SAN FRANCISCO—The first official comment period for the Strategic Evaluation Committee’s (SEC) report to California’s Judicial Council ended yesterday, with more than 450 comments made on a report that calls for structural changes to the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC).
"We are pleased that so many people have taken the time to provide comments and to share their thoughts about the SEC report,” said Justice Douglas Miller, chair of the Judicial Council’s Executive and Planning Committee. “Our committee is meeting all day on August 9th to read the comments and go over each and every recommendation. We’ve asked the SEC chair and vice chair—Assistant Presiding Judge Charles D. Wachob of the Superior Court of Placer County and Presiding Judge Brian L. McCabe of the Superior Court of Merced County—to join us. Another SEC member, Riverside Presiding Judge Sherill A. Ellsworth, will join us as well. It’s important to have consistency and continuity in the process, and that’s why the Chief Justice appointed all three to the Judicial Council. Their terms begin in September.”
The Strategic Evaluation Committee was appointed by Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye in March 2011 to conduct an in-depth review of the AOC with a view toward promoting transparency, accountability, and efficiency. The Chief Justice received the SEC’s final report and recommendations on May 25. At its meeting on June 21, 2012, the Judicial Council accepted the report and directed that it be posted for public comment for 30 days. “Although the initial comment period has ended, we will of course continue to accept any comments or listen to concerns of all those who may be affected by the recommendations,” said Justice Miller.
Comments received can be reviewed here; information about the SEC and the final report can be reviewed here. Also available are videos of the SEC presentation to the council; the Chief Justice’s remarks on the SEC and Justice Miller’s explanation of the council’s review process.