This page was last updated on 3/24/2020
Continuity of Court Operations (COOP)
The Judicial Internet Privacy Protection Enhancement Act (Calif.)
Since the tragedies of September 11, court disaster recovery and business continuity goals have broadened to include not only information technology issues but also legal requirements, file management, terrorists, and security concerns. By generating a variety of creative planning alternatives that can prevent panic within the workplace, the court administrator can protect the essential courthouse job functions from potential disasters.
Links to related online resources are listed below. Non-digitized publications may
be borrowed from the NCSC Library; call numbers are provided.
What happens when a courthouse is rendered unusable following a man-made or natural disaster? Many states have started to grant special powers to chief justices and court leadership to help courts meet these challenges.
Features Ten Elements for Effective Courtroom Safety and Security Planning, including Operational Security, Facilityi Security Planning, Emeregency Preparedness and Response, Disaster Recovery, Threat Assessment, Incident Reporting, Funding, Security Equipment, Resources and Partnerships, and Courthouse Design.
Many courts are challenged to maintain high levels of court security and business continuity plans with increasingly limited resources. Drawing on the experience of an urban court, the Judicial Branch of Arizona in Maricopa County (the superior court), a collaborative systems approach can help courts leverage available resources and reengineer essential security services.
State courts have expressed an urgent need to develop and enhance their emergency preparedness programs. This article provides a model for the development of an emergency preparedness program.
This brief article introduces a new court position, a director of emergency management, who would help tighten court security. The article looks at the responsibilities of this position and where it fits in to the existing structure of the courts.
NCSC, in conjunction with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, has developed a COOP project to ensure that courts know what to do if faced with an emergency that threatens continuation of normal operations.
The NCSC has produced this Web publication on issues to consider during times of crisis that will promote the safety, permanency, and well-being of abused and neglected children.
NCSC Area of Expertise.
This publication is the first comprehensive planning guide to address the specific needs of children, youth, and families involved in the justice system during an emergency.
Traditionally, a COOP plan is developed and implemented for situations in which the courthouse or court-related facilities are threatened or inaccessible (e.g., as a result of a natural or manmade disaster. This guide also includes pandemic planning.
The purpose of establishing an emergency management program within the courts is to .ensure that the capability exists to respond effectively to a broad array of potential operational interruptions.
This article discusses the concerns over the safety of our nation's courthouses and judicial officers and how courts are looking for new ways to improve upon the security of court facilities.
This Guide highlights key disability concerns to those officials and experts responsible for emergency planning in their communities, and assists them in developing plans that will take into account the needs and insights of people with disabilities before, during and after emergencies. (Permanent Link)
This report to ensure the safety of court facilities is critical to court performance. The emergency management practices were drafted by Institute staff (based on themes from conference presentations and resource materials) and vetted by five experts in the area of court safety.
The NCSC has produced this Web publication on issues to consider during times of crisis that will promote the safety, permanency, and well-being of abused and neglected children. (Permanent Link)
This conference provided a forum for leaders, first responders, industry representatives, people with physical disabilities, and others to discuss the impact of building and life safety codes on the evacuation of people with physical disabilities from buildings, the current evacuation procedures for people with physical disabilities from the first-responder perspective, the experiences of people with physical disabilities during emergency evacuations from buildings, the design and development of different types of evacuation devices, and the current state of research on mobility equipment, human factors, and egress modeling.
This manual is designed to "assist court personnel in exercising their records custodial responsibilities and allow those who utilize our court system to maintain a proper history of their court actions." Records maintenance, emergency response, recovery and salvage, and how disasters affect records are all described in this resource.
The first paragraph outlines three reasons for court managers to plan for disasters. "Disasters happen. Destruction of records and loss of vital information often result from these disasters. Court managers, as custodians of important records that bear on the successful and impartial administration of justice, have a responsibility to safeguard these records from such loss or destruction." This article discusses the ways a court manager can prepare for disaster and mitigate the damage to records.
The National Archives preservation and archive professionals provide some tips for disaster response and recovery as it relates to vital records and documents. They suggest that a "pro-active rather than re-active approach to disaster preparation is the best means of mitigating damage from natural disasters or other forms of destruction. However, despite systematic planning efforts, when emergencies do occur — whether they are small scale or catastrophic — they can be overwhelming." This Web site provides information and guidance on recovering various types of record materials.
The Florida State Library and Archives provides a simple yet valuable chart outlining the different types of materials that may be water damaged in a disaster and the recommended methods of recovery.
"This document provides guidance to individuals responsible for preparing and maintaining IT contingency plans. The document discusses essential contingency plan elements and processes, highlights specific considerations and concerns associated with contingency planning for various types of IT systems, and provides examples to assist readers in developing their own IT contingency plans."--Intro.
The Commission identified and approved six of the twenty-three recommendations in the Emergency Preparedness Report as directly and specifically relating to emergency preparedness. These recommendations were acknowledged by the Commission as recommended interim guidelines for Court Emergency Preparedness Plans. The Commission also considered seventeen other Emergency Preparedness Report technology recommendations in addressing its longer-term goal of developing an overall Judicial Branch Information Security Program. A list of all twenty-three recommendations referred by the Court can be found in this report.
(Permanent Link) "This publication was developed to encourage court planners throughout America to consider possible issues the court may face and how to solve them-in advance of a pandemic"--forward. This resource is a framework that can be used by courts to develop pandemic emergency plans.
This is a resource for the courts as they create and continue to enhance their continuity-of-operations plans and emergency protocols. This guide provides important information that judges and court administrators should know about epidemics and pandemics and how to prepare and respond adequately to them.
Based on the experiences in New York and Louisiana, this article examines the various plans that have been used by courts to respond to disasters.