ON UCIS; ROLETTE, RANSOM, MCHENRY, FOSTER, AND KIDDER. JUDGE PAULSON SECONDED THE MOTION. CARRIED.
Indigent Defense Contract
Keithe Nelson briefed that the model contract calls for liability insurance in the amount of $100,000 per claim/$500,000 aggregate. ALPS does not sell insurance in these amounts. By consensus, it was agreed to modify the model contract to provide for $100,000/$300,000.
Law Clerk Positions
Judge Schmalenberger referred to his letter offering the two law clerk positions to the Northwest Judicial District and the Northeast Judicial District. He continued with a discussion on the need to make the help desk position a permanent FTE. Both the full time temporary employee and the part-time temporary employee have resigned within the last 10 days to accept permanent positions with the Executive Branch. He is concerned with computer service to the districts without a strong effective help desk. He also continued with the Southwest Judicial District need for a law clerk position. The Southwest Judicial is the only district without a law clerk.
JUDGE PAULSON MOVED THE TWO NEWLY AUTHORIZED POSITIONS BE ASSIGNED AS LAW CLERK FTE'S FOR THE NORTHEAST JUDICIAL DISTRICT AND THE NORTHWEST JUDICIAL DISTRICTS. JUDGE CHRISTOFFERSON SECONDED THE MOTION. MOTION CARRIED.
Judge Schmalenberger noted that there are currently two unallocated FTE positions created as a result of two RIF actions. JUDGE SCHMALENBERGER MOVED THAT ONE OF THESE POSITIONS BE ASSIGNED TO THE HELP DESK POSITION, THAT THE SECOND BE ASSIGNED AS THE LAW CLERK, AND THAT THE SOUTHEAST JUDICIAL DISTRICT AND THE NORTHEAST JUDICIAL DISTRICTS BE ENCOURAGED TO HIRE PART-TIME TEMPORARY SECRETARIES. THERE WAS NO SECOND TO THE MOTION. Discussion followed suggesting the motion should be divided. JUDGE SCHMALENBERGER MOVED THAT ONE UNALLOCATED FTE BE ASSIGNED TO THE HELP DESK POSITION AND THE SECOND TO THE LAW CLERK POSITION. JUDGE BACKES SECONDED THE MOTION. CARRIED WITH JUDGE PAULSON REQUESTING HIS NEGATIVE VOTE BE RECORDED. This motion will be referred to the Supreme Court for final decision.
Greg Wallace discussed a letter he wrote concerning jury trial statistics. No action was taken because this is an information only agenda item.
ADR Test Programs
Keithe Nelson suggested some test ADR programs be developed so we can best use the $40,000 budgeted for ADR test programs. JUDGE PAULSON MOVED THAT TED GLADDEN AND GREG WALLACE BE TASKED TO PRESENT SOME PROGRAMS AT THE NEXT MEETING. SECONDED BY JUDGE CHRISTOFFERSON. CARRIED.
Keithe Nelson mentioned he only received two names for committee membership - Judge Nelson and Jodie Koch. The following additional names were suggested: Judge Wefald, Judge Erickson, Judge Simonson, and Judge Schmalenberger.
Court Services Contract
Keithe Nelson noted there is an error in paragraphs 1 and 2 of Section II of the model contract. He suggested changes as follows:
NOW, THEREFORE, the STATE, COUNTY, and CITY agree as follows:
1. The [CITY][COUNTY] shall provide the prosecuting attorney and prosecution witness expenses for all
costscases transferred under this SECTION.
2. The STATE shall pay all expenses for indigent defense appointed counsel and all jury and defense witness expenses for all cases transferred under this SECTION.
JUDGE BACKES MOVED THE SUGGESTED CHANGES BE APPROVED AND USED IN ALL FUTURE CONTRACTS. JUDGE PAULSON SECONDED THE MOTION. CARRIED.
Juvenile Court Staffing Standards
No report. Greg Wallace stated the study will be finalized in the near future.
For the Good of the Order
Chief Justice VandeWalle briefed on the RIF action and apologized for the lack of coordination. Judge Hoffman's secretary will be transferred to replace a retiring secretary in the juvenile court office. Arnie Strand will serve as court reporter for the new judge. Diane Manthei, Minot, has volunteered to move to Grand Forks.
Keithe Nelson stated he had a request from Doug Johnson as to what amount should be approved for indigent defense counsel while doing mental health cases for the county. By consensus it was agreed that it should be the per hour rate paid to contract counsel.
Judge Christofferson asked for the status of the subcommittee of Court Services dealing with reorganization of the judiciary. Ted Gladden stated the report was referred to Court Services.
Discussion next centered on what to do with weapons confiscated in adult abuse cases. This issue needs to be readdressed. Action Ted Gladden.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m.