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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 63163 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: SAN DIEGO COUNTY (CA) MUNICIPAL COURT EXPERIMENT - EVALUATION REPORT
Author(s): S H GREEN; J RICHMOND; S VANCE; C E CASS
Corporate Author: San Diego Cty Comprehensive Planning Organization
Criminal Justice Evaluation Unit
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 116
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
San Diego Cty Comprehensive Planning Organization
San Diego, CA 92101
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Type: Statistics
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: AN LEAA-FUNDED EVALUATION OF A SAN DIEGO, CALIF., EXPERIMENT DESIGNED TO TEST THE FEASIBILITY AND BENEFITS OF GIVING MUNICIPAL COURT JUDGES JURISDICTION TO HEAR SUPERIOR COURT MATTERS IS PRESENTED.
Abstract: IN SEPTEMBER 1977 THE EL CAJON MUNICIPAL COURT BEGAN PERFORMING JUDICIAL TASKS WHICH WERE NORMALLY THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE SAN DIEGO SUPERIOR COURT. BY MARCH 1979 ALL JUDGES IN THE FOUR MUNICIPAL COURTS IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY HAD BEEN ASSIGNED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE EXPERIMENT. THIS 15-MONTH EVALUATION FOUND THAT THE EXPERIMENT HAS HAD VARIED SUCCESS DEPENDING ON THE ISSUE AND COURT IN QUESTION. SINCE EXPERIMENT INITIATION, LEGISLATION HAS BEEN INTRODUCED IN CALIFORNIA WHICH SUPPORTS THE CONCEPT. THE BILLS WOULD PROVIDE FOR A STATEWIDE SYSTEM OF TRIAL COURTS, WITH THE SUPERIOR COURT HAVING TWO DIVISIONS. EACH DIVISION WOULD HEAR THE PRESENT SUBJECT MATTER OF THE SUPERIOR AND MUNICIPAL COURTS. THE PRESIDING JUDGE, WITHIN SPECIFIED GUIDELINES, COULD ASSIGN ANY JUDGE TO SERVE IN ANY LOCATION ON A TEMPORARY BASIS. THE CONCEPT HAS PROVED TO BE A COST-EFFECTIVE, EFFICIENT MEANS OF PROCESSING FELONY CRIMINAL CASES, AND THE RESULT HAS BEEN A REDUCTION IN THE CRIMINAL CASE WORKLOAD OF THE SUPERIOR COURT. THERE IS EVIDENCE THAT THE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE MUNICIPAL COURT (E.G., SMALL CLAIMS AND TRAFFIC MATTERS) CAN SUFFER IN TERMS OF BACKLOG DUE TO THE ADDITIONAL WORK IF THE WORK VOLUME IS NOT CAREFULLY MONITORED. SUCCESS IS DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE WILLINGNESS OF THE KEY ACTORS IN THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM TO PARTICIPATE. EXPANSION OF THE EXPERIMENT TO OTHER JURISDICTIONS IS RECOMMENDED, CONTINGENT UPON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF LEGISLATIVE GUIDELINES AND APPROPRIATE LOCAL JUDICIAL POLICY PLANNING. TABULAR INFORMATION, FIGURES, REFERENCES, FOOTNOTES, AND THREE APPENDIXES WITH METHODOLOGY, ADDITIONAL TABLES, AND QUESTIONNAIRES ARE INCLUDED IN THE EVALUATION.
Index Term(s): California; County courts; Court of limited jurisdiction; Court reform; Court reorganization; Evaluation; Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA); Municipal courts
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=63163

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