Issue 18.1 MAR/APR 2009
in memoriam CONTENTS In Memoriam: Hon. David W. Hopper .................. 2 Saving Green ............................... 3
PHOTO. Courtesy of the Indiana Judicial Center.
Supreme Court Opens Three Front Operation on Mortgage Foreclosure ................... 6 Notice about posters for pro se litigants ........................................ 7 Update on Court Reform Grants .... 8 Three Measures of Success ............ 9 SIDEBAR John A. Rader ............................. 10 Case Numbering Under Administrative Rule 1(B)(4) ........... 11 BITS & BYTES 10 More Courts Using Odyssey ... 16 BRENDA'S BAILIWICK Disability Act Protections Expand in 2009 .......................... 14 SPOTLIGHT Temporary judges and bar association appointments ...... 15
adison County Superior Court Judge, the Honorable David W. Hopper, passed away February 25th.
Judge Hopper served as Judge of Madison County Court 1 from 1981-1990. He also previously served as a Commissioner and Juvenile Referee in Hamilton County from 1991-1996. In 1997, Judge Hopper was again elected Judge of Madison County Court 1 and served in the capacity until December 31, 2008. In January 2009, Judge Hopper began his service as Judge of the Madison Superior Court 4, which was created by the legislature upon the abolition of the County Court. He was also a 1986 Indiana Judicial College graduate. Chief Justice Shepard was saddened to hear the news of Judge Hopper’s passing and sent condolences on behalf of the Court to Judge Hopper’s family and his Madison County court family. On February 26th, Chief Justice Shepard opened the Court session with the following statement: “The Court meets this morning at a moment of sadness for the Indiana Judiciary due to the passing of Judge David Hopper, and we go about our assignment encouraged by the example of his contribution to Justice.”
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How courts can meet budget constraints with eco-friendly practices NOT EVERYONE CONSIDERS BEING CALLED A “TREE HUGGER” A COMPLIMENT, BUT WHEN WE CAN DO SOMETHING FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND SAVE MONEY, WELL THAT’S SOMETHING EVERYONE CAN WRAP THEIR ARMS AROUND. LIKE OTHER STATES AROUND THE COUNTRY, INDIANA IS FACED WITH BUDGET CONCERNS AT ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT. WHEN BUDGETS ARE TIGHT, WE LOOK FOR WAYS TO SAVE MONEY; AND THERE ARE MANY COST-SAVING MEASURES COURTS CAN EMPLOY THAT ALSO HAPPEN TO BE ECO-FRIENDLY.
n California, which is under severe budget constraints, state courts made changes to save money and realized that many of those changes also had a substantial environmental benefit. Monica Fiorentini, the supervising human resources analyst in the California Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), recently published an article titled “Cost-Saving Measures Align with Green Initiatives” in Court Express.1 Some actions utilized by their courts that are both ecologically and economically friendly include: reducing travel by using conference calls; encouraging carpooling; and printing correspondence and written materials only when absolutely necessary.
FOLLOW THE PAPER TRAIL Remember when we thought that computers would reduce the amount of paper piled up in our offices? We find that it doesn’t always work that way. Before the Henry Circuit Court had an electronic docket, as in other courts across the state, court
PHOTO. Vitaliy Pakhnyushchyy. COVER. Image by Lindsey Borschel, original photo by Paul Simpson
staff made hand-entries into the Chronological Case Summary (CCS). Even after Henry County installed its computerized system, they wanted to continue the handwritten entry practice so they programmed the system to print the entire CCS the day before a scheduled hearing. After the hearing the staff typed the summary of events into the computer and threw away the paper. Henry County Circuit Court Judge Mary Willis realized how much paper—and money—was going into the trash every week, largely because of this practice. When Judge Willis faced the reality in October 2008 that her court would exceed its annual $1,275 budget for office supplies, she decided to discontinue the practice. “We were doing things a certain way because that’s how we had always done them,” she said. “So we needed to take a step back and think about how we could do things more efficiently and take advantage of the available technology.” CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE
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Today, the Circuit Court forgoes the printing of the CCS and instead uses a computer in the courtroom to key in entries directly. It has also implemented other paper-saving practices, including: Documents are formatted (reduce margins, text size, and space between lines) so they print out with fewer pages; Revisions are done entirely on the computer; Documents are doublesided when printed; Nothing is printed until it is final and ready for signature; and, The staff does not copy pro se packets but instead refers people to the self-service website (courts.IN.gov/selfservice).
