State Revenue and Appropriations
Funding Principles for Judicial Administration
Steps Taken to Address Tough Economic Times
Staffing Levels and Operating Expenses:
Service Reductions: Over the past four years, the Guam courts have reduced hours of operation, had staff layoffs and have delayed filling vacancies in the clerk’s offices and in judicial support positions. They have delayed jury trials. These reductions have resulted in limited access to court services.
Compensation: Over the past four years, the courts have furloughed court staff. In the coming year, they will reduce and freeze the salaries of judicial officers and will again furlough court staff.
Efficiency Measures: The courts have created an electronic document management system and virtual self-help centers. In the coming year, they will implement e-filing and enhanced case management system, electronic workflow and e-payment of fines and fees. Law enforcement will be able to issue e-citations. They will put into place a virtual web-based information center to provide public access to court records. Additional automated modules include jury management, probation, marshals, family counseling, procurement, public guardian, financial and human resources. The courts have transitioned to digital recording of court proceedings, videoconferencing of arraignments and detention hearings for detained adults and juveniles and have implemented remote videoconferencing of interpreters for persons with limited English proficiency.
Restructuring: The courts in Guam have expanded the jurisdiction of subordinate judicial officers, consolidated clerk management positions, and reallocated staff. They have employed limited term employees (working full time to assist workload demands during the absences of National Guard active duty employees on deployment and medical leave due to PTSD an injury sustained. Approximately 16% of staff, including one judicial officer, are with the National Guard.
Business Processes: The courts have transitioned to digital recording of court proceedings and use videoconferencing for first appearance of criminal defendants and delinquent juveniles. In the coming year, they will implement a new caseflow management program, create a fine schedule for petty misdemeanors, and implement in-court updating for docketing and sentencing orders.
Centralization: The courts have a centralized payable center and have centralized collections processing, traffic citation processing and jury qualification and summoning.
The Courts in Guam are in a better position than four years ago to provide access and timely justice.