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NCJ Number: 65453 Find in a Library
Title: HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES OF MODERN COURT MANAGEMENT
Journal: COURT MANAGEMENT JOURNAL  Dated:(1980)  Pages:6-8,27-28
Author(s): D J SAARI
Corporate Author: National Ctr for State Courts
Publications Dept
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: National Ctr for State Courts
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: COURT MANAGEMENT PRACTICES HAVE EVOLVED FROM CENTURIES OF TRADITION THROUGH DECADES OF TRANSITION TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF A MANAGEMENT INFRASTRUCTURE ACHIEVED IN THE 1970'S.
Abstract: TRADITIONAL COURT MANAGEMENT, LASTING FROM 1750 TO 1950, WAS ROOTED IN ENGLISH MODELS AND INVOLVED ONLY JUDGES, LAWYERS, AND CLERKS. STATE COURT ORGANIZATION WAS CHARACTERIZED BY LOCALISM, HIERARCHY, AND EMPHASIS ON THE RIGHT TO APPEAL. BECAUSE OF THE EXTREME DECENTRALIZATION, COURTS LACKED CONTROL OF IMPORTANT ASSISTING AGENCIES AND HAD ALMOST NO PROVISIONS FOR THE KINDS OF RECORDS AND STATISTICS NEEDED FOR CONTINUOUS, SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION. IN ADDITION, SHARP DIFFERENCES OF RANK DEVELOPED AMONG JUDGES, AND THE RELATIVE INDIFFERENCE TOWARD LOWER COURTS RESULTED IN OVEREMPHASIS OF APPELLATE DECISIONS. A MORE MODERN NOTION OF COURT MANAGEMENT EMERGED IN THE 1950'S, LED BY THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY AND LOS ANGELES COUNTY (CALIFORNIA). THE MOVEMENT BEGAN WITH THE APPOINTMENT OF AN EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF EQUAL RANK AND SALARY AS JUDGES FOR THE LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR AND MUNICIPAL COURTS. GRADUALLY, STATE COURT AND TRIAL COURT ADMINISTRATOR POSITIONS WERE INSTITUTED ELSEWHERE, AND LOCAL JURISDICTIONS THROUGHOUT THE NATION UPGRADED COURT STAFF SUPPORT POSITIONS. CONTEMPORARY SYMPTOMS OF SOCIAL DISORGANIZATION, SUCH AS URBANIZATION, INCREASING DELINQUENCY AND DIVORCE RATES, AND ABOVE ALL, THE DELUGE OF CAR ACCIDENT LITIGATIONS, OVERWHELMED COURT MANAGEMENT EFFORTS, WHILE DEMONSTRATING THE NEED FOR INCREASED CONTROL OF THE SYSTEM. THE FIRST MAJOR AND EXCLUSIVELY MANAGEMENT-ORIENTED STUDY WAS UNDERTAKEN OF DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COURTS IN 1968. ITS CONCLUSIONS WERE THAT THE OVERRIDING TROUBLE WITH THE COURT SYSTEM WAS A FAILURE OF MANAGEMENT. THE 1970'S HAVE BEEN A DECADE OF INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT. WHAT COURTS HAD LACKED WAS AN INFRASTRUCTURE OF ORGANIZATIONS, A RESEARCH BASE, AND A METHOD OF PUBLISHING AND DISSEMINATING NEW KNOWLEDGE AS WELL AS A WAY OF TRAINING INDIVIDUALS ON THE JOB AND IN GRADUATE EDUCATION PROGRAMS. ALL OF THESE STEPS HAVE BEEN REALIZED OVER THE PAST DECADE. NEVERTHELESS, A MIX OF TRADITIONAL AND MODERN COURT MANAGEMENT CONTINUES, AND THE ADOPTION OF MODERN METHODS IS UNEVEN ACROSS THE NATION. A DAMPENING OF THE AUTOMOBILE MANIA BY THE ENERGY CRISIS AND INCREASED SOCIAL ORGANIZATION ARE PREDICTED TO PRODUCE A BETTER CLIMATE FOR THE FUTURE GROWTH OF MODERN COURT MANAGEMENT. NOTES ARE PROVIDED. (MRK)
Index Term(s): Court administrators; Court clerk; Court management; Court personnel educational programs; Court reorganization; Court structure
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65453

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