Judge Willis estimates the Circuit Court has reduced its paper use by one ream every two weeks—which is nearly 13,000 sheets per year! As a result of these changes, the court is not only saving money on paper, but also saving money on printer cartridges.
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REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE The Division of State Court Administration is also making efforts to cut down the use of consumable products and to recycle what we do use. We take advantage of technology where we can to reduce printing, such as encouraging the emailing of scanned documents instead of receiving faxes. According to the Sierra Club, the average U.S. office worker goes through 10,000 sheets of copy paper a year.2 Even if we reduce the total amount we use, there will always be some amount of waste paper, so at the Division, we have two giant green bins in our workroom to recycle the used paper that once went into the trash. Instead of buying bottled water, which just results in plastic bottle upon plastic bottle in need of recycling, we use a water purification system which delivers clean, fresh water straight to our glasses. We have also encouraged our landlord to institute a program for recycling cans and bottles, which they have yet to implement, and until they do many STAD employees take recyclables home or to their local recycling center. Recycling doesn’t have to be just about paper, and it goes beyond sending our used goods to be pulped and reprocessed. In Henry County, the Circuit Court reuses paper clips and binder clips, and because one trash can is designated for organic waste, the rest of the waste baskets in the office only need their bags changed once per week. The court also takes used paper that has been printed only on one side to make notepads and scratch paper.
There are also other types of consumable products besides basic paper and plastics that are recyclable. Batteries are recyclable, and because of their toxicity do not belong in a dump among biodegradable material. We can also recycle printer cartridges and buy remanufactured cartridges. “Each remanufactured toner cartridge keeps about 2.5 pounds of metal and plastic out of landfills…and conserves about a half gallon of oil,” according to Office Depot.2
EVALUATE YOUR ENERGY USE Energy is a hot-button issue these days, whether we’re talking about conserving the natural resources that provide energy or the rising cost of driving our cars and heating and cooling our homes and offices. There are many ways to reduce energy consumption. According to the Sierra Club, artificial lighting accounts for 44 percent of the electricity used in office buildings, and computers in the business sector unnecessarily waste $1 billion worth of electricity per year!2 Think about turning off the lights in any room that isn’t being used and using natural light where available. Fluorescent bulbs require low wattage and should be used whenever possible. State Court Administration staff is encouraged to turn off lights when leaving offices and conference rooms, and LCD projectors are turned off when not in use. This not only conserves energy, it also extends the life of the projector bulbs, which cost hundreds of dollars each.
WHO DOESN’T WANT TO SAVE MONEY? Judge Willis says it’s amazing how the simple steps they’ve taken have had such a huge impact on their budget and in reducing the amount of waste in the office. They didn’t start saving on paper until October, but they managed to make their budget last year. And it gets better, because her employees have taken the conservation mentality home with them and are applying the same principles around the house. “These are hard habits to break,” Judge Willis said, “but we know now they were bad habits.” Courts around the state are certainly utilizing many of these and other methods already, and if your court has an idea to share, please let us know. If your court isn’t conserving, remember that Earth Day is April 22, so take some time to think about the easiest change your court can make and start there—regardless of whether you’re motivated by saving money or saving the planet.
By Lindsey Borschel, Web Coordinator, State Court Administration and James F. Maguire, Staff Attorney, State Court Administration 1. Fiorentini, Monica; “Cost-Saving Measures Align with Green Initiatives,” Court Express. 2. “10 Ways to Go Green at Work,” Sierra Club, http://sierraclub.typepad.com/greenlife/2007/03/10_ways_to_go_g.html.
ways to save some green REUSE AND RECYCLE Recycle paper, aluminum cans, glass and plastic bottles, newspapers, CD-ROMs, and printer cartridges. Reuse paper clips, binder clips, waste bags, manila folders, binders; repurpose paper printed only on one side for scratch pads. And buy recycled products too!
