Linda Weaver for Dorothy Howard
|Others Present |
Ted Gladden reviewed with the group the Threat Reporting Form that is on the Supreme Court administrative web page. The incident reporting system is to be used when a threat is made against judges or employees of the judiciary. A copy of the report will go to Carl Wigglesworth and BCI for possible follow-up.
Kathy Narlock questioned who should fill out the report and emphasized the need to let the administrative staff and presiding judge know of any threats. After discussion, members were encouraged to clarify reporting chain of command in their offices and districts.
Administrative Office Structure
A flowchart detailing the primary contact person for different topics and portfolios in the state court administrator's office was handed out. Members were encouraged to route appropriate questions through the local administrative office prior to contacting the state office.
UCIS Training Manual
Aglae Young passed out the sample copy of the UCIS manual work in progress. The manual is the guide to train new people, and a guide to data entry. Tt will later include/reflect approved policies and procedures. It is not intended to serve as an office procedures manual.
Redraft of Policy 505 Section 9. A. Procedures for the Termination or Dismissal of Current Child Support Orders
A proposed amendment to Policy 505 was presented:
A certified copy of the adoption decree or termination of parental rights shall be filed in the file containing the support order and thereafter the decree of adoption or order terminating parental rights and administratively cease enforcement of the support order.
The recommended procedure would allow the clerk to administratively close the child support enforcement case in UCIS. There was considerable discussion. Some felt uncomfortable with the policy as this could be viewed as being in violation of the original order in the physical case file, that the filing of the certified copy of the adoption decree or termination of parental rights in the physical case, when viewed, would not be interpreted as ceasing the enforcement of the support order in FACSES.
Rule 7 states that a motion is to be noticed before an order can be completed. It was discussed that the judge on his or her own notice/motion may complete the order.
The recommendation for procedures for the termination or dismissal of current child support orders is on hold . Jim Ganje is to research and bring clarification to the issues discussed.
Procedure for Suspension of License Following Child Support Order to Show Cause Proceeding
Ted Gladden provided copies of the NECJD procedures as submitted by Kathy Narlock. He encouraged other districts to review it and document procedures to follow when the suspension of license is ordered.
Time Standards in UCIS
The committee approved the time standards where requests for criminal records searches will be conducted by clerk of court personnel by close of business on the third working day from the receipt of payment/or request by justice agencies, for the search.
Office Procedures and Goals
Ted Gladden provided copies of the Grand Forks Clerk of District Court's office projects/goals as submitted by Becky Absey. He encouraged other districts to review it and to look at their offices projects/goals.
UCIS Data Entry
To ensure accurate UCIS data entry, Ted Gladden will work with Jim Ganje to define terms such as, received, filed, judgment date, and other related terms. This will aid the clerk's offices and the UCIS manual committee to ensure proper polices and procedures when they complete and reflect proper UCIS data entry.
General Overview of Budget Process for 2003-05 Biennium
Susan Sisk gave a summary of the budget. Greg Wallace and Susan Sisk will be visiting the districts to discuss the budget. The biggest change will the inclusion of the clerk's budget to the overall budget.
The guardian ad litem budget will be reflected in a separate quarterly report.
Dion Ulrich handed out the "Cash Management in ND Courts" manual. It reflects the State Court Administrator's approved accounting principles reflecting the policies and procedures that are to be completed by the clerk's office. It will be updated on an annual basis.
Data Flow to Non-UCIS Counties
Ted Gladden disbursed to the committee the UCIS reporting forms for non-UCIS counties policies and procedures. The procedures will ensure that the non-UCIS counties information will be reflected in UCIS timely.
Kurt Schmidt reported that the IT Plan is due March 15, 2002. The plan reflects the State Judiciary's future technology course, including adding additional counties to UCIS.
Kurt also reported that the data warehouse is set up for public use and that a frequently asked questions (FAQ) database is completed and up and running at the State Court Administration web site. It is hoped that the system will be used to provide written information on personnel items, clerks of court questions, etc.
Carla Kolling provided the committee with updated information with regard to Time Sheets - Reporting Leave. She reviewed a proposed change in reporting leave. Under current practice, if an employee requests annual leave and ends up sick or if the courthouse is closed during the employees leave, the employee still reports annual leave. This practice developed when employees filled out forms for each leave request and there was no method to change the report once submitted. Now that employees fill out the forms after the leave is taken, employees will be able to report exactly what happened. Thus, if an employee requests annual leave, then ends up sick, the employee can report the leave as it actually occurred.
Members questioned whether employees might abuse the policy. Greg Wallace responded that abuse is possible, but those who are going to abuse the policy will find a way to do it anyway, so why punish the other 95% of the employees.
Carla will place how to report leave on the FAQ web site. She also reported that a new code for snow days/emergency closures would be added.
Carla Kolling then discussed the concept of maintaining "official court files" at the state court administrator's office and making files at the local office. Requests for information about employees would go to the state office, ensuring consistency in what is released. There was general agreement with the concept. Carla will distribute a proposed policy to that effect.
Carla also reminded the group of the importance of employees attending the defensive driving course once every three years if they use the state motor pool. This requirement comes as part of the judiciary's risk management program.
Greg Wallace advised us that the amended policy will require the "Log Notes" to be stored in the clerk's office rather than with the court records.
Clerk Membership to Professional Organization
Greg Wallace discussed a proposed amendment to Policy 201. Under current policy all employees can join one national or state organization. Under the proposed amendment this policy would be changed for clerk of court offices and juvenile court offices.
The policy would encourage clerks of court to join the National Association of Court Management because of the publications and research provided under that membership. After discussion there was general agreement with the concept.
A question arose regarding handling original orders that had been filed by fax. After discussion, Jim Ganje agreed to research the issue. Jim reminded the attendees that the $5.00 fax transmission fee expires on March 1, 2002.
A question relating to charging $5.00 for signatures on small claims packet was discussed along with other fee related issues. The matter will be referred to the Committee on Trial Court Operations.
Kurt Schmidt mentioned that, at times, the public is running long jobs which are impacting the performance and holding up the automated system. Kurt's office will be limiting the public searches. The public terminal will be set up to run one session at a time. The public may get locked out and not be able to sign on, as the first job must completed before another one can begin.
Having no further business, the meeting was adjourned.