The Honorable Norman J. Backes, Presiding Judge
Eloise M. Haaland, Administrative Assistant
District Court Judges: Norman J. Backes, Presiding Judge; Georgia Dawson; Ralph R. Erickson, Lawrence A. Leclerc, Michael O. McGuire; Frank L. Racek, Cynthia A. Rothe-Seeger
District Court Referees: John A. Dietz and Janice Benson Johnson.
Number of Counties in District: 3
District Court Chambers: Fargo, Hillsboro
Case filings are shown in the chart [below].
The clerk and department supervisors, the administrative assistant, and calendar control clerk meet weekly to discuss any issues needing attention. This has proven to be an excellent way to be aware of issues as well as solve problems in both offices through discussion. The clerk, director of juvenile services, and administrative assistant meet regularly regarding issues involving respective offices.
Interested parties met regarding the integration of PCSS and UCIS. Participation included legislators, Cass County commissioners, county coordinator, Cass County information services personnel, representatives from each affected office, as well as district judges, administrative assistant, calendar control clerk of our district, state court administrator, trial court administrator, director of technology and programmer analyst from the state court administrator's office in Bismarck. The next step is the formation of a committee to look at the functionality of PCSS and review options that meet goals of providing a single, statewide case management system.
In 1999, a total of 2,706 delinquent, unruly, and deprivation referrals were received in juvenile court. Of those referrals, 1,592 were delinquent, 1,003 were unruly, and 111 were abuse and neglect reports. There were 580 petitions filed in juvenile court. Of those petitions 68 were deprived, 33 were terminations of parental rights, and the remainder were delinquent or unruly. The juvenile court referred 264 juveniles to other agencies.
We have successfully implemented the lay guardian ad litem program and now have our own pool of public defenders. With the advent of the lay guardian ad litem program we hope to significantly reduce the amount of time spent by the public defenders with deprivation proceedings.
The court officers continue to be involved in various community activities and have been instrumental in developing programming when necessary. A community forum was held during the month of May, 1999, entitled: "Restorative Justice and Alcohol Use by Minors." A panel of local agency personnel and juvenile court staff gave information regarding restorative justice and the increase in alcohol use. The community will take the leadership in addressing under-age drinking.
Juvenile court staff continue to be involved at Carl Ben Eielson Elementary School reading to a particular class on a weekly basis. It continues to be the highlight of many of our employees' workday.
Substantial progress has been made on the formation of a Juvenile Drug Court Pilot Project in our district. A proposal for the establishment of a juvenile drug court (hereafter "JDC") was studied by a task force under the direction of Justice Mary Muehlen Maring of the Supreme Court. At the conclusion of the study an implementation committee was selected and began writing programs and procedures relating to the establishment of a juvenile drug court in the East Central Judicial District. The current implementation date for the juvenile drug court is May 1, 2000. JDC is a post-petition/post-adjudication program designed to address the needs of youths between the ages of 14 and 18 who are afflicted with significant alcohol and/or drug problems. The aim of the program is to intervene in both the chemical dependency/abuse area and the area of delinquent behavior with a goal of providing the youth with the tools to be both drug free and offense free long term. JDC involves the establishment of a team treatment approach to both chemical dependency/abuse issues and delinquency issues. The drug court team will involve the cooperative and collaborative efforts of court personnel along with representatives of the Office of the State's Attorney, defense counsel, treatment providers, and other relevant community programming.
EAST CENTRAL JUDICIAL DISTRICT CASELOAD FOR CALENDAR YEARS 1998 AND 1999
|Case Filings/ Dispositions||1998|