State Revenue and Appropriations
Funding Principles for Judicial Administration
Steps Taken to Address Tough Economic Times
Staffing Levels and Operating Expenses: Over the past four years, the number of judges has remained the same while the number of trial court staff and central office staff has been reduced by more than 8%. The Oregon courts have lost 12% of staff over the past four years. In the coming year, the number of judges will be increased by 2%.
Service Reductions: Over the past four years, the Oregon courts have reduced hours of operation, imposed staff layoffs and have delayed filling judicial vacancies and vacancies in the clerks’ offices and in judicial support positions. They have reduced the use of retired judges and have delayed jury trials.
Compensation: Over the past four years, salaries have been frozen for judicial officers and court staff. Court staff have been furloughed. Court staff are now picking up pieces of health care costs and could in the future pick up a greater share of health care and pension costs.
Efficiency Measures: The Oregon courts have implemented e-filing along with an electronic document management system, an enhanced case management system and electronic workflow. Law enforcement can file e-citations. Litigants can make e-payments of fees and fines. The courts created a virtual self-help center and a virtual web-based information center to provide public access to records.
Re-Structuring: The Oregon courts have consolidated courthouses, have consolidated clerk management positions, have reallocated staff and have used part-time and off-hours workers.
Business Processes: The Oregon courts have:
The Oregon courts have outsourced the collection of fines, penalties, bail or other fees and in the coming year plan to outsource electronic filing.
Centralization: The Oregon courts have implemented:
They plan to implement centralized jury qualification and summonsing in the coming year.
A Joint Statutory Committee on State Court Revenue Structure was created by the 2010 Legislature.
The Oregon courts are in a worse position than four years ago to provide access and timely justice. The courts have implemented extensive performance and efficiency measures, but extensive staffing reductions have impacted court operations. Service reductions have resulted in reduced service to the public, limited access to court services and increased delays and backlogs.
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