NCSC in the news

 
Presumed Innocent? A Funder Steps Up Its Push Against a Deeply Unfair Pretrial Justice System

National Center for State Courts will conduct research, develop benchmarks, and advise state courts on how to improve efficiency in criminal case processing. Read the full story from Inside Philanthropy.

 
Another day in court

The National Center for State Courts says the number one complaint citizens have about jury duty is the waiting — waiting for orientation to begin, waiting in the hallway during last-minute motions, waiting to find out who’ll be impaneled. Read the full story from the Daily Leader.

 
Public Sees Benefits to Resolving Civil Court Cases Online

A recent survey by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) found that 59 percent of registered voters agree that “state courts are not doing enough to empower regular people to navigate the court system without an attorney.” And, despite some reservations, most are willing to try using web-based tools to settle certain kinds of disputes more expeditiously and efficiently. Read the full story from Pew.

 
SXSW 2019: Utah, ‘Pajama Court’ and Resolving Cases Online

There are three essential components for ODR in this context, said Paul Embley, the CIO and technology division director at the National Center for State Courts — that it operates exclusively online, that it is explicitly designed to assist litigants in resolving disputes or cases and that it is supported by the legal system. Read the full story from GovTech.

 
Honorable Chief Justice Rhys S. Hodge receives the National Center for State Court’s Distinguished Service Award

Justice Rhys S. Hodge, Chief Justice of the Virgin Islands Supreme Court is the recipient of the 2018 National Center for State Courts' (NCSC) Distinguished Service Award. This award is presented annually to those who have made significant contributions to the justice system and who have supported the mission of NCSC. Read the full story from the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands.

 
Kentucky Access to Justice Commission receives grant

Kentucky is one of 11 states to receive a Justice for All planning grant from the National Center for State Courts. The Justice for All project supports Access to Justice Commissions in their efforts to form partnerships with stakeholders in the civil justice community. The grant is supported by funding from the Public Welfare Foundation and the Kresge Foundation. Read the full story from Glasgow Daily Times.

 
Right-size the new courthouse

As for the “smarter” part, the court should follow the example of the court in Washington County from a few years ago. It should seek a grant from the State Justice Institute (a federally-funded entity) and use that grant to hire the Justice Management Institute or the National Center for State Courts. Consultants would assess how the court currently manages its work and suggest management changes to allow more efficiency and effectiveness. Read the full story from the Register-Guard.

 
Spokane County Superior Court judges want felony cases to move faster, but public defenders say that the new expectations go too far

The effort stems from a report compiled by the National Center for State Courts, brought in last year to review Spokane County Superior Court's case processing practices. Read the full story from Inlander.

 
Can Technology Help Modernize the Nation’s Civil Courts?

Experts with a range of perspectives came together Nov. 30 in Arlington, Virginia, to discuss online dispute resolution in a session organized by The Pew Charitable Trusts and the National Center for State Courts. Read the full story from Pew.

 
Georgia Appeals, Superior Court Judges Beat National Average Salaries

Judges at Georgia’s Court of Appeals and superior courts earn, on average, more than their counterparts in other states, while justices at the Supreme Court of Georgia earn close to the national average for state high court jurists, according to a study by the National Center for State Courts. Read the full story from the Daily Report.

 
Reading this on your phone, tablet or computer? This post is for you!

While primarily used by attorneys, the use by pro-se litigants who may not have the same level of technical proficiency or legal knowledge could create access to justice issues, as the National Center for State Courts has addressed. Read the full story from Legal Solutions Blog.

 
Pay for Maine jurors in state courts could more than triple

The $50-per-day rate would put Maine at the top of the pay scale for jurors nationally after remaining near the bottom for decades, according to the National Center for State Courts in Williamsburg, Virginia. In New England, Massachusetts pays $50 per day beginning on the fourth day of jury duty. New Hampshire pays $20, Rhode Island pays $15, and Vermont pays between $15 and $20. Read the full story from Bangor Daily News.

 
Beyond guilt or innocence, should jurors weigh if law is worth enforcing?

“It is a power of the jury that the jury has always had.... And as long as we have jury trials it probably always will exist,” says Paula Hannaford-Agor, director of the Center for Jury Studies at the National Center for State Courts. Read the full story from The Christian Science Monitor.

 
In Court, Where Are Siri and Alexa?

Fourteen states use audio or video recorders in lieu of court reporters, according to a 2015 study by the National Center for State Courts. Many of the states cite cost as the reason for the shift to digital. Read the full story from The Marshall Project.

 
How Do They Decide Who Serves Jury Duty?

According to the National Center for State Courts, the national average for responding to jury summons is 91 percent. Minnesota doesn’t keep recent statistics on that its response rate, but Lussier says it’s better than the national average. Read the full story from CBS Minnesota.

 
Bills in Annapolis aim to allow greater public scrutiny of Maryland judges

Most states — including Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvania — list judges’ names, said Bill Raferty, an analyst for the National Center for State Courts. “There is always a name attached to the judge.” Read the full story from the Capital Gazette. 

