CITY OF HOBOKEN 2010 ANNUAL BUDGET REQUEST TRANSMITTAL LETTER AND BUDGET NARRATIVE DEPARTMENT: Couts This narrative is submitted along with the Court’s FY 2010 Budget Request to help give you a further understanding of the Court’s operation, the Court Revenue and Case Filings for FY 2009 and the steps taken to minimize the cost of Overtime and Purchases. The Hoboken Municipal Court is one of largest Courts in the State of New Jersey. In meeting its operational obligations, the Court must rest on the standards established by the judiciary for effective Court managements to deliver the services it provides. The work of the Court must be performed in accordance with the Rules of the Court and policies set by the Assignment Judge of Hudson County. Due to the volume of traffic summonses issued yearly, in parking alone, service is a major facet of the Violations Bureaus’ activity. Each day a volume of correspondence, telephone calls and in person inquires come into the Violation Bureau, requiring information retrieval, follow-up, return correspondence and a substantial expenditure of time by judicial and non-judicial personnel alike. In the process of adjudication, the Court has the dual responsibility to carrying out the mandate of the state and providing a service to the community. The following is a partial list of the daily work performed by the Court. The Court issues daily court notices, warrants, proposed orders of suspension, and orders of suspension. The Court is responsible for reconciling the daily receipts and the disbursement of monthly revenue collected from fines and penalties, the data entry of traffic, criminal and city ordinance complaints and all court dispositions into the Automated Traffic and Criminal System (ATS/ACS). The Court sets bail, accepts bail, posts bail and returns bail to the surety after the case is adjudicated. In addition, the
Court transfers all indictable offenses to the Central Judicial Processing Court (CJP), schedules court contested cases for trial, prepares appeal requests, and maintains the recommended ATS/ACS filing on all court cases. The Automated Traffic and Criminal System generates daily, weekly and monthly reports for the Court to review and address. Weddings are another high volume activity which the Court performs as a service to the community. As an organization entity the court is unique in that it depends on the service of numerous agencies over which it has no direct administrative control. Effective coordination between these various entities is a necessity for the efficient operation of the Court. Many of the agencies with which the court interacts includes the Hoboken Police Department, Hudson County Prosecutorâ€™s Office, New Jersey State Police, Hudson County Sheriffâ€™s Office, Port Authority Police, New Jersey Transit Police, New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles, Hoboken Parking Utility, Hoboken Health Department, Department of Environmental Services, and the Hoboken Board of Education. The Court is in session Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Tuesday evening. The payment window is open Monday through Friday from 8:00A.M. to 4:00P.M. and Tuesday evening until the end of the court session. Filings and Revenue Figures taken from the Monthly Management Report indicate the efficient filing of traffic, criminal and city ordinance cases. Traffic summonses filed from July 2008 through May 2009 136,360
Criminal & City Ordinance cases filed from July 2008 through May 2009 5,976 It is projected that an additional 12,396 Traffic Summonses will be filed in the month of June 2009 and an additional 543 Criminal and City Ordinance cases. The Municipal Court has collected $6,194,104.55 in total revenue including $3,700,275.85, the amount of revenue turned over to the City of Hoboken from July 2008 through May 2009. It is projected that the Municipal Court will generate $6,757,204.55 in total revenue including $4,036,663.85 in income for the City of Hoboken from July 2008 through June 2009. OVERTIME The Court accommodates the public by providing hours of services from 8:00A.M. To 9:00.A.M. with the exception of 4:00P.M. To 5:00P.M. when the court reconciles the daily receipts. The Court has minimized the cost of overtime to the City by modifying the work schedules of the employees from 8:00A.M. to 3:00P.M. and 10:00A.M. To 5:00 P.M. Since there are two Court Sessions on Tuesday, 9:00 A.M. and Tuesday evening at 6:00P.M., the Court has modified the employees work schedules, 9:00A.M. To 4:00P.M. and 3:00P.M. To 10:00P.M. In addition, in collaboration with the Hoboken Police Department, the court makes every attempt to schedule officersâ€™ court appearance time during the officersâ€™ scheduled work shifts. Due to the nature of the work performed by the Court staff it is impossible to determine, with any degree of accuracy,
the volume of work from year to year. Therefore, in order to operate the Court efficiently and effectively it is necessary to anticipate overtime. PURCHASES Pursuant to the Parking Offenses Adjudication Act (P.O.A.A.), the Municipal Court retains $2.00 from every failure to appear notice generated on parking tickets. This fund, while not a part of the Municipal Budget, does represent a substantial source of funds to meet needs of the court at no cost to the city. To utilize money from the P.O.A.A. account, special guidelines must be followed and approval from Judge Gallipoli, the Assignment Judge of Hudson County is required. Thefollowing are examples of purchases made with P.O.A.A. Funds, the Court Room Video Conferencing System, A Digital Court Recorder, File Cabinets, Furniture and Carpeting for the Violations Bureau. This year the court used P.O.A.A. funds to purchase Security Cameras , which are in place throughout the hallways in city hall, as well as a Metal Detector. In addition, during the month of March 2009 the court shredded all tickets eligible for destruction . The cost of shredding was funded with P.O.O.A. money. COURT STAFF The Hoboken Municipal Court is ranked one of the four largest Courts in the State of New Jersey (by the volume of cases filed). The Court Staff diligently works to achieve the goals set by the Administrative Office of the Courts. Due to the volume of work it is imperative that the Court remains fully staffed. The workload remains current, without a backlog. The Staff is cross-trained to handle multiple assignments, this is an important factor in a well managed Court. In addition
to the daily office assignments, four staff members are assigned each day to the three daily court sessions to assist the Judge. On Tuesday there are two Court sessions, day court at 9:00 a.m. and evening court. The work schedules are modified on Tuesday, 9:00a.m. to 4:00p.m. and 3:00p.m. to 10:00p.m. To accommodate the needs of the Court sessions, it reduces the number of employees staffing the Court office, which requires the handling of the day to day business, (Mail, taking payments, scheduling cases, inquires, data entry of traffic and criminal cases, phone calls, bail, printing reports, etc.) Without a consistent staff and good supervision, it would be impossible for this court to successfully operate.