Judicial Council February 2016 Actions

The Judicial Council met on Friday at the James H. “Sloppy” Floyd Building in Atlanta in its first meeting of 2016. Chief Justice Hugh Thompson convened the meeting at 10:00 a.m. This policy-making body heard reports from every class of court and various Council committees. A short synopsis of the meeting follows:
 
Special Reports
Prior to the committee reports, several reports were delivered that impact Georgia’s families.  Ms. Pat Buonodono, filling in for Judge Louisa Abbot (Chair), reported on the work of the Georgia Child Support Commission. Judge Brian Amero reported on the utility of Parental Accountability Courts, and Ms. Beverly Logan, Athens-Clarke County Superior Court Clerk, reported on Child Support E-Filing.
 
Committee Reports
Chief Judge Sara Doyle brought members up to speed on the work of the Strategic Plan Implementation Committee and shared draft bylaw revisions and a Supreme Court order expanding the Judicial Council. Justice Harold Melton reported on the Technology and Budget Committees. Presiding Justice P. Harris Hines, on behalf of the Policy and Legislative Committee, presented the status of legislation which the Judicial Council has taken a position on.  Judge David Emerson reported on the work of the Judicial Workload Assessment Committee.
 
Commission on Interpreters
Shinji Morokuma, filling in for Justice Keith Blackwell (Chair), spoke on behalf of the Commission on Interpreters. Mr. Morokuma presented the “Working with Limited English Proficient Persons and Foreign-Language Interpreters in the Courtroom” bench card that was provided with the materials and will be distributed to judges statewide.
 
JC/AOC Report
Ms. Cynthia Clanton, JC/AOC Director, gave her 90-day update.
• A successful legislative session is one of the agency’s primary goals. The Judicial Council co-sponsored a legislative reception following the Chief Justice’s State of the Judiciary address on January 27, which was attended by 50 legislators and other state leaders.
• The Tax Refund Intercept Program (TRIP) pilot project, launched in January as a collaboration with the GA Department of Revenue is serving 11 courts and has collected $5,000 in delinquent court fines and fees to date.
• A new communications plan is in place and Communications staff is exploring a host of improved, but inexpensive, new tools to provide better communication.
• Caseload reporting training sessions have been conducted in 7 out of 10 Judicial Administrative Districts.
 
Council Reports
Representatives from the appellate courts, trial court councils, Council of Superior Court Clerks, Council of Accountability Court Judges, and Georgia Council of Court Administrators delivered reports to the Council.
 
Adjournment
Chief Justice Thompson thanked those in attendance for their work on behalf of the citizens of Georgia. He announced the next meeting will be held April 29, 2016, in Forsyth, GA.

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Administrative Office of the Courts 244 Washington Street, SW Suite 300 Atlanta, GA  30334

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