Court report endorses decentralization of branch governance

Posted on June 27, 2011

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The reports both from Sacramento & Los Angeles sing the same tune. We urge other courts to release their findings directly to the media so that your comments are not buried and forgotten. Both the Sacramento & Los Angeles surveys can be found at the bottom of the linked post.

A committee of Los Angeles Superior Court judges disseminated among their colleagues on Friday a report drafted purportedly at the request of Chief Justice Tani-Cantil Sakauye that called on branch leaders to decentralize court governance and increase oversight of the Administrative Office of the Courts through the appointment of a bench officer as CEO.

Boy does that take the wind out of the sails of the E&P and AOC’s grand plan of stacking the deck against judges with AOC picked/endorsed CEO’s.

It goes on to state “many judges currently have a negative perception of the Judicial Council’s and the AOC’s performance,” which was attributable to “the overwhelming sense” that branch leadership “has felt that it could do whatever was required to reach a certain presupposed result, regardless of the means employed to reach those ends.”

(and the music just gets louder…..)

The authors cautioned that “until court governance and administration act in accordance with principles that judges accept—adherence to law, opportunity to be heard, candor, collegiality, transparent, accountability and respect for the judicial office—there will be widespread judicial dissatisfaction with Branch governance.

(It’s the primary reason Judicial Council Watcher exists. Give us these things in a meaningful form DEMONSTRATE YOU MEAN IT and we will shut down this site….)

The council frequently delegates issues of great importance to the Executive and Planning Committee, which limits the ability of members to participate in decision making, to which we would add that the council foolishly delegates issues of great importance to the AOC as well, which gives members no chance to participate in decision making.

The report is purported to state that “judicial input is often minimized or disregarded in entirely, and that the agency exerts control over the selection of persons for committees that are supposed to have oversight of AOC actions.”

(We’re playing this music from Oakland, California and our people in Beverly Hills can hear the music all the way down there…..)

“The council should also have its own staff, separate of the AOC, to assist it in its responsibilities and oversight of its administrative arm, the report said.”

We could NOT agree more.

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We again call upon the Chief Justice to release to the public and to the media ALL SUCH REPORTS from every county that submitted them in response to the three questions.

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