|In Attendance |
Chief Justice Gerald W. VandeWalle, Chair
Judge Ralph Erickson for Judge Michael McGuire
Judge Richard Geiger
Judge Benny Graff
Judge Robert Holte
Judge Debbie Kleven
Judge John Paulson
Judge Allan Schmalenberger
|Others Present |
IT WAS MOVED AND SECONDED TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MARCH 20, 2002, MEETING. THE MOTION CARRIED.
Policy 201 - Membership/Professional Dues Paid
Greg Wallace reviewed the proposed amendments to Policy 201, related to memberships/professional dues being paid. After discussion, IT WAS MOVED BY JUDGE HOLTE, SECONDED BY JUDGE KLEVEN, TO STRIKE FROM THE LIST OF MEMBERSHIPS THE "RON DAVIES INNS OF COURT" AS THE AMERICAN INNS OF COURT COVERS ALL INNS OF COURT IN THE STATE. THE NORTH DAKOTA CLERKS OF COURT ASSOCIATION WAS ADDED TO THE LIST AND THE SECOND PAGE OF THE POLICY RELATING TO THE CLERK OF COURT OFFICES SHOULD BE DELETED. THE MOTION CARRIED. The policy, as amended, will be sent to the supreme court for consideration.
Policy 301 - Reimbursement for Meals and Lodging
IT WAS MOVED BY JUDGE GRAFF, SECONDED BY JUDGE GEIGER, TO APPROVE THE POLICY AS DRAFTED. There was discussion relating to the comments forwarded by Judge Simonson. Judge Erickson indicated he does not receive reimbursement for meals in either Hillsboro or Fargo. After further discussion, THE MOTION CARRIED. This policy will be forwarded to the supreme court for consideration.
Guardians Ad Litem/Custody Investigators
Greg Wallace discussed the creation of a list for guardians ad litem and custody investigators. He indicated there are problems from time to time with some actions taken by lay custody investigators. After further discussion, it was concluded that the guardians ad litem and custody investigators list should be posted to the Supreme Court web page. Mr. Wallace indicated he has visited with the Bar Association and they have indicated they will take the lead in developing annual training for attorney guardians ad litem. He will include in the budget request funds for custody investigator training.
District Court Staffing Requests 2003-05 Budget
Mr. Wallace reviewed his memorandum relating to the request for seven personnel statewide. Using the workload assessment figures for clerk of court offices, he indicated that our staffing statewide is adequate. One problem we have is that we have personnel located in the wrong locations based on this analysis. We need to develop standards for the relocation of personnel as workloads shift. He felt we should not move fractional personnel equivalents, but should look at relocating personnel when an office is over or under by one FTE. We need some process to move employees when vacancies occur. Judge Schmalenberger indicated that after a review of the numbers, he questioned whether we should be requesting any new personnel. Chief Justice VandeWalle stated that it appears the budget shortfall will be a major problem this coming budget session. JUDGE PAULSON MOVED THE ADOPTION OF THE PLAN TO REQUEST SEVEN ADDITIONAL PERSONNEL. THE MOTION DIED FOR LACK OF A SECOND.
IT WAS MOVED BY JUDGE GEIGER TO APPROVE THE REFEREE POSITION FOR THE SOUTHEAST JUDICIAL DISTRICT, SECONDED BY JUDGE KLEVEN. Judge Geiger stated that he is in support of the referee position. This would be an attainable objective from the legislature. He felt the Southeast district could use existing clerk and clerical staff to support the referee position. A secretary would not be needed. Judge Schmalenberger questioned the need for judicial personnel, indicating the weighted caseload numbers do not support the need. Chief Justice VandeWalle indicated the weighted caseload study does allow the Supreme Court some flexibility, but we are still bound by location of our current judicial positions. The question was called, THE MOTION PASSED WITH JUDGE SCHMALENBERGER DISSENTING.
The discussion then focused on the need for some policy development establishing staffing standards for the next meeting. IT WAS MOVED BY JUDGE HOLTE THAT STAFF SHOULD DEVELOP GUIDELINES FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE COUNCIL OF PRESIDING JUDGES TO ADDRESS WHEN STAFF VACANCIES SHOULD BE REFILLED OR RELOCATED. THE MOTION WAS SECONDED BY JUDGE PAULSON. THE MOTION CARRIED.
