Thursday, August 2, 2012

NJ Governor vetoes bill to help pay for court technology & indigent defense; becomes 2nd state governor to veto court technology bills this year

Cross-posted to Gavel to Gavel

Earlier this week NJ Governor Chris Christie's veto of AB 763, a bill that would among other things raise various court fees to help pay for court technology, was delivered to the Assembly. The governor's veto occurred in late June but wasn't filed until July 30. The bill, as approved by the legislature, is similar to one vetoed by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley earlier this year and later overridden.

AB 763 provides the Supreme Court may, subject to limitations provided in the bill, adopt Rules of Court to revise or supplement filing fees and other statutory fees payable to the court for the sole purpose of funding: (1) the development, maintenance, and administration of a “Statewide digital e-court information system,” that incorporates electronic filing, service of process, document and case management, financial management, and public access to digital court records; and (2) Legal Services of New Jersey.

The veto now goes back to the Assembly. Its prospects are unclear: the original version passed the Assembly on March 2012 on a 64-14 vote. The Senate passed its version 24-11, shy of the 27 votes needed to override. The Assembly then re-passed the Senate amended version, but on a 48-30 vote; it would have 52 votes in the Assembly to override.

Monday, July 30, 2012

State Court Case Management System Acquisition Strategies

By Tom C. Clarke, National Center for State Courts

It is a truism of American courts that no state is exactly like another.  This is one of many reasons why state court systems have a difficult time comparing themselves to ostensible peer states.  Publications like NCSC’s State Court Organization try to compare apples to apples along multiple dimensions, but it remains a mostly intractable problem.