EAT AND DRINK Stop providing bottled water or disposable cups. Instead, use glassware that can be washed and have employees bring their own mugs or cups for everyday use.
TRAVEL V. TELECOMMUTE Limit your travel if possible; attend meetings via conference call or try a video chat or video conference solution. Also, encourage employees to carpool and make accommodations if necessary.
COMPUTER POWER AND PRODUCTS Turn off computers at night and the power strips they’re plugged into—otherwise they’re still drawing power. Stop wasting money on CD-ROMs or diskettes and buy a thumb drive to port documents from one computer to another.
NO TOXINS Use only non-toxic cleaning supplies to reduce fumes in your workspace.
TELL US YOUR IDEAS
Share your best practices so we can share your money-saving ideas with the rest of the courts. Contact Brenda Rodeheffer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-234-3936.
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AST SUMMER, THE
Supreme Court awarded monies from its Court Reform Grant Program for five study projects to courts in the following counties: Allen, Clark, Fountain and Warren, Hamilton, and Marion, plus one grant for an implementation project in Elkhart County. The purpose of the grant program is to encourage courts to streamline court operations and improving efficiency. Under this ongoing program, funds are available for at least five new study grants of up to $30,000.00 each in 2009. Grants of up to $40,000 each will be available for implementation of the study recommendations. For the upcoming grant cycle, the Supreme Court will give strong consideration to projects in the following areas:
the study or implementation of performance measures using the National Center for State Courts’ CourTools;
digital court reporting;
unified administration and budgeting on either a county or district level; and, cross-county programs.
Projects funded in 2008 are illustrative of the types of projects that may receive priority consideration. Marion County is well underway in its study of the use of CourTools and how it might be integrated with Odyssey. In February, Glenn Lawrence, Marion County Court Administrator, and others involved in the project demonstrated their progress to State Court Administration and JTAC staff. They are studying, and have partially implemented, programming to adopt in their county the CourTools performance measures relating to Clearance Rate, Time to Disposition, and Age of Active Pending Caseload. Marion County has created tools for use with their case management systems that are adaptable with other systems in other Indiana counties. 6 MAR/APR 2009
The Allen County courts have engaged the services of Ingo Keilitz from the National Center for State Courts to assist Court Administrators Jerry Noble and Tim Miller in putting together an action plan to study how CourTools might be employed in their county. Clark County has also hired a consultant from the National Center for States Courts to study two main issues: 1. the feasibility of unifying the probation services in Clark County; and, 2. whether the four courts and two magistrates should create a court administrator position to assume responsibility for core functions, such as case management, budget and finance, human resources, planning and evaluation, and program coordination. Fountain Circuit Court Judge Susan Orr Henderson and Warren Circuit Court Judge John Rader, working with the Indiana Judicial Center, are studying the feasibility of a Fountain/Warren County Joint Drug Court. They have been examining how other states deal with multijurisdictional issues and have visited established drug courts in Indiana to determine how a joint drug court would be structured in our state.
Hamilton County courts have a project that is well underway working with the Justice Management Institute developing a baseline for the current flow of criminal cases. They are identifying system strengths and weaknesses and recommending ways to improve criminal case processing and reducing jail overcrowding. Elkhart Superior Court 1 has purchased and installed computer-assisted transcription software and modern court reporting equipment that is expected to reduce transcript turnaround time. For those courts interested in applying for grants to be awarded in 2009, a completed grant application must be submitted by June 1st. The Application for 2009 Court Reform Grants is posted on the Supreme Court’s website at courts.in.gov/admin/reform/grant.pdf. For information about applying for a Court Reform Grant this year, contact Jim Walker, Director of Trial Court Management, at email@example.com.
By James R. Walker, Director of Trial Court Management, State Court Administration
MEASURES OF SUCCESS for the Marion County Court System
he Marion County judges, with the help of key administrative and technology staff, have undertaken a process to measure court performance in order to ensure the effective and efficient use of court resources. Glenn Lawrence, Marion County Court Administrator, says the new performance evaluation system will allow judges to assess their court’s status and make improvements. “It will allow a judge to pinpoint where there is back-log for example, and hopefully we can avoid a problem. Judges will be able to share their processes with one another and become more effective managers.”
