skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 68726 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: WHY PROBATE JUDGES FEAR UNIFIED COURTS - MOST OF THEM CLAIM THEY WON'T WORK - BUT OTHERS SAY THEY ARE WRONG
Journal: JUDGES' JOURNAL  Volume:19  Issue:2  Dated:(SPRING 1980)  Pages:16-21. 46-49
Author(s): L BERKSON
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 10
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: BASED UPON RSULTS OF A 1979 SURVEY OF THE MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL COLLEGE OF PROBATE JUDGES, PROBATE JUDGES' ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST A UNIFIED COURT SYSTEM ARE IDENTIFIED AND DISCUSSED.
Abstract: ASPECTS OF COURT UNIFICATION ARE CONSOLIDATION AND SIMPLIFICATION OF COURT STRUCTURE; CENTRALIZED MANAGEMENT, RULEMAKING, AND BUDGETING; AND STATE FINANCING OF THE COURTS IN CONTRAST TO TRADITIONAL FUNDING AT THE LOCAL AND COUNTY LEVELS. IN SURVEYING MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL COLLEGE OF PROBATE JUDGES REGARDING THE PROS AND CONS OF COURT UNIFICATION, 186 (28 PERCENT) USABLE RESPONSES WERE OBTAINED FROM JUDGES SERVING IN 16 STATES. OVERALL, 56 PERCENT OF THE PROBATE JUDGES OPPOSE CONSOLIDATING THE PROBATE COURTS INTO A UNIFIED SYSTEM. OPPOSITION COMES DISPROPORTIONATELY FROM NONLAWYER JUDGES, PART-TIME JUDGES, AND JUDGES SERVING IN SEPARATE PROBATE COURTS. THE GREATEST SUPPORT FOR UNIFICATION IS AMONG JUDGES ALREADY SERVING ON PROBATE COURTS THAT ARE DIVISIONS OF GENERAL OR LIMITED JURISDICTION TRIAL COURTS. LAWYER JUDGES AND FULL-TIME JUDGES ARE ABOUT EVENLY DIVIDED IN THEIR SUPPORT FOR AND OPPOSITION TO UNIFICATION. THOSE FAVORING UNIFICATION CLAIM IT PROMOTES EFFICIENCY, EQUITY, AND THE QUALITY OF JUSTICE. THOSE OPPOSING UNIFICATION ARGUE THAT IT PREVENTS THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE EXPERTISE NECESSARY FOR DEALING WITH COMPLEX LEGAL ISSUES, INCREASES BUREAUCRACY THROUGH CENTRALIZATION, REDUCES JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE BY MAKING JUDGES SUBSERVIENT TO THE COURTS SUPERIOR TO THEIR OWN, AND INCREASES COURT COSTS THROUGH AN INCREASE IN ADMINISTRATIVE BUREAUCRACY. THERE IS LITTLE EMPIRICAL DATA TO SUPPORT EITHER THE PRO OR CON ARGUMENTS OF THE RESPONDENTS. THERE IS A CONSENSUS AMONG THE RESPONDENTS THAT EVALUATIVE RESEARCH IS NEEDED BEFORE RATIONAL DECISIONS CAN BE MADE ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT TO PURSUE THOROUGHGOING COURT UNIFICATION. TABLES AND 20 REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): Court reform; Critiques; Judges; State court unification; Surveys
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68726

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.