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NCJ Number: 70633 Find in a Library
Title: Provision of Court Services - An Inquiry Into the Allocation of Opportunities to Rural Communities
Author(s): J M Broder
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 339
Sponsoring Agency: Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
UMI Dissertation Services
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
Sale Source: UMI Dissertation Services
300 North Zeeb Road
P.O. Box 1346
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
United States of America
Type: Thesis/Dissertation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A study focusing on how the institutional structure of the local court affects Michigan residents' participation in court policy formulation is presented; rural resident impact is stressed.
Abstract: Courts play a vital role in shaping the quality of life in rural areas. Local court centralization legislation now pending in Michigan would transfer the function of judicial compensation and court financing from local to State levels. Differences in court performance, judges, and the impact of institutional and other factors on court services were studied. In developing social indicators for judicial output, substantive and administrative performance differences during 1975 were measured. Primary court data were obtained from individual misdemeanor public case records from a representative sample of Michigan district courts. Court performance categories were formulated from data on fines and costs assessed in the most frequently committed minor violations; e.g., traffic violations. Desirability of these differences was not assessed. In ascertaining whether judges made a difference, some evidence of unique judicial contributions was found by comparing individual judge behavior in multiple judge courts and by examining what happens to court performance as the judgeship changes. Court performance behavior models were formulated, hypothesizing that judge selection and compensation affect who gets into office and that judges respond to incentives which create costs and benefits to them and their courts. Ordinary least squares multiple regression routines revealed several findings. Local contributions to judges' salaries were related to court operating expenditure and revenue performance, giving evidence that local supplements allow for local input into administrative performance. Diseconomies existing in Michigan's local court system raise doubts whether current court centralization and consolidation trends save taxpayers' money. Current structural reforms largely ignore clearly define objectives as to what changes in court performance are desired. Footnotes, figures, appendixes, and tables are included in the study. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Court reorganization; Judges; Local government; Municipal courts; Policy; Rural area studies; Services; Studies
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS. Michigan State University - doctoral dissertation
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