Marion County has 36 civil and criminal courts and about 75 judicial officers. There are countless judicial management styles, which present some real challenges. With a grant from the Indiana Supreme Court through the Division of State Court Administration, the courts decided to implement CourTools, a court performance evaluation system developed by the National Center for State Courts, and used nationally for courts.
CourTools includes ten performance measures aimed at helping courts improve effectiveness and efficiency though better management. Initially, Marion County courts plan to focus on three of the key measurements. Clearance Rate, which is the number of outgoing cases as a percentage of the number of incoming cases Time to Disposition, which is the percentage of cases disposed or otherwise resolved within established time frames Age of Active Pending Caseload, which is age of the active cases that are pending before the court, measured as the number of days from filing until the time of measurement Marion County courts used a simplified version of these measures a year ago to determine how helpful it would be to track the data. Lawrence says court leaders applied for and were awarded a grant from the Division of State Court Administration to
implement a pilot project using CourTools. With the funds, the IT staff wrote a program which is able to extract all necessary data from the current case management system, JUSTIS, and at any given point in time provide the appropriate calculations to any court for any case type. The program can be used with Odyssey, the Supreme Court's statewide case management system, and can be made available to other courts interested in implementing these three CourTools. Most importantly, the system produces data in a user-friendly format, which includes charts and detail grids that are very easy to understand. Lawrence says the court intends to make the system accessible to the public. This will be is one way for judges, and the citizens they serve, to see the challenges facing the judicial system, and the progress being made to ensure the fair administration of justice. If anyone is interested in learning more about this, or in applying for a Supreme Court grant, please contact Jim Walker, Director of Trial Court Management, at 317-232-2542, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Kathryn Dolan, Public Information Officer, State Court Administration
MAR/APR 2009 7
SUPREME COURT OPENS
ON MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE sing in-house staff and expertise, and partnering with experienced public sector and non-profit players, the Indiana Supreme Court has begun a three-pronged attack in addressing the mortgage crisis.
The Supreme Court initiative to help homeowners who are facing foreclosure will focus on: 1) education for trial judges, 2) training and recruitment of volunteer lawyers, and 3) training and recruitment of attorney mediators. And the Court has a website dedicated completely to the mortgage foreclosure crisis at courts. in.gov/home. “Indiana’s judicial system is prepared to be a full partner in this effort to confront the mortgage foreclosure crisis” said Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard, who set in motion the Court’s project. Judges and lawyers for both lenders and borrowers face new legal and practical issues in the reality of today’s mortgage foreclosure crisis. The sheer volume of the foreclosures has caught many by surprise. Another new factor is the dizzying array of loan structures underlying the mortgage financing, some are familiar and legitimate and others are creative and predatory.
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In addition, the day is largely a quaint memory of when the mortgage lender was the friendly neighborhood banker one saw in church or in the stands at the soccer field. Today, the mortgage loan is typically sold several times and repackaged so that the borrower often doesn’t know who to contact when there is a problem. Like many courts, bar associations, legal services providers, and social workers across the country, the Indiana Supreme Court decided to move aggressively against the tide of foreclosures. Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard met with Lt. Governor Becky Skillman and pledged his support for her. She is overseeing ongoing efforts to assist homeowners through the Indiana Community Housing Development Agency and its Indiana Mortgage Foreclosure Network. In his January 2009 State of the Judiciary address to the Indiana General Assembly, Chief Justice Shepard promised that the Supreme Court will train more lawyers in foreclosure matters than any other state Supreme Court. The Chief Justice tapped David J. Remondini, Chief Deputy Executive Director of the Supreme Court Division of State Court Administration, to serve as overall project manager.
LAKE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE LORENZO ARREDONDO AND MAGISTRATE RICHARD F. MCDEVITT ATTENDED THE FIRST MORTGAGE CLE COURSE OFFERED BY THE SUPREME COURT.
Indianapolis and in the southern half the state. The Indiana Judicial Center Executive Director, Jane Seigel, and its Education Director, Cathy Springer, will coordinate this effort.
“This is a great opportunity for the Supreme Court to build on the strong foundations that have already been laid in this area by the Lieutenant Governor and Indiana’s legal service providers. I know the courts can help make a difference and I have complete confidence in Dave Remondini to lead this effort,” Chief Justice Shepard said.