 
A majority of the Arizona Supreme Court will soon be selected by Gov. Doug Ducey

Arizonans have kicked almost no one off the bench so far. But voters in Iowa, Colorado and Florida have set a precedent for doing so — or attempting to — when they felt the courts shifted too far in one direction, according to Bill Raftery, an analyst with the National Center for State Courts. Read the full story from azcentral.

 
Washington County needs sixth Circuit Court judge, Md. Judiciary says

Using a model developed by the National Center for State Courts, judicial need for fiscal 2020 was primarily based on the average number and type of cases filed in the most recent three years — from fiscal 2016 to 2018. Read the full story from Herald-Mail Media.

 
‘El Chapo’ jurors could face a long-term threat: PTSD

The Health and Human Services’ Employee Assistance Program “provides any person who is an employee of the federal government up to six confidential counseling sessions with clinical social workers or counselors to work through things,” said Paula Hannaford-Agor, director of the Center for Jury Studies at the National Center for State Courts. Because jurors in federal court are considered temporary government employees, “the judge will extend the jurors’ term of service for six months to a year so the jurors can access those federal benefits.” Read the full story from the Los Angeles Times.

 
Inside the courtroom: my jury duty experience

"I thought it was uncommon for me to be selected because I was fairly new to the government system. I’m a college student that only registered to vote the year before. They say the selection is random, but I’m not sure that’s the case. The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) reported that in a given year, 32 million people get summoned for service. Also, it’s estimated that only 1.5 million people actually get selected to serve on a jury. There are many variables that affect the probability of being selected for jury duty." Read the full story from Loquitur.

 
New Charleston County Veterans Court to serve those who served US

The first Veterans Courts took root in Buffalo, N.Y., in 2008, according to the National Center for State Courts. They since have expanded across the country, including in both Savannah and Fayetteville, N.C. Read the full story from The Post and Courier.

 
Arkansas, Texas supreme courts in Texarkana to hear arguments

"We enjoy being here. We've been looking forward to this for quite a while," Arkansas Chief Justice John Dan Kemp told those gathered at the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana campus. "The National Center for State Courts has indicated that this is the first time two state supreme courts have met to hear oral arguments in adjoining cities like this, so this is an historic occasion and we are glad to be a part of it." Read the full story from the Texarkana Gazette.

 
Survey says most residents want intermediate court, trial lawyers group calls it unnecessary

“Despite claims to the contrary, automatic right of appeal does exist in West Virginia,” New said. “It has been verified by the independent National Center for State Courts. You don't need to create a whole new court to fix something that's not broken.” Read the full story from the West Virginia Record.

 
With Smack-Talking Invective, Lawyer Groups Appeal to Public as One Big Jury Pool

Although statistics around the country are patchy, the volume of new tort cases is widely regarded to have fallen over the years. The most recent figures from the National Center for State Courts, covering 31 states, show that in 2017 new tort suits were filed by individuals and businesses at a rate of 2.08 for every 1,000 Americans. Read the full story from fairwarning.org.

 
Thank you for your service

The first veteran’s court opened in Buffalo, N.Y., in 2008, based on drug treatment and/or mental health treatment courts where substance abuse or mental health treatment is offered as an alternative to incarceration, according to the National Center for State Courts. Read the full story from the Daily Item.

 
Ted Deutch Champions Status of the Sixth Amendment Act

According to the National Center for State Courts, 70 percent to 80 percent of all criminal cases each year are misdemeanor charges which can result in fines or a term of imprisonment of less than one year,” Deutch’s office noted. Read the full story from Florida Daily.

 
Chief justice talks about state’s growing problem-solving courts

Nebraska was chosen by the National Center for State Courts as one of six sites nationally to participate in a project involving community engagement that will focus on disparate treatment of Native Americans in the state court system. Read the full story from the Beatrice Daily Sun.

 
Court Fines, Fees ‘Perpetuate’ Poverty: Expert

Experts estimate that criminal-justice debt owed by poor defendants totals tens of billions of dollars, and that number is likely to grow. National Public Radio, in a survey with the Brennan Center for Justice and the National Center for State Courts, found that 48 states increased civil and criminal court fees from 2010 to 2014. Read the full story from the Crime Report.

 
How Cities Make Money by Fining the Poor

No government agency comprehensively tracks the extent of criminal-justice debt owed by poor defendants, but experts estimate that those fines and fees total tens of billions of dollars. That number is likely to grow in coming years, and significantly: National Public Radio, in a survey conducted with the Brennan Center for Justice and the National Center for State Courts, found that 48 states increased their civil and criminal court fees from 2010 to 2014. Read the full story from the New York Times.

 
Online Dispute Resolution Offers a New Way to Access Local Courts

This experience was reflected in the findings of a national survey conducted by the nonprofit National Center for State Courts (NCSC), in which more than 80 percent of respondents said they want more online access to local courts, including the ability to ask for guidance from court staff rather than come to the courthouse. Read the full story from Pew.