Performance of the City and Parish Courts

Fiscal Year 2015 - 2016

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INTRODUCTION


The Louisiana City Court Judges Association adopted the Strategic Plan of the City and Parish Courts in 2002. The Supreme Court of Louisiana approved the plan the same year. The plan was revised and updated in 2007 and again in 2012. The goals and objectives in the Strategic Plan of the City and Parish Courts are based on the Trial Court Performance Standards as modified by the Louisiana Commission on Strategic Planning for Limited Jurisdiction Courts. The information comprising the “Intent of the Objective” sections of this report was taken primarily from the Bureau of Justice Assistance publication entitled “Trial Court Performance Standards with Commentary.” The information presented in the “Response to the Objective” and “Major Strategies Initiated or Completed” sections of this part of the report was compiled from responses of each city and parish court to a survey of chief judges, which was prepared by the Supreme Court Judicial Administrator’s Office and distributed to the city and parish courts.


SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENTS BY THE COURTS DURING THE PERIOD


GOALS AND OBJECTIVES



GOAL 2: TO MEET ALL RESPONSIBILITIES TO EVERYONE AFFECTED BY THE COURT AND ITS ACTIVITIES IN A TIMELY AND EXPEDITIOUS MANNER.

2.1 To encourage timely case management and processing.

2.2 To provide required reports and to respond to requests for information promptly.

2.3 To promptly implement changes in law and procedure.


GOAL 3: TO PROVIDE DUE PROCESS AND EQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAW TO ALL WHO HAVE BUSINESS BEFORE THE COURT; AND TO DEMONSTRATE INTEGRITY IN ALL PROCEDURES AND DECISIONS.

3.1 To encourage city courts that exercise juvenile jurisdiction to make strategic decisions that support the best outcomes for children and families.

3.2 To faithfully adhere to laws, procedural rules, and established policies.

3.3 To give individual attention to cases, deciding them without undue disparity among like cases and upon legally relevant factors.

3.4 To ensure that the decisions of the court address clearly the issues presented to it and, where appropriate, to specify how compliance can be achieved.

3.5 To ensure that appropriate responsibility is taken for the enforcement of court orders.

3.6 To ensure that all court records of relevant court decisions and actions are accurate and preserved properly.




SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENTS BY THE COURTS

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ASCENSION PARISH COURT

Ascension Parish Court managed to ensure that the court was run efficiently and without undue delay, and that all citizens had unfettered access to the court system.

BAKER CITY COURT

The court installed a new case management system; court staff were able to secure a grant to cover the majority of its costs.

BASTROP CITY COURT

The court worked with the public school system, inviting students to observe civil and criminal proceedings.

BATON ROUGE CITY COURT

The court began work on obtaining a new case management system, which will greatly increase the productivity and processing of legal documents and streamline the efficiency of the court as a whole. This new system will simplify court operations and allow the court to re-purpose employees, providing a more productive and efficient work environment.

BREAUX BRIDGE CITY COURT

Breaux Bridge City Court installed a security system and placed a security officer in the courtroom for the protection of the public and court personnel.

BUNKIE CITY COURT

Bunkie City Court is proud of the case management system that it is implementing.

CROWLEY CITY COURT

The purchase and implementation of the Quick Books system for all of the varied court accounts has made Crowley City Court more efficient and has enabled the court to develop strategic budget planning and assessments.

DENHAM SPRINGS CITY COURT

Denham Springs City Court re-established and setup operations of court in a temporary facility after the court facility and records were destroyed by a flood. Records were sent for restoration and are still being returned to the court.

EUNICE CITY COURT

In conjunction with the juvenile officer, the court worked with the Eunice Police Department to create and implement a "Boot Camp" for juveniles.

FRANKLIN CITY COURT

Franklin City Court was able to complete the installation and training for a case management system and reporting system for accounts and expenditures. The court also installed courtroom television for evidence and a video security system in the court.

HAMMOND CITY COURT

Hammond City Court installed large screens in the courthouse to communicate to the public important court rules, regulations, and information.

HOUMA CITY COURT

Houma City Court completed the installation and transfer of past cases to a new case management system for all departments that is more user-friendly and capable of providing better statistical data and reports.

JEANERETTE CITY COURT

The court began to implement a case management information system into the courtroom. This technology enabled court personnel to check for missed court dates of individuals in other cases, allowed for the timely processing and service of subpoenas and notices of fixing, generated timely minute entries and entry of file notes into pending cases by the minute clerk, and reduced the processing delays after court hearings.

JEFFERSON PARISH 1ST PARISH COURT

In conjunction with the Parish Court Information Management System, Jefferson Parish First Parish court has teamed up with the Supreme Court to enhance reporting for sentenced cases and sanity hearings to provide daily reports to the Supreme Court System. This new system moves reporting from a monthly basis to daily along with adding a number of new data elements to the table. This project finished its testing phase and has been put into production .

JEFFERSON PARISH 2ND PARISH COURT

In 2005, Second Parish Court moved into a newly constructed building that was equipped with state of the art technology. Over the last eleven years, this technology has efficiently served Second Parish Court s judges, administration, and staff, as well as members of the state bar and public. However, with the ever-changing world of technology, along with the constant use of the equipment, Second Parish Court began the necessary process of upgrading and replacing the existing technology in order to continue providing efficient service to the public. After evaluating the existing technology and equipment, Second Parish Court recognized the need to install updated digital court reporting equipment and software in the courtrooms, which will provide a more efficient backup system than the current equipment and software provides. Also, Second Parish Court completed the process of installing Cisco networking equipment which will enable the installation of voice-over IP phones. The court plans to commence installation of the voice-over IP telephones in the near future. Further, installation has been completed on a new database server which services the court information system used by both First and Second Parish Courts. Additionally, Second Parish Court is anticipating the purchase and installation of a new email server, a faster network between First and Second Parish Courts, and a faster internet connection. Finally, Second Parish Court is in the process of researching the implementation of virtual servers at remote locations throughout the state to avoid a potential break in service due to an unforeseeable circumstance. With the completion of these purchases and upgrades, Second Parish Court looks forward to providing efficient service to the public for years to come.