The Supreme Court will recruit pro bono attorneys to represent borrowers in legal actions and pro bono attorney mediators to help resolve cases where a settlement is possible. The Court will also organize at more than two dozen sites free Continuing Legal Education sessions on mortgage foreclosure issues. In exchange for the free CLE credits, lawyers will agree to handle a few pro bono mortgage matters.
One goal is to teach our state trial court judges about the current state of affairs in the national foreclosure crisis, and to help find answers to important questions including:
* * *
What tools and tactics are judges using in other states to resolve cases in a way that is acceptable to both the borrower and the lender?
The plan is to hold attorney education sessions jointly with counselors from the Mortgage Foreclosure Network and, as they leave their training sessions, to link up the freshly trained lawyers with existing cases that have already been referred to the Network. This effort will utilize the Supreme Court’s network of pro bono plan administrators who operate local volunteer networks under grants from the Indiana Pro Bono Commission. Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Melissa May, who chairs the Pro Bono Commission, is coordinating this effort.
What does President Obama’s recently announced housing rescue plan mean for Indiana borrowers? How will the several bills moving through the Indiana General Assembly have an impact on mortgage foreclosures?
Training is scheduled for judges at the annual Spring Judicial College and in April at the District meetings set for
Julia Orzeske, Executive Director of the Indiana Supreme Court Commission on Continuing Legal Education, will spearhead the effort to train pro bono attorney mediators. She will help coordinate the training of mediators and match them up with cases that are suitable for mediation. For more information please visit the Supreme Court foreclosure website at courts.in.gov/home or contact David J. Remondini by phone at 317.232.2542 or by email at: email@example.com.
By David J. Remondini, Chief Deputy Exedutive Director, State Court Administration
NOTICE! All Trial Court Judges should have received a new set of posters that tell "What the Courts Can and Cannot Do", compliments of the Indiana Commission on Race and Gender Fairness. As these posters hang side by side in your courtroom or clerk's office, many of our Indiana residents, both English and Spanish speaking, have a better chance at navigating in our courts when they do so without an attorney.
PHOTO. Lindsey Borschel.
If you would like additional copies of either the English or Spanish poster, please contact Camille T. Wiggins, Staff Attorney, Division of State Court Administration, at 317-232-2542, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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PHOTO. Courtesy of Judge John Rader
John A. Rader THIS IS THE SECOND OF OUR NEW COURT TIMES ARTICLES
PERSONAL A MEMBER OF THE INDIANA JUDICIARY. WARREN CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE JOHN A. RADER IS OUR JUDGE FEATURED IN THIS ISSUE.
FIRST ELECTED AS JUDGE IN NOVEMBER 2004 ALTHOUGH HE SERVED AS A HEARING JUDGE FOR THE WORKER’S COMPENSATION BOARD OF INDIANA FROM 1977 UNTIL THIS ELECTION. HE WAS A DEPUTY PROSECUTING ATTORNEY IN WARREN COUNTY FROM 1975 UNTIL 1977. JUDGE RADER SERVED ON THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE INDIANA CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION FORUM FROM 1999 TO 2005. John in explorer mode on a family cruise to Alaska
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST, AND LEAST, ABOUT BEING A TRIAL COURT JUDGE? Judge Allen Sharp, who practiced in Williamsport, told me when he swore me in that I would like being a judge because it is inside work and there is no heavy lifting. Taking people’s liberty away from them is the thing I like the least.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO STUDY LAW? My good friend Dave was in law school and I figured if he could make it through, I could.
WHAT WAS YOUR MAJOR AT INDIANA UNIVERSITY?
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE YOU MOST ADMIRE?
Chemistry and physics but remember there were fewer elements on the Periodic Table then.