Lay Guardian Ad Litem Fees
Greg Wallace reviewed the current status of payment of guardian ad litem fees. He indicated that lay guardians ad litem are paid $15 per hour. Attorneys are paid $65 an hour. This is the amount that was budgeted for this biennium. There was considerable discussion that it is becoming very difficult to find attorneys who will accept the appointments for $65 an hour. IT WAS MOVED BY JUDGE HOLTE AND SECONDED BY JUDGE PAULSON FOR NORMAL CASES $65 AN HOUR FOR ATTORNEYS SHOULD BE THE STANDARD FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE BIENNIUM. After further discussion, THE MOTION WAS AMENDED TO INDICATE THAT THE STANDARD WILL BE $15 FOR LAY GUARDIANS AD LITEM AND $65 FOR ATTORNEYS. If an attorney cannot be obtained for $65 an hour, the presiding judge will contact the state court administrator requesting prior approval for an increase above the $65 amount in unusual circumstances. THE MOTION CARRIED.
IT WAS MOVED BY JUDGE GEIGER AND SECONDED BY JUDGE PAULSON THAT WE SHOULD BUDGET FOR $25 FOR LAY GUARDIANS AD LITEM AND $75 FOR ATTORNEYS FOR THE 2003-05 BIENNIUM. THE MOTION CARRIED.
Ted Gladden reviewed the correspondence between Robert Freed and Jim Ganje on the matter of the authority of a judge or referee to place a notary under oath in another state. After considerable discussion, IT WAS MOVED BY JUDGE PAULSON, SECONDED BY JUDGE HOLTE THAT THIS MATTER BE REFERRED TO THE JOINT PROCEDURE COMMITTEE. THE MOTION CARRIED.
Ted Gladden reviewed proposed amendments to Policy 505, creating a new section of the policy for termination of current child support obligations administratively. He indicated there are a number of instances wherein the clerk should have the ability to close a case in UCIS, as well as on FACSES, administratively. IT WAS MOVED BY JUDGE GRAFF, SECONDED BY JUDGE KLEVEN THAT POLICY 505 BE APPROVED AND DISTRIBUTED FOR COMMENT. THE MOTION CARRIED.
UCIS Reporting Under N.D.C.C. §12.1-32-02(9)
Ted Gladden then reviewed the memorandum distributed relating to case reporting of felony cases where the sentence of incarceration is not more than one year. He indicated there is a discrepancy in terms of how these cases are carried in UCIS, as contrasted with the Bureau of Criminal Investigations criminal records system. He discussed the proposed procedure that was outlined in his memorandum. It was suggested that UCIS should provide for those cases wherein the sentence in the case is reduced to a misdemeanor. The sentence should read "misdemeanor by disposition as provided in N.D.C.C. §12.1-32-02(9)". Mr. Gladden indicated he would provide the relevant information to the programming staff so programming could begin.
Trial Court Administration Reports
Greg Wallace provided a report on juvenile case activities. He has contacted a number of courts as they have been reporting cases incorrectly, resulting in the cases appearing on the docket currency report in error.
Ted Gladden indicated that since he has assumed the Acting State Court Administrator position, he has discontinued management reviews due to insufficient time available. He indicated he is heading a team that will be going into Devils Lake to review the clerk of municipal court's operation. This review is being conducted due to management problems they are having and upon the request of the presiding judge.
For the Good of the Order
The judges were reminded that the weighted caseload meeting on July 15, 2002, will start at 9:00 a.m. Chief Justice VandeWalle indicated there may be time to put a few other items on the agenda. He stated that Judge Kleven's term expired on the North Dakota Legal Counsel for Indigents Commission, and she is not eligible for reappointment. He asked each of the judges to consider the name of a nominee.
Judge Kleven then raised the question of the impact of Alabama v. Shelton. Jim Ganje was asked to prepare a memorandum on the potential impact of this case in North Dakota.
The meeting adjourned.