JENNINGS CITY COURT

Jennings City Court added more court dates and strategies for more efficient processing and completion of cases, particularly criminal cases

KAPLAN CITY COURT

For sentenced indigent defendants, the Kaplan City Court judge converted every $5 in fines owed to one community service hour.

LAFAYETTE CITY COURT

Lafayette City Court's major strategy was the continued improvement and implementation of the court website. It will be coordinated with our case management software, will be secure, and will allow interaction with members of the bar, the public and other government agencies as appropriate. It will also allow the online payment of fines. The court continually maintained and upgraded court facilities. A new climate control system improved the efficiency of the court and is environment-friendly. The court also improved the security at the courthouse, especially the cameras.

LAKE CHARLES CITY COURT

The Lake Charles City Court judges took a proactive approach to sentencing and bail hearings. In addition to this, the judge's office is taking a proactive approach to people serving time in the local correctional facility. On a daily basis, the roster is examined and defendants are offered the ability to plead to an offense instead of waiting for the next scheduled video arraignment. On the whole, video arraignments occur weekly. However, for minor traffic or misdemeanor offenses, credit is offered for time already served.

LEESVILLE CITY COURT

Leesville City Court used video conferencing.

MINDEN CITY COURT

Minden City Court upgraded the civil, criminal, and juvenile case management software. It also designed and implemented a life skills training program for juveniles, named CC-Ready, that will hopefully teach juveniles important life skills and reduce or eliminate juvenile recidivism. C-City C-Court R-Resiliency E-Elevation A-Ambition D-Direction for Y-Youth

MONROE CITY COURT

Monroe City Court is proud of its efforts to provide better security for the judges, staff, and patrons of the community. The marshals attended several updated security training programs, assisted in placement of barriers that better secure the courthouse, and became better equipped to handle courtroom breakouts.

NEW ORLEANS 2ND CITY COURT

New Orleans Second City Court is proud that it continued to enhance its scanning abilities, which moved the court closer to the digital era. The court is also proud that it again funded the summer intern program, which provided young people in Algiers the opportunity to spend a few weeks with the judge and learn about the law. The court is also proud of the numerous community events the Judge, Clerk of Court, and Constable continued to sponsor. Additionally, the court continued to participate in numerous events that helped inform the public about the relief that is available to them through the Second City Court and the forms that are available.

NEW ORLEANS MUNICIPAL COURT

Municipal Court has developed specialty courts (Homeless, Crossroads, and CAP) that offer a way to connect defendants with services that are needed. Next year the Municipal Court will merge with Traffic Court and become the New Orleans Municipal and Traffic Court. The court has been working on the consolidation procedures and looks forward to a smooth transition.

NEW ORLEANS TRAFFIC COURT

New Orleans Traffic Court is in the process of consolidating with Municipal Court; consultants from the National Center for State Courts were engaged as key collaborators.

OPELOUSAS CITY COURT

In May, our court "went live" with a new case management system for its traffic and criminal court sections.This digital, paperless, and browser-based court system enables the court to forward DWI and traffic case information electronically to the Supreme Court Case Management Information System (CMIS) Division for transmission to the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) and the National Commercial Driver s License Information System (CDLIS). It has also allowed the court to streamline procedures, thereby more effectively utilizing personnel.

PORT ALLEN CITY COURT

The Port Allen City Court docket continued to be current. There was no wait time for a trial or hearing date. The court was also able to maintain up-to-date computer equipment and provide training for all court personnel to enhance the operations of the court.

RAYNE CITY COURT

Rayne City Court continued to maintain and upgrade the security system, making changes for the protection of the clerks and citizens who visited the building. The court also established a probation department, with a qualified probation officer who has years of experience and is well-respected in the 15th JDC.

RUSTON CITY COURT

The court constructed a climate-controlled storage building for the retention of all necessary records.

SHREVEPORT CITY COURT

The court implemented a policy on recognizance bonds and issued a press release in May, 2016.

SLIDELL CITY COURT

After many years of researching viable case management systems, Slidell City Court was finally able to enter into an agreement for installation of a new criminal case management system to replace the very old and antiquated system. The new system will greatly improve the court's efficiency in handling, tracking, and reporting criminal matters. A grant award through the Louisiana Supreme Court in October was vital in finally making this project come to fruition. While installation will not be complete until early 2017, identifying the most capable system for our needs and acquiring the necessary funding is considered a huge and long-awaited accomplishment for which the court is particularly proud.

SULPHUR CITY COURT

The judge met with an architect and city and parish officials to consider a new facility for the court. The judge also investigated combining the City Council Chambers with the court to save money. Plans were begun to be drawn and funding was explored.

THIBODAUX CITY COURT

Thibodaux City Court completed a major renovation of the city clerk's office and judge's chambers in 2015. In 2016 the court obtained new computer hardware and is awaiting installation.

WINNSBORO CITY COURT

Winnsboro City Court developed a mentor program for those in the juvenile court system.


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