News Release

Judicial Council Meeting Features Reports on Ability-to-Pay Tool, Judicial Education, Court Caseloads

Council Also Receives Updates From Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero and its Administrative Director Shelley Curran
Mar 15, 2024

VIA WEB CONFERENCE—The Judicial Council at its March 15 business meeting received several reports and recommendations, including:

Online Ability-to-Pay Determinations: The council received a report on its MyCitations online tool, which allows low-income individuals with infraction violations to request a reduction in their fines and fees without going to the courthouse. The report analyzed the statewide program since its launch in April 2019 through December 2023, finding that more than 91,000 litigants submitted approximately 128,000 ability-to-pay requests, resulting in more than $36.7 million in fine reductions.

Funding for Judicial Education: The council approved a recommendation to fund additional orientations and training programs for newly appointed judges due to the increased number of judicial appointments in recent months.

Trial Court Operational Metrics: The council received a legislatively mandated report on trial court operations, which includes information on time to disposition and case clearance rates by case type, backlogs by case type, court hours of operations, staff vacancy rates, and court funding levels.

Chair of Council’s Legislation Committee to Retire: Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero announced that council member Judge Marla Anderson will retire on April 30, after serving nearly 30 years as a judge in Monterey County and a decade on the Judicial Council, including as chair of both the council’s Legislation Committee and Litigation Management Committee. Among the many council members who thanked Judge Anderson for her dedication and mentorship, the Chief Justice added that “through her tireless commitment to public service, and her personal warmth and compassion, Judge Anderson has made a lasting impact in our judicial branch and the communities we serve.” Watch (45 seconds from start of meeting)

Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero (right) with California Lawyers Association President Betty Williams at the Bay Area Women Lawyers’ Retreat in March.



Chief Justice Reports on Outreach Events on Behalf of Judicial Branch: Chief Justice Guerrero summarized some of her engagements and ongoing outreach activities since the last council business meeting in January. Among many other activities, the Chief Justice participated in events centered on the council’s number one goal of Access, Fairness, Diversity, and Inclusion. These events included a UCLA symposium of 300 Latina scholars, judges, attorneys, policy leaders, and law students that addressed continuing to diversify the legal field; Pepperdine University event that honored alumni and faculty who work to advance diversity and belonging in the legal profession; and a Bay Area lawyers retreat to help empower women lawyers and shape the future of the profession. Watch

Update From Council’s Administrative Director: The council’s Administrative Director Shelley Curran provided an update on the council’s work in areas impacting the courts, including: minimum court technology standards for conducting remote proceedings; tracking legislation affecting court operations, including bills related to artificial intelligence (AI); and the continued need for additional judgeships. Watch

The complete meeting agenda and council reports are posted to the California Courts Meeting Information Center--an archived webcast of today’s meeting will be posted to the center as soon as it is available.