I have this in the latest edition of Judicature.
The article looks at how courthouse security is increasingly seen as a statewide, state-level issue and goes over some of the trends noted here in the blog.
A set of bills previously discussed here, that require Michigan judges/courts that want to operate special problem solving dockets be certified by the state court administrator’s office has cleared that state’s Senate (news report here).
SB 435 (drug courts), SB 436 (DWI/sobriety courts), SB 437 (mental health courts), and SB 438 (veterans courts) provide that existing or new problem solving courts/dockets must be certified (“The state court administrative office shall establish the procedure for certification.”) or will be shut down starting January 1, 2018.
The bills are “tie-barred”, meaning for one to pass, they must all pass.
The bills have now been assigned to the House Law and Justice Committee.
California law (Elec Code § 13107) allows for those seeking judicial office to designate their current principal professions, vocations, or occupation with up to a 3 word description plus the word or phrase “appointed incumbent” or “incumbent” if the person is a currently serving as a judge.
The result has been in several recent judicial races candidates currently serving as Deputy District Attorneys using the 3-word description of their current position not as Deputy District Attorney but as “Child Molestation Prosecutor”, “Hardcore Gang Prosecutor”, or “Sexual Predator Prosecutor” or other similar phrases (see page 12 here for the 2016 Los Angeles County ballot). This hyperbole isn’t limited to prosecutors, with other attorneys adding words like “virtuous” or “eminent” or “leading” to their descriptions.
The author of the bill called these descriptors “disingenuous and histrionic.”
SB 235 as approved by the Senate earlier this year 34-1 and up for a vote possibly as early as this week would limit the 3 word descriptors.
Given the current hurricane season, I recently wrote and published in Trends in State Courts a review of recent efforts, mostly by legislatures, to give courts more power to handle disasters.
What happens when a courthouse is rendered unusable following a man-made or natural disaster? Many states have started to grant special powers to chief justices and court leadership to help courts meet these challenges.
Trends in State Courts is an annual, peer-reviewed publication that highlights innovative practices in critical areas that are of interest to courts, and often serves as a guide for developing new initiatives and programs, and informing and supporting policy decisions.
Trends in State Courts is the only publication of its kind and enjoys a wide circulation among the state court community. It is distributed in hard copy and electronically.
Submissions for the 2018 edition are now being accepted. Please email abstracts of no more than 500 words by October 13, 2017 to Deborah Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org. Abstracts received after this date are welcome and will be considered for later editions or for our monthly online version.
In addition to the Trends 2018 publication, we have monthly articles on our Trends website with a rolling submission process.
Suggested topics might include:
Visit the Trends in State Courts website at www.ncsc.org/trends .
HB 3054 as filed contained 3 elements
HB 3054 as amended and enacted removes Item 1 entirely and heavily modifies Items 2 and 3. The new bill provides
The clerk shall post in the common areas of the courthouse a notice that a person may file a complaint against the judge that includes contact information for the Judicial Inquiry Board. The Judicial Inquiry Board shall develop a uniform statewide notice and provide the format of the notice to each clerk.
HB 3054 has an effective date of January 1, 2018.
Earlier this year I mentioned Florida SB 616. Under the 2017 bill the firearm permit holders would have been allowed to carry guns into courthouses, or at least those portions not directly used by the courts (such as courtrooms and chambers). Judges who attempted to prohibit courthouse carry were threatened with civil fines and removal from office by the Governor. It was approved by the Senate but went nowhere in the House.
Now, SB 616 of 2017 has been refiled as SB 134 of 2018. It again threatens judges with civil fines and removal from office if they attempt to issue an administrative order stopping courthouse carry or altering the definition of “courthouse” to be broader than the limited-space definition provided in SB 134 (emphasis added).
A local ordinance, administrative rule, administrative order, or regulation that is in conflict with the definition of the term “courthouse” in this subsection or the rights set forth under subparagraph (12)(a)4. is preempted to the Legislature under s. 790.33. The person, justice, judge, county, agency, municipality, district, or other entity that enacts or causes to be enforced a local ordinance, administrative rule, administrative order, or regulation that is preempted is subject to the penalties set forth in s. 790.33, including, but not limited to, civil fines and removal from office by the Governor.