State Revenue and Appropriations
Funding Principles for Judicial Administration
1) Funds are available to support upgrades and changes to hardware and software in the Supreme Court, its several divisions and departments, and its closely affiliated entities. Information regarding technology budgets in the lower courts is unavailable.
Staffing Levels and Operating Expenses:
Service Reductions: Over the past four years, the Louisiana Judiciary has delayed filling vacancies in the Supreme Court Clerk’s office and in Supreme Court judicial support positions. They have reduced the use of retired judges.
Compensation: Over the past four years, the Louisiana Judiciary has frozen the salaries of Supreme Court state-paid staff.
Efficiency Measures: The Louisiana Supreme Court has implemented e-filing, an electronic document management system and an enhanced case management system and electronic workflow. They have implemented e-payment of fines and fees. The Supreme Court has deployed an Enterprise Resource Plan.
Restructuring: It is possible that lower courts have taken steps to increase efficiency through consolidation or reduction of positions, reallocation of staff and/or the use of part-time and off-hour workers, although we are unaware of the scope and impact of such steps.
The Louisiana courts are in a better position than four years ago to provide access and timely justice. The Supreme Court and courts around the state work to identify and share information about process improvements on an ongoing basis. At the Supreme Court, for example, a new Enterprise Resource Plan has been implemented. In addition, since 2009 the Court has established task forces or committees dealing with self-represented litigants, court security, uniform rules, plain language jury instructions, and other topics. The work of these groups is likely to translate into better and more responsive policies and practices in courts around the state.
Reports and Articles
Gavel to Gavel