My wife says that even though I am a legend in my own mind, I should not say myself. Seriously, I work hard at trying to find something admirable in everyone. Being around the judicial family (judicial officers, court personnel, IJC and STAD staff) gives me plenty of people to admire. They can ask me if they are one of them.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WERE NOT A JUDGE? Practice law in Williamsport.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU ARE NOT ON THE BENCH? I enjoy being with family and friends, traveling and doing repairs.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE BOOKS AND HAVE YOU READ ANY RECENTLY OR READING NOW THAT YOU REALLY LIKE? I read mostly nonfiction and right now it is ON BEING CERTAIN: Believing You Are Right Even When You’re Not. Earlier, I would probably go with Green Eggs and Ham.
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PHOTO. Oksana Perkins
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP AND HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR CHILDHOOD? The growing up part assumes facts sometimes not in evidence as that is a work in progress. Otherwise, my childhood was idyllic and blessed. My father ran the Tee Pee Restaurant on the Southside of Indianapolis and I spent quite a lot of time there.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE QUOTE(S)? There are two things that you shouldn’t see being made, one is sausage and the other is the law. People who lack a coarse streak, I have discovered, almost always possess a cruel one.
WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE VACATION SPOT? Southern California, where our daughter lives.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEAL/ RECIPE/RESTAURANT? Meal: One with my wife. Recipe: The next best one. Restaurant: Central Indiana – Bijou Restaurant in Lebanon
By James F. Maguire, Staff Attorney, State Court Administration
COURTS ASSIGNING CASE NUMBERS UNDER ADMINISTRATIVE RULE 1(B)(4)
Clerks and judges who are
involved in issuing case numbers for court cases should be aware of the provisions of Indiana Supreme Court Administrative Rule 1(B)(4). That rule states, among other things, that “the clerk shall assign one case number to each defendant charged with one or more offenses or violations arising out of the same incident….”
requires this office to “…examine the administrative and business methods and systems employed in the offices of the clerks of court and other offices related to and serving the courts and make recommendations for necessary improvements.”
One of our first recommendations for improvement was the creation and implementation by the Supreme Court of During the last year and a half, our JTAC a uniform case numbering system with staff has been traveling throughout Ininstructions on the assignment of case diana helping numbers. These courts prepare for recommendations "...[I]SSUING MULTIPLE the deployment are codified in a CASE NUMBERS FOR of the statewide set of AdministraA SINGLE DEFENDANT case management tive Rules which system, Odyssey. CHARGED WITH MULTIPLE continue to evolve. This process inProsecutors and law COUNTS ARISING OUT volves a review offiOF THE SAME INCIDENT... enforcement of local record cials determine the IS IN VIOLATION OF keeping methods nature and number and evaluation of of counts, but once ADMINISTRATIVE RULE..." business processthe counts are filed, es. As part of this exercise, our staff clerks and courts assign court case numhas come upon a variety of local court bers guided by Supreme Court rules. practices, some innovative and effective, Judges have many important responsibut some that don’t comport with state bilities, including compliance with adlaw or Supreme Court rules. ministrative rules. The Code of Judicial Some clerks and courts are issuing mulConduct, Rule 2.5 states that a judge tiple case numbers for a single defendant shall perform judicial and administracharged with multiple counts arising tive duties completely, diligently and out of the same incident. This practice promptly. We are asking all courts to reis in violation of Administrative Rule view their case issuing process to insure 1(B) (4). Such cases should be assigned compliance with Administrative Rule a single case number under the highest 1. Questions about this rule should be offense. A court or clerk should take directed to Mary DePrez, Director and corrective action if multiple case numCounsel for Trial Court Technology, bers are assigned for a single defendant mdeprez@jtac.IN.gov, or James Walker, for violations and offenses that arise out Director of Trial Court Management, of the same incident. State Court Administration, jwalker@ courts.state.in.us, or by telephone for Indiana Code 33-24-6-1 created the Diboth at 317-232-2542. vision of State Court Administration as part of the office of the chief justice of Indiana, and I.C. 33-24-6-3 charged the Division with several duties. One of By Lilia G. Judson, these duties calls for the reporting and Exedutive Director, collection of court data, which necessarState Court Administration ily includes defining how case numbers are issued and counted. Another duty
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BITS & BY TES
10 MORE COURTS USING ODYSSEY THE HIGHEST-VOLUME COURT IN INDIANA With over 200,000 infraction and ordinance violation cases filed in 2008, the Marion County Violations Bureau (Traffic Court) adjudicates more cases than any other court in the state. In February 2009, following many months of planning sessions and training classes, the Traffic Court began using Odyssey, the statewide case management system (CMS) being installed throughout the state by the Division of State Court Administration’s Judicial Technology and Automation Committee (JTAC ). Traffic tickets written with JTAC's electronic Citation and Warning System (eCWS) can be electronically filed into Odyssey, saving court and clerk staff hundreds of data entry hours. The Indiana State Police and Speedway Police—both with jurisdiction inside Marion County— use eCWS today, and JTAC is in the
planning stages with other local police, including Lawrence and Homecroft Police Departments and the Marion County Sheriff’s Department. Approximately 500 tickets are electronically filed each week in Marion County. In order to accommodate Marion County's ticket payment options, JTAC had to make enhancements to Odyssey. Once a ticket is filed in the system, a violator has four ways to pay: in-person, by phone , by mail, or online. Today, if a payment is made online or by mail, Odyssey is electronically updated with the payment information. JTAC will work on additional functionality so that when a ticket is paid, the case will be statistically closed, and a report sent to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles automatically. "It has been great to work with the dedicated staff from Judge William Young's court and Clerk Beth White's office," said Donna Edgar, Odyssey Product Manager for JTAC.
