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NCSC in the news

State courts add hearing to lighten, speed up caseload

A statewide court rule implemented this year adds a fourth hearing for defendants, but is expected to help unclog packed dockets. A probable cause hearing was added to court procedures in January between a defendant's arraignment and preliminary examination by the Michigan Supreme Court, which governs state courts. Probable cause conferences have been used in courts in other states as part of a case management and administrative function, said Bill Raftery of the National Center for State Courts. Raftery didn't have a figure on how many of the estimated 3,000-4,000 American courts use the practice. Read the full story in the Detroit News.

Courts, lawmakers working on protection for weakest citizens

Nevada lawmakers are considering three reform bills that are opposed by professional private guardians but supported by advocates for the elderly and the incapacitated. National Center for State Courts recently completed a study that recommended reorganization and reallocation of resources, making it possible to hire a guardianship compliance officer to better monitor cases without additional funding. Read the full story in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

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News releases

New Jersey and Virginia students given top honors for NCSC’s Civics Education Essay Contest

Victoria Bliley, a fifth-grade student at Walsingham Academy Lower School in Williamsburg, Virginia, and Rebecca Yermish, a seventh-grade student at DeMasi Middle School in Evesham Township, New Jersey, are the first place winners of the National Center for State Courts’ (NCSC) 2015 Civics Education Essay Contest, held to recognize Law Day, May 1. Contest entries were in two age categories: third to fifth grade and sixth to eighth grade. Each age group was asked a question about the impact of bullying. Read the full press release.

Colorado civics education program named recipient of Sandra Day O’Connor Award for Advancement of Civics Education

Judicially Speaking, a Colorado-based civics education program, has been named recipient of the 2015 Sandra Day O’Connor Award for the Advancement of Civics Education, presented annually by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC). The award honors an organization, court, or individual who has promoted, inspired, improved, or led an innovation or accomplishment in the field of civics education related to the justice system. Details of the awards presentation have not been finalized. Read the full press release.

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