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NCJ Number: 65455 Find in a Library
Title: TRIAL COURT ADMINSTRATOR - COURT EXECUTIVE OR ADMINISTRATIVE AIDE?
Journal: COURT MANAGEMENT JOURNAL  Dated:(1980)  Pages:12-16,30-31
Author(s): G A MORT; M D HALL
Corporate Author: National Ctr for State Courts
Publications Dept
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: National Ctr for State Courts
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: MOUNTING TENSIONS BETWEEN JUDICIAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE ROLES IN TRIAL COURTS ARE EXAMINED FROM THE VIEWPOINT OF THE ADMINISTRATORS, AND THE POSSIBLE IMPACT OF SUCH CONDITIONS ON JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION ARE ASSESSED.
Abstract: THE INTRODUCTION OF THE TRIAL COURT ADMINISTRATOR'S POSITION INTO THE COURT ORGANIZATION HAS CAUSED JUDICIAL UNEASINESS OVER THE EMERGENCE OF A TRIAL COURT BUREAUCRACY. IT IS SUSPECTED THAT THERE IS A HEIGHTENED RELUCTANCE ON THE PART OF THE JUDICIARY TO ALLOW TRIAL COURT ADMINISTRATORS TO EVOLVE INTO TRUE COURT MANAGERS WITH BROAD RESPONSIBILITIES FOR IMPLEMENTING POLICY AND DIRECTING THE COURT'S ADMINISTRATIVE OPERATIONS. TO EXAMINE THIS NOTION, THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF TRIAL COURT ADMINISTRATORS MADE A SURVEY OF ADMINISTRATOR ROLE PERCEPTIONS. QUESTIONNAIRES REQUESTING DATA ON JOB RESPONSIBILITIES, PROBLEMS, AND AREAS OF GREATEST INFLUENCE WERE RECEIVED FROM 220 STATE COURT ADMINISTRATORS, REPRESENTING ONLY A 46 PERCENT RESPONSE RATE. OF THE SIX MOST FREQUENTLY PERFORMED DUTIES REPORTED, THREE WERE ROUTINIZED 'HOUSEKEEPING' TASKS OF TRIAL COURT OPERATIONS, NAMELY, REPORT PREPARATION, RESEARCH, AND EQUIPMENT MANAGEMENT. THREE OTHERS, PERSONNEL ADMINISTRATION, BUDGET PREPARATION, AND TRAINING COORDINATION ENTAILED SOME DECISIONMAKING RESPONSIBILITY. THOSE DUTIES THAT COULD GIVE A COURT ADMINISTRATOR SIGNIFICANT AUTHORITY, PRESTIGE, OR POWER, HOWEVER, WERE LEAST FREQUENTLY PERFORMED BY THE RESPONDENTS AS THE AREA OF THEIR GREATEST INFLUENCE. VARIANCE IN THE RESPONDENTS' JOB PERCEPTIONS REFLECTED THE VASTLY DIFFERENT ROLES THAT COURT ADMINISTRATORS PLAY IN DIFFERENT STATES. ABOUT HALF THE SAMPLE STATED THAT LIMITATIONS ON THEIR AUTHORITY IMPOSED BY JUDGES PRESENTED A MODERATE TO CONSIDERABLE PROBLEM IN THEIR COURT MANAGEMENT EFFORTS. STATISTICAL MANAGEMENT WAS RANKED AS THE MOST PROBLEMATIC AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY. THE HYPOTHESIS THAT A JUDICIAL BACKLASH AGAINST THE INCREASING BUREAUCRATIZATION OF THE COURTS IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE JUDICIARY'S FAILURE TO FULLY UTILIZE THE TALENTS OF THEIR QUALIFIED MANAGEMENT EXPERTS CANNOT BE PROVEN OR DISPROVEN. TO THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, SUCH AN ATTITUDE SEEMS COUNTERPRODUCTIVE, CONSIDERING THE INCREASING COMPLEXITY OF COURT MANAGEMENT NEEDS. HOWEVER, A DEEPER CONCERN OF THE JUDGES MAY BE THE FEAR OF SLOWLY LOSING CONTROL OF THEIR COURTS TO THE RULE OF TECHNOCRATIC ADMINSTRATORS. THE OPTIMUM SOLUTION MUST BE A COURT MANAGEMENT APPROACH BASED ON A GENUINE PARTNERSHIP OF THE TWO PROFESSIONAL AUTHORITIES. NOTES AND TABULAR DATA ARE PROVIDED. (MRK)
Index Term(s): Attitudes; Court administrators; Job analysis; Judges; Police artists; Relations; Role perception
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65455

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