Council of Presiding Judges
March 5, 1999 Meeting Minutes
Present: Chief Justice VandeWalle, Presiding Judges Schmalenberger, Christofferson, and Judges Hagerty for Presiding Judge Graff, McLees for Judge Holte, Simonson for Judge Paulson, and Leclerc for Judge Backes.
Absent: Presiding Judges Jahnke, Graff, Holte, Paulson, and Backes.
Staff: Keithe Nelson, Greg Wallace, Ted Gladden, Jana Thielges, and Jim Ganje.
Chief Justice VandeWalle called the meeting to order at 10:45 a.m. He extended a welcome to all. The minutes of the November 23, 1998, meeting were approved as written.
Jana Thielges gave a 1997/99 biennium budget update. She reported all districts are operating within their budget.
Juvenile Court Staffing Standards
Greg Wallace outlined the result of the staffing standard study. He explained that this first report is a standard that was based on current practices. A second standard will be developed using the balanced and restorative justice model that the Juvenile Court system is in the process of adopting. Phase Two staffing standards are expected to be presented in May as a first draft. The issue of Juvenile Court personnel drafting petitions in deprived children cases was discussed. Legislation is under consideration that will place this responsibility on the state's attorney. Chief Justice VandeWalle suggested, and Council members agreed, that if the legislation becomes law, a meeting should be set up between the Judiciary and State's Attorney's Association.
Mr. Wallace continued by pointing out three ways workload was evaluated.
Population of youth
Caseload ('98 data)
Workload (a weighted average)
Judge Christofferson asked to hold a decision until the Phase Two staffing standards are completed. He put his request in the form of a motion. There was no second. JUDGE SCHMALENBERGER MOVED TO ACCEPT THE JUVENILE POLICY BOARD RECOMMENDATION AS FOLLOWS:
1. THE FULL-TIME POSITION CURRENTLY FILLED ON A TEMPORARY BASIS IN THE NORTHEAST CENTRAL JUDICIAL DISTRICT BE MADE A FULL-TIME REGULAR PERMANENT POSITION.
2. THE HALF-TIME POSITION CURRENTLY FILLED ON A TEMPORARY BASIS IN THE NORTHEAST JUDICIAL DISTRICT BE FILLED AS A HALF-TIME REGULAR POSITION.
3. THAT THE HALF-TIME VACANT POSITION IN THE NORTHEAST CENTRAL JUDICIAL DISTRICT BE MOVED TO THE EAST CENTRAL OR SOUTH CENTRAL JUDICIAL DISTRICTS.
JUDGE CHRISTOFFERSON SECONDED THE MOTION. CARRIED.
Budgeting for Indigent Defense
Greg Wallace stated that there is a perception that funding is not uniform among the districts. Chief Justice VandeWalle suggested a formula be developed and that it be used to balance inequities, but with the understanding no district will receive less than the current biennium. This suggestion was agreed to by consensus.
Judicial Referees - AR13 Revision
This change will remove routine review of referee findings by judges and require review only if requested by one of the parties. Referee orders now inform parties they have three days upon which a review by a district judge is to be requested. JUDGE LECLERC MOVED THE REVISED AR13 BE REFERRED TO THE SUPREME COURT FOR APPROVAL. JUDGE SIMONSON SECONDED THE MOTION. CARRIED.
Case Management Review
Ted Gladden reported that some districts are not conducting "systematic" docket review as required by Policy 507. Specifically, end of trial/motions events are not being entered as provided in AR 12, Docket Currency Reporting. Chief Justice VandeWalle reinforced the need for periodic review and urged all districts to set up the necessary reviews.
Trial Court Administrative Policy 505
Ted Gladden outlined the problem of managing supervised trusts and spousal support cases. He explained how the draft Revised Policy 505 will correct the problem. Several suggestions were made to improve the policy. Ted Gladden will work with Jim Ganje to revise the policy and it will be presented at the next meeting of the Presiding Judges.
Committee on Trial Court Legal Research Assistance
Ted Gladden outlined the proposed Policy 508 which will coordinate legal research and establish minimum library standards. JUDGE LECLERC MOVED THE POLICY BE SENT OUT FOR COMMENT. JUDGE CHRISTOFFERSON SECONDED THE MOTION. CARRIED.
Alternative Procedure for Noticing Parties in Child Support Enforcement
Ted Gladden reviewed procedures for serving parties using first class mail. There was consensus that it is faster and cheaper to serve parties by first class mail rather than using sheriff's services. This practice should be encouraged statewide. It is a practice being used successfully in a number of districts.
Monitoring Deferred Imposition of Sentences
Procedures for monitoring Deferred Imposition of Sentences were discussed as provided in 32.1, NDRCrimP amendment that went into effect 3/1/99. The procedures provide for the use of first class mail for serving parties. The procedures provide for notice to state's attorneys at the end of the deferment procedures. Cases are to be dismissed 61 days after the deferment if the Court takes no further action. State's attorneys are to be sent a confirmation of the dismissal for submission to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Uniform Fee Schedule For Federal Motor Carriers
Ted Gladden presented a draft fee schedule that has been developed by three judges and the Highway Patrol. After discussion it was agreed by consensus that the fee schedule should be sent out for comment.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:45 p.m.