Hon. Allan L. Schmalenberger, Chair
Birch Peterson Burdick
Hon. Ralph Robert Erickson
Hon. Debbie Gordon Kleven
Hon. William W. McLees
Sherry Mills Moore
Steven D. Mottinger
Brenda Neubauer Connie Portscheller
|Members Absent |
Judge Benny Graff
Judge John Greenwood
Judge John McClintock
The minutes of the March 9, 2001, meeting were approved.
Ted Gladden indicated that Greg Wallace was not available to discuss HB 1358 due to a schedule conflict. Mr. Gladden reviewed the memorandum prepared by Greg Wallace on the implications of HB 1358 on the case management activities of the juvenile court. He outlined a strategy for the use of UCIS to provide monitoring of juvenile case types.
Judge Ralph Erickson reviewed the East Central judicial district case management plan for juvenile cases and child support proceedings. He discussed the eight goals outlined in the report. All of the monitoring requirements of HB 1358 should be met with the new procedures being implemented in the East Central district. There will be extensive use of scheduling orders and the reduction of service requirements so all future dates are contained in the first order provided to the parties. One goal is to eliminate redundant service requirements.
Previously, service was by the sheriff and it was required to personally serve separate documents at different times. The requirement that a number of signatures be on the petition resulted in a delay between the juvenile court, state's attorney's office, and county welfare or deprivation petitions. Steps have been taken to streamline this process. A videotape is being used for the advisement of rights for all parties. One objective is the reduction of the number of shelter care hearings that were previous scheduled.
Judge Erickson indicated that Judge Frank Racek has indicated his willingness to work with any district on the procedures that have been implemented. Steps can be taken in other districts that could reduce time for service, unnecessary hearings, and confusion and delay over case monitoring and scheduling.
Judge Kleven indicated a number of the procedures outlined in the East Central judicial district process are under consideration in Grand Forks. There was consensus that there is a need to block schedule to comply with the time standards in HB 1358. The Committee concluded that Greg Wallace should prepare a proposal for the next meeting of the Case Management Committee on the juvenile court case management issues in other districts. The report should include strategies and proposed timeframes for implementing improved case management procedures in every judicial district. The plans will need the approval of the judges of the various districts.
There was a sense that when there may be a need for a statewide rule on the notice/petition process. Not every allegation must be stated in the petition as is occurring in many districts. Most juvenile court petitions state every allegation. This delays the process. Instead, the petition could be amended at any future date with the use of a supplemental affidavit. Only the initial petition needs to be served by the sheriff, all subsequent notices can be served by First Class mail. This is a step that is not being followed in a large portion of the state, adding to the delay.
Judge Schmalenberger reported that he would report to the Council of Presiding Judges on the East Central judicial district experience and strategies for implementing the recommendations statewide.
Ted Gladden indicated we need to develop a process to count cases the same in all districts. The question was raised as to whether we should move to a filing requirement for all civil cases. After discussion, there was the view that it is a mixed problem that filing all cases may not be a solution that would be embraced, but the problem remains in terms of how we count cases. The discussion then moved to the notion of counting one defendant/one case in criminal proceedings. Judge Erickson indicated that cases that are reopened are not counted in the East Central judicial district. As a result, the district reports the number of cases processed. Ted Gladden was asked to visit with programming staff to see if it would be possible to develop a reporting process in UCIS for one defendant/one case arising out of the same incident.
The concept of differentiated case management was discussed. The objective is to assign cases to tracks based on the individual characteristics of the case. Number of parties, complexity of the issues, and need for judicial oversight are factors assessed in assigning cases to various tracks. After considerable discussion on its application in civil, criminal, and domestic relations case categories, Judge Schmalenberger indicated he would work with Judge McLees on a presentation for the next Committee meeting on a draft of a case management process using DCM that they developed as part of a project at a case management seminar they attended last spring.
There was discussion that we need to consider the creation of a mandatory scheduling order and process to eliminate the note of issue, a step which tends to cause unnecessary delay in cases. The courts should monitor and manage the cases from the time of filing.
Ted Gladden discussed the case disposition data. Most cases are processed within the timeframes of the docket currency rule. Some aspects of AR 12 need to be reviewed. The administrative appeals process allows for substantial delay in many cases arising out of the preparation of the record on appeal. He indicated he would review the rules with Jim Ganje and provide a report at the next meeting. A second item that may need review, as part of an amendment to AR 12, relates to small claims case processing. Many judicial districts are sending out a notice to parties at 30 days, giving them an additional 30 days, to perfect service. In other jurisdictions, cases not being actively monitored. This is due, in part, to the problem of the timeframe for service.
Ted Gladden indicated that staff is working on the judges' management report, as suggested by Judge Haskell. A draft will be available at the next meeting.
The next meeting of the Caseflow Management Committee is scheduled for September 28, 2001.