NCSC in the News

Eight-State Regional Judicial Opioid Initiative Receives $1 Million Federal Grant

A first-of-its-kind regional judicial effort by states to combat the opioid epidemic is receiving a $1 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance.  The $1 million funding was awarded to the Ohio Supreme Court on behalf of the RJOI to improve coordination and seek “data-driven responses to prescription drug misuse.”  The RJOI has relied on the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) to coordinate the initiative, and will continue to do so through this grant. Read the full story on Court News Ohio.

Calls for Court Reform as Legal Guardians Abuse Older Adults

The National Center for State Courts estimates that guardians across the country supervise 1.3 million adults and an aggregate of $50 billion of their assets. Brenda K. Uekert, the Center’s principal court research consultant, said that with the “aging of the baby boomers and the onset of dementia, we expect those numbers to go up.” Read the full article in the New York Times.

Delaware Courts launch efforts to improve, standardize and streamline Problem-Solving Courts

The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) will be a partner with the Delaware Courts as a part of the 36-month project to establish best practices and develop tools to allow individual courts to assess their compliance with the new standards. The information generated by this program should help develop baseline information for further efforts to improve the functioning of these courts and provide a standard for other court systems to use in the future. Read more.

Chief justice: Court workers need raises now, and we need $20 million to do it

Wages for court-related job classifications are below market in all categories, with employees – including judges – making 4.6 percent to 22.2 percent less than their counterparts in other states and the District of Columbia, according to a study from the National Center for State Courts commissioned by the Kansas Judicial Branch. Read more.

Attorney Sarah Barkley Raaymakers Named Partner at Prestigious Tampa Bay Law Firm

Before practicing at Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, Raaymakers interned at the National Center for State Courts in Williamsburg, Virginia, the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Pinellas County Public Defender’s Office. Read more.

County court moves to vacant shopping center

Former Presiding Superior Court Judge Peter Cahill engaged a consultant with the National Center for State Courts, which suggested the courts needed 16,000 square feet. Read more.

Justices, judges and others gather for MacArthur Summit on Juvenile Justice Reform

State Supreme Court Justices and judges from across the South have gathered in Nashville this week for the National Center for State Courts' Juvenile Justice Reform Summit (MacArthur Summit). Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Jeffrey Bivins welcomed the group. Read more.

Simplifying how the courts seal criminal records

The court records from each of the 60 judicial districts are transmitted by an email-like system to AOPC. Bill Raftery, a senior analyst at the National Center for State Courts, called the Pennsylvania setup "rare" because most states have siloed systems where the records from one court can be transmitted elsewhere. Read more.

Boyd County, Ky., to retain judges for now

In the spring of 2015, the National Center for State Courts conducted a state-wide judicial time study of cases in district, circuit and family court. Judges logged time spent handling cases and taking care of judicial duties outside of court, and a formula was calculated that included case weights and measured workloads for each phase of a case and its jurisdiction. Read more.

Kansas legislature needs to make court funding a priority, blogger says

The courts have avoided more shutdowns by tightening their belts. Judicial branch employees have borne the brunt of it – doing more work for effectively less pay. Last year, National Center for State Courts studied their compensation. Read more.

State should review Supreme Court pay

Over the course of this long salary freeze, Michigan has changed its national rank for supreme court justice pay from 2nd highest in 2002 to 31st in 2017, according to the National Center for State Courts. Read more.

Minnesota courts work to keep up with do-it-yourself demand

Anecdotal evidence abounds about the surge in pro se cases. But national data comparing state totals remains scarce. That's why the Court Statistics Project, part of the National Center for State Courts' research division, released a 2013 report recommending state standards for defining and counting cases with pro se litigants. Read more. 

A sound solution in correctional facilities

Courthouses are another correctional setting in need of heightened security. The number of court-targeted attacks -- assaults, bombings, or arson -- has increased over the last several years. The National Center for State Courts cited research from the Center for Judicial and Executive Security, which documented 10 incidents of violence in courts in 2006. By 2011, the number rose to 67. Read more.

Betty Shelby on Terence Crutcher killing: 'I am not racist.'

Implicit bias is the bias in judgment and/or behavior that results from subtle cognitive processes (e.g., implicit attitudes and implicit stereotypes) that often operate at a level below conscious awareness and without intentional control, reads a report on the subject from the National Center for State Courts. Read more.

Congress needs to end its war with the civil justice system, official says

According to the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), the majority of civil cases are consumer-debt-collection, landlord/tenant, small-claims and small-contract cases. In other words, most civil cases involve the "little guy" being sued, not suing. Shockingly, nearly one-fourth of all civil cases were debt-collection actions. Moreover, most of these individuals are "unrepresented and lack access to accurate information about court procedures." NCSC basically scolded policymakers for "missing the forest for the trees" by focusing on things like these House bills. In the real world, it's everyday people who suffer from a lack of litigation "access and fairness" -- corporations. Read more.

Chaplain group: Army’s diversity directive an ‘assault’ on religious beliefs

Implicit bias, often called unconscious bias, is judgment or behavior toward certain groups, like racism or sexism, that occurs below a conscious level, according to the National Center for State Courts, a nonprofit that works on improving judicial administration. Read more.

Nonlawyers successfully providing some legal services in Washington state

Limited license legal technicians in the state of Washington are succeeding at helping clients who can't afford a lawyer while staying within their limits as practitioners, a new study from the National Center for State Courts and the American Bar Association has found. Read more.