SMALL CLAIMS COURT #3 On December 1, 2008, the Franklin Township Small Claims Court became the third small claims court in Marion County to begin using Odyssey. The Marion County deployment team spent several months converting the court’s data from the existing computer system, and training began before deployment with on-site support lasting until about two weeks after the launch of the new system. By mid-month, the court was offand-running with Odyssey. The Marion County deployment team is headed up by Gaye Lynn Strickland, JTAC Business Analyst.
Below (left to right): State Senator Dennis Kruse and Clerk Jacqueline Rowan pose for a photo with Justice Frank Sullivan, Jr., Marci Scott, and Mary DePrez of JTAC after the public launch of Odyssey in DeKalb County. At right (clockwise from top): Judge Maria Granger and her staff gather around a laptop to look at Odyssey; staff in the Franklin Township Small Claims Court receive a surprise visit from Justice Sullivan after the Court began using Odyssey; Lindy Moscrip of JTAC delivers support in Floyd County; Odyssey aglow on the computer screens in the Floyd Clerk's Office.
PHOTO. Mary Wilson
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ODYSSEY GOES NORTH AND SOUTH In between deployment of Odyssey in the two courts in Marion County, courts in DeKalb and Floyd counties began using the system. In both counties, data conversion issues delayed the initially planned launch dates. DeKalb County was originally planning to start using Odyssey on the same date as the Franklin Township Small Claims Court, but converting data from one system to another is always a challenge, and in DeKalb’s case it called for a slight delay. So the start date was pushed back a week, and JTAC took the opportunity to provide extra training to the court staff. On December 8, 2008, DeKalb County turned
In Floyd County, Judge Maria Granger, who was elected to preside over the newly created Superior Court 3, began to use Odyssey on her first day on the job in January 2009. However, the remaining courts in Floyd County did not start using Odyssey until the following month, after JTAC developers labored for several weeks to make sure the data conversion from the courtsâ€™ existing system was done right. On February 17, 2009 Judges Terrence Cody, Glenn Hancock, and Susan Orth and Magistrate Daniel B. Burke, Jr. were transitioned to the Odyssey CMS. Lindy Moscrip, a JTAC court Subject Matter Expert and lead in Floyd County, praised the work of Clerk Linda Moeller through the many months of training and transition. "Linda has a can-do attitude and it was a great pleasure to work with her," Lindy said.
PHOTOS. William Marks
on Odyssey, and as a result of the extra training, they were even more comfortable with the system than they had been the previous week. The DeKalb County deployment team was led by Marci Scott, a court Subject Matter Expert at JTAC.
Pictured (clockwise from left): Lisa Stocksdale, Lisa Gary, Darlene McCoy, Samantha Griffin, and Judge Maria Granger, all of Floyd Circuit Court #3 Pictured: Dawn Jones (left) and Teresa Earls (right), of the Franklin County Small Claims Court, and Justice Frank Sullivan, Jr. (center).
In addition to the Marion County Violations