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NCJ Number: 238585 Find in a Library
Title: Procedural Fairness in California: Initiatives, Challenges, and Recommendations
Author(s): Rachel Porter
Corporate Author: Center for Court Innovation
United States of America
Date Published: May 2011
Page Count: 61
Sponsoring Agency: Administrative Office of the Courts, Judicial Council of California
San Francisco, CA 94107
Center for Court Innovation
New York, NY 10018
Sale Source: Center for Court Innovation
520 Eighth Avenue, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10018
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research) ; Report (Technical Assistance)
Format: Document; Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on approximately 20 site visits and nearly 50 stakeholder interviews as well as a document and Web site review, this study conducted a needs assessment and analysis of best practices in the promotion of procedural fairness in the processing of civil and traffic cases in California.
Abstract: As used in this study, “procedural fairness” refers to “the experience that court users have with the court system, whether as litigants, jurors, witnesses, or affected parties.” In focusing on court procedures and interpersonal treatment, the concept of procedural fairness differs from “distributive fairness,” which refers to the perceived fairness of the case outcome. This report has four sections. Section 1 describes procedural fairness in the courthouse. The analysis focuses on the courtroom where cases are heard, and it also analyzes the entire experience of being in the courthouse and attempting to find assistance there. Attention is given to access to the courts, interaction between court staff and the public, understanding court proceedings, and ensuring individual voice in the courtroom. For each of these topics, this report identifies challenges and initiatives, offers recommendations, and lists sample resources. Section II addresses issues distinctive to each of three high-volume court venues: traffic cases, small claims cases, and cases that involve family and juvenile law. For each of these types of cases, challenges and initiatives are identified, recommendations are offered, and sample resources are listed. Section III describes how procedural fairness affects three critical groups of court users: self-represented litigants; litigants with limited English proficiency; and litigants from culturally, ethnically, and racially diverse backgrounds. For each of these challenges to procedural fairness, initiatives are offered to address them. Section IV presents an assessment tool that court officials can use to examine procedural fairness in local jurisdictions, courthouses, and courtrooms. 24 references and appended list of sites visited and stakeholders interviewed
Main Term(s): Court procedures
Index Term(s): California; Civil proceedings; Court administrators; Court management; Court management training; Court personnel; Court relations; Court studies; Parent-Child Relations; Traffic offenses
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