The two days of the Judicial Council’s public meetings included some extraordinary business. First, 7 new Council members were sworn in. About one third of the membership turns over every year.
Hon. Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of California, "This assures continuity for the council and also creates opportunities for new participation of court leaders statewide.”
The Chief Justice observed: council members have a broad constituency, "They don’t represent individual courts or geographic areas, they make decisions in the best interests of the branch, the courts statewide and the public we serve.”
Among their first official duties: unanimous approval of the 2011 Distinguished Service Award Winners. The 6 individuals will be officially honored next month.
Also recognized for excellence by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers: the California Courts Protective Order Registry, called CCPOR. It’s a statewide repository of information already operating in 22 courts. It allows judges, court staff and law enforcement officers to easily see both data and scanned images of restraining orders and protective orders.
Hon. Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of California, “It’s an awesome tool for judges to protect families and children and victims of domestic violence.”
Ron Overholt, Interim Director of the Courts, Administrative Office of the Courts “CCPOR is a lifesaver, and it’s something that we can do more of.”
And to save time and money, many of the registry’s technological components were pulled directly from CCMS – the case management system that’s just about ready to roll out to early adopter courts.
Hon. Terence Bruiniers, CCMS Executive Committee Chair “The bottom line is that we now have a product that meets our requirements and will do what it was designed to do.”
San Luis Obispo wants to be first in line.
Hon. Charles Crandall, San Luis Obispo Presiding Judge “We can be a model for you if you’ll let us.”
The Ventura court has been using modules of CCMS for years.
Michael Planet, Ventura Superior Court CEO “So we have seen the promise that is CCMS and believe that it is the case management system of the future.”
The challenge is finding the resources to deploy CCMS to the courts that need and want it. Last July the Council redirected more than $50 million from CCMS to trial court operations, following the huge budget reductions to the Branch.
Now the council is looking at a new opportunity. The Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation, a private non-profit, is offering substantial resources to deploy CCMS. The 3-party collaboration would also include the state bar, pledging its overwhelming support and assistance.
Joe Dunn, State Bar Executive Director “One cannot effectively and efficiently represent their clients without having a case management system in our state judiciary. It just can’t be done in today’s world.”
The Council authorized the Administrative Office of the Courts to spend the next 12 weeks exchanging information and discussing possible plans for the collaborative relationship.
Hon. Burt Pines, Judicial Council “I think that we should certainly go forward and take a look at this and hope that it’ll solve a lot of problems.”
Alan Carlson, Judicial Council “We’d be nuts not to go forward with this.”
Hon. David Rosenberg, Judicial Council “I don’t know if it’ll work out but certainly it makes sense to do the 12 week due diligence and see what comes out of that.”
Hon. Terry Friedman, Judicial Council “The sooner we do this, the sooner the people of the state of California will be safer.”
The Council also approved a new process for emergency funding requests from local courts. You can see details of that – and other council decisions – on the courts website.
I’m Leanne Kozak reporting from San Francisco for California Courts News.