Rhode Island Legislative Year in Review: Courts no longer license constables; who is responsible for finding courtrooms for the District Court

Law

SB 526 Eliminates the responsibility of the division of public buildings, and department of administration to acquire suitable courtrooms for the sessions of the district court.

SB 530 Eliminates references to the Department of Administration and inserts Supreme Court director of finance as accounting entity for court clerks.

SB 825 / HB 5972 Transfers licensing of constables from district court to department of business regulation. Changes various rules and requirements regarding the certification of constables.

Oregon Legislative Year in Review: con amendment would eliminate mandatory judicial retirement age; more courts to require their judges be lawyers; restricting personal ID numbers in court files

On Ballot

SJR 4 Repeals constitutional provision allowing for the establishment of a mandatory retirement age. To appear on November 2016 ballot.

Law

HB 2316 Increases fee amounts charged by justice courts for various filings. Provides that party to proceeding in open court in justice or municipal court may arrange for recording or reporting of proceeding.

HB 2340 Restricts Social Security numbers, driver license numbers, and taxpayer identification numbers in certain court documents to last four digits of such numbers. Prohibits the inclusion of address of victim within judgment containing a money award in criminal action.

HB 3399 Requires justice court and municipal court to record criminal proceedings. For Justice of Peace or Municipal Courts not of record,  judge to be member of Oregon State Bar or to have completed course on courts of special jurisdiction offered by National Judicial College within 12 months of election or appointment. Allows educational equivalence course if proposed by Justice of the Peace or Municipal court judge and approved by Chief Justice of Supreme Court. For Justice of Peace or Municipal Courts that is a court of record, requires Bar membership.

SB 385 Adds justice court, municipal court, probate court and juvenile court to definition of “court facility” where firearms and other weapons are prohibited absent specific circumstances. Establishes that prohibited knives include pocketknives. Authorizes municipal, probate, juvenile and justice court judges to establish procedures regulating possession of firearms and other weapons in court facilities. Establishes that in shared court facility, order, policy or procedure of presiding court judge takes precedence over that of municipal court judge, probate court judge, juvenile court judge or justice of the peace. Establishes that conviction under section is Class C felony. Clarifies that court may only prohibit weapons in area where court conducts business and during hours court operates

SB 919 Provides that person who falsely reports hazardous substance, fire, explosion, catastrophe or other emergency in court facility or public building commits crime of disorderly conduct in the first degree.

Oklahoma Legislative Year in Review: cutting the link between judicial salaries and those of other officials; appellate judges now have higher salaries than trial judges

Law

SB 456 Creates Courthouse Security Fee up to $10 in all civil cases.

SB 548 Increases salaries of appellate judges and justices (previously trial judges had a higher salary than appellate judges).

SB 549 Eliminates procedure linking salaries of other state officers/elected officials to judicial salaries. Veto overridden.

North Carolina Legislative Year in Review: changes to elections for appellate courts; guns in courtrooms

Law

HB 97 Requires reports to legislature of judges who waive criminal fees. Authorizes courts to create special sessions for “specialized cases or matters…including the holding of family court, drug treatment court, veterans’ court, DWI court, mental health court, or any other innovative use of a session of court.” Requires AOC provide directions. Moves Innocence Inquiry Commission under AOC and directs AOC audit annually. Directs creation of E-Courts Information Technology initiative/plan/advisory committee. Allows for use of tech funds to pay for data connectivity. Specifies “neither the Director nor the Administrative Office of the Courts is the custodian of the records of the clerks of superior court or of the electronic data processing records or any compilation of electronic court records or data of the clerks of superior court.”

HB 222 For Supreme Court, requires justices be re-elected by yes/no retention elections. Maintains nonpartisan elections for initial terms.

HB 562 Allows prosecutors to carry firearms into courtrooms.

SB 83 Allows clerks to refuse to accept false liens filed against judges or other public officers and public employees.

SB 161 Allows Supreme Court to sit in its old summer-session chambers in Morganton twice a year.

Pending before Governor

HB 8 For Court of Appeals, permits candidates to place partisan labels next to their names.

New York Legislative Year in Review: Expanding mandatory e-filing in state’s courts

Law

A8083 Vests the Chief Administrative Judge with authority, provided the local County Clerk agrees, to implement mandatory e-filing in a county and in most classes of cases. Continues present authorization for the use of e-filing, both consensual and mandatory, in criminal superior courts and Family Court. Continues permanently, without change, programs of consensual and mandatory e-filing in Surrogate’s Court and the New York City Civil Court. Authorizes use of e-filing in the Appellate Divisions at the discretion of each Judicial Department.

New Mexico Legislative Year in Review: pocket vetoes for Court Language Access Fund & AOC

Law

HB 487 Requires every municipality to enact an ordinance requiring assessed fees to be collected as court costs, outlines the fees to be collected upon conviction and the amount of each, details how the money collected can be used and deposited into a special fund. Balances available in the special fund in a municipality with a population less than 10,000 (currently 3,000) according to the most recent federal decennial census, which are not needed, may transfer them into the municipality’s general fund.

Approved

SM 89 Directs a study of the ramifications of the transfer of county employees to the magistrate courts to operate compliance programs.

Vetoed

HB 89 Creates Court Language Access Fund to provide court interpreters and to operate and staff the New Mexico Center for Language Access, etc. Pocket vetoed. No override attempted.

SB 106 Allows the administrative director of the courts to receive funds to carry out the duties of the office. Pocket vetoed. No override attempted.