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NCJ Number: 64986 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: SURVEY OF JUDICIAL ATTITUDES TOWARD THE UNIFICATION OF STATE COURTS
Author(s): C GROTTS
Date Published: 1974
Page Count: 54
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: QUESTIONNAIRES WERE ADMINISTERED TO STATE COURT JUDGES TO EVALUATE THEIR REACTIONS TO PRACTICAL DIFFICULTIES IN IMPLEMENTING COURT REFORMS AND A UNIFIED STATE COURT SYSTEM.
Abstract: OF 988 QUESTIONNAIRES MAILED, 3 WERE SENT TO APPELLATE JUDGES IN EACH STATE, FOR A TOTAL OF 150. TWO WERE SENT TO LOWER TRIAL COURT JUDGES IN EACH STATE, FOR A TOTAL OF 79. THE REMAINING 759 WERE SENT TO JUDGES IN TRIAL COURTS OF GENERAL JURISDICTION IN PROPORTION TO THE NUMBER OF JUDGES IN THAT COURT FOR EACH STATE. WITH 244 QUESTIONNAIRES RETURNED, THE RESPONSE RATE WAS 24.7 PERCENT. RESPONSES WERE ANALYZED FOR ALL JUDGES, APPELLATE JUDGES IN STATES WITH UNIFIED COURT SYSTEMS, APPELLATE JUDGES IN STATES WITH NONUNIFIED COURT SYSTEMS, TRIAL COURT JUDGES IN STATES WITH UNIFIED COURT SYSTEMS, AND TRIAL COURT JUDGES IN STATES WITH NONUNIFIED COURT SYSTEMS. FIVE QUESTIONNAIRE SECTIONS ELICITED INFORMATION ON CHARACTERISTICS OF A TYPICAL UNIFIED STATE COURT SYSTEM, FACTORS THAT MIGHT FAVOR EXISTING SYSTEMS OVER A UNIFIED SYSTEM, AND GROUPS LIKELY TO OPPOSE UNIFICATION. ANSWERS ON WHETHER JUDGES FAVORED UNIFICATION AND WHETHER JUDGES BELIEVED THEIR STATES WOULD ADOPT A UNIFIED COURT SYSTEM WITHIN THE NEXT 5 YEARS WERE ALSO ELICITED. JUDGES' UNDERSTANDING OF UNIFICATION VARIED WIDELY; E.G., MANY JUDGES WERE NOT AWARE THAT SPECIALTY COURTS IN A UNIFIED SYSTEM ARE CARRIED OVER AS DIVISIONS OF THE TRIAL COURT OF GENERAL JURISDICTION. A MORE SERIOUS MISCONCEPTION WAS THE BELIEF THAT STATE COURT ADMINISTRATORS SUPERVISE JUDGES. THESE MISUNDERSTANDINGS SHOW THAT A WELL-ORGANIZED PROGRAM TO DISSEMINATE INFORMATION ABOUT UNIFICATION MAY BE CRITICAL TO THE SUCCESS OF JUDICIAL REFORMS. JUDGES' COMMENTS INDICATE THAT REFORM PROPOSALS PROVIDING A SINGLE-TIER TRIAL COURT WILL ENCOUNTER ALMOST INSURMOUNTABLE RESISTANCE. SIMILARLY, TO HAVE A REASONABLE CHANCE OF WINNING AT THE POLLS, REFORM PLANS OUGHT TO MAKE THE MERIT SELECTION OF JUDGES OPTIONAL. MOST TRIAL AND APPELLATE JUDGES IN BOTH UNIFIED AND NONUNIFIED SYSTEMS PREFER UNIFICATION RATHER THAN UNCOORDINATED COURT ORGANIZATION. THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN AND ILLINOIS JUDICIAL SYSTEMS IS REVIEWED, AS WELL AS COURT UNIFICATION EFFORTS SINCE 1947. INADEQUACIES OF U.S. COURT SYSTEMS AT THE STATE LEVEL ARE EXAMINED, AND GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF A UNIFIED STATE COURT SYSTEM ARE DESCRIBED. DATA ON CHARACTERISTICS OF STATE COURT ADMINSTRATION AND OPERATION ARE TABULATED. (DEP)
Index Term(s): Court reform; Illinois; Judges; State court unification
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64986

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