State Revenue and Appropriations
Funding Principles for Judicial Administration
Steps Taken to Address Tough Economic Times
Staffing Levels and Operating Expenses:
Compensation: Over the past four years, the Montana courts have frozen the salaries of court staff and will continue to do so in this coming year.
Business Processes: The Montana courts have implemented an enhanced caseflow management program and have created a statewide fine schedule for petty misdemeanors. They have transitioned to digital recording of court proceedings. They are videoconferencing arraignments of incarcerated defendants and detention hearings of detained juveniles and conducting remote videoconferencing of interpreters for persons with limited English proficiency. In the coming year, they plan to implement in-court updating for docket entries and for orders.
The Montana courts are in a better position than in FY09 to provide access and timely justice. While the budget has suffered, Montana has added three judges and two standing masters to the five most overwhelmed judicial districts. In addition, Montana has developed a case processing "dashboard" for judges, staff and clerks, which creates a visual look at the caseload and timeliness.
Reports and Articles
Gavel to Gavel