SACRAMENTO—The Judicial Council at its September 24 business meeting will consider proposed revisions to the formula to determine judicial workloads around the state, updated to capture changes in law and practice. The council in July asked for additional analysis to ensure the model best represents courts of all sizes.

The updated formula forms the basis of the Judicial Needs Assessment, which prioritizes judgeship needs in counties around the state. The study estimates California needs an additional 173 judges.

Other items on the council meeting agenda include:

Increasing Language Access in Courthouses: The council will consider creating a new grant program to disburse $2.55 million each year for language access signage, technology support, and equipment needs for the trial courts and the Judicial Council.  

Ensuring Adequate Conservatorship and Guardianship Counsel: The council will consider updated court rules on the qualifications and education required for counsel representing wards and conservatees in probate proceedings. The proposed changes would help ensure effective representation and would simplify the certification process.

Supporting Collaborative Justice: The council will consider allocating nearly $1.2 million for collaborative justice court programs. These programs—which include drug, veterans, DUI, elder, truancy, and mental health courts—are also known as problem-solving courts that combine judicial supervision with rigorously monitored rehabilitation services.

Simplifying the Service Process for Clearing Criminal Records: The council will consider a new proof of service form and accompanying information sheet for petitioners wishing to clear their criminal records. The new materials use plain language and aim to simplify the process for people without attorneys.

Fresno’s Human Trafficking Court: The council will hear from Fresno court leaders about the court’s project to help the growing number of trafficked youth, as well as runaway, homeless, and other vulnerable children at risk of exploitation. The project is one of 50 programs supported by the Court Innovations Grant Program to promote court innovations and efficiencies.

The meeting agenda and council reports are online, and a link to the live videocast of the meeting will be on the California Courts website on the day of the meeting.

Note: The September 24 business meeting will take place at the Judicial Council’s office at 2850 Gateway Oaks Drive, Suite 100, Sacramento, CA