Present: Chief Justice Gerald W. VandeWalle, Presiding Judges John T. Paulson, M. Richard Geiger, Allan L. Schmalenberger, Michael O. McGuire, Debbie Kleven, Robert W. Holte, and the Judge Gail Hagerty for Presiding Judge Benny A. Graff
Staff: Jim Ganje, Ted Gladden, Jana Thielges, Carl Wigglesworth
Chief Justice Gerald W. VandeWalle called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. The minutes of the April 30, 2001 and the May 14, 2001 meetings were approved.
Judge Robert W. Holte presented the idea of a pro se litigant booklet to the Council. He has requested a booklet of this type which was developed in another state but has not yet received it. It was noted that the Court Services Administration Committee is looking at pro se issues. Judge John T. Paulson made a motion to defer further discussion on this topic until the next meeting. Judge Holte seconded the motion. The motion was approved.
Jana Thielges briefed the committee on a six-month pilot project for accepting credit cards to begin in the near future. The pilot areas will be the clerk of court offices in Burleigh, Stark, and Walsh counties. The Council will be provided with information at the end of the pilot phase.
Ted Gladden reviewed the ledger card procedures that have been developed and drew attention to Jim Ganje's memo on the role of the clerk in renewing and satisfying judgments. The committee is looking for clear direction from the Council on a consistent process for recording financial conditions for fines, costs and restitution as well as enforcing conditions imposed by the court. Judge Allan L. Schmalenberger made a motion to approve the procedures as drafted with the exception of deleting the words "social security" from the second half of the line found in the first paragraph under the section titled The minimum information required in entering these old cases on UCIS is:. Judge McGuire seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved.
Ted Gladden and Jim Ganje presented revised forms relating to disorderly conduct restraining orders. The Council requested Jim to revise the forms to provide for capturing behavior patterns of respondents as opposed to single events. Judge Schmalenberger made a motion to adopt the forms with the understanding that the appropriate revisions would be made. Judge McGuire seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously adopted.
Ted Gladden presented revisions to Policy 505. The revisions relate to management of criminal, foster care and spousal support cases and have been circulated for comment. One comment was received and addressed by Keithe Nelson. Judge Schmalenberger made a motion to adopt the revisions to Policy 505. Judge M. Richard Geiger seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously adopted.
Ted Gladden presented a proposed bond envelope to be completed for bonds posted and delivered to the clerk of district court. Judge Schmalenberger made a motion to send the envelope out for comment. Judge Geiger seconded the motion. The motion unanimously passed.
Ted Gladden presented a draft trial court administration policy which would establish a committee on trial court operations. The proposed committee would address the type of issues currently addressed by the Court Records Management Committee as well as other matters. Judge Debbie Kleven made a motion to adopt the policy with membership consisting of two district court judges, three clerks of district court, and two trial court administrative staff representatives. Initially, two members would be appointed for one year, two members for two years and three members for three years. The motion also included that a presiding judge be appointed to chair the committee. Judge Geiger seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously. Chief Justice VandeWalle asked Jim Ganje to prepare appropriate related revisions to Administrative Rule 26 for review by the Supreme Court.
Jim Ganje presented an Attorney General's opinion (98-07) which addressed the charging of sheriff service fees to the judiciary. The information was presented for informational purposes, noting that Judge Graff had requested information on this topic at the previous meeting. Staff was asked to draft a protocol for services.
Judge Schmalenberger informed the Council of a report entitled "Report on Cass County Juvenile Court to Case Flow Management Committee." He explained the Caseflow Management Committee will work with Greg Wallace to implement procedures, not specific to Cass County, on a statewide basis. He indicated the intent is to develop policies and procedures for all juvenile courts instead of "best practices". He will be working with the Juvenile Policy Board to develop appropriate policies or procedures for the Council's consideration.
Ted Gladden presented a proposed trial court administrative policy on guidelines for clerks of court attendance in the courtroom. Judge Schmalenberger suggested Section 2(A)(3) be revised to strike "trials" after "criminal" and to add "civil" before "jury trials". He also suggested Section 2(B)(1) be revised to replace "Civil jury trial" with "Trials". Judge Geiger made a motion to send the proposed policy out for comment. Judge Paulson seconded the motion. Judge Holte made a motion to amend the original motion by replacing "should" in Section 2(C) with "will generally". Judge McGuire seconded the motion to amend. Both motions passed.
Chief Justice VandeWalle informed the committee that representatives from law enforcement officers associations met with him regarding concerns they have in delivering protection orders to respondents that include the surrender of firearms. They expressed concern that an officer's safety may be unduly jeopardized if there was no previous reason to indicate the respondent was a violent person, as well as other concerns. Judge McGuire suggested each presiding judge discuss the issue with judges in their district to help assure the box on the form that indicates firearms are to be surrendered is not checked as a matter of routine as opposed to giving serious thought to the need to check the box. Chief Justice VandeWalle will raise the issue for the good of the order at the Judicial Conference.
Ted Gladden and Jim Ganje presented revised forms related to domestic violence protection orders. Jim covered changes made to the forms to reflect changes made in the 2001 legislative session. Judge Schmalenberger made a motion to accept the revised forms with the following change to the domestic violence protection order: strike the second box and related language under C and move A, B and C under 15. (Brady Advisory). Judge Holte seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
Ted Gladden presented information on a Legislative Council study and a performance audit report pertaining to child support enforcement. The report proposes an administrative process be used to establish, modify and enforce orders. The district courts would only hear appeals from administrative hearing officers if this process is adopted. Chief Justice VandeWalle indicated Minnesota and Montana have held a change like this to be unconstitutional. Judge Gail Hagerty stated the proposed would need to be looked at carefully to see what the benefits would be before the judiciary takes position on it. Chief Justice VandeWalle suggested the presiding judges discuss the proposal with their judges.
No additional information was reported by Ted Gladden and nothing was brought for the good of the order.
Judge Paulson made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Judge Geiger seconded the motion. The motion passed and the meeting adjourned at 9:45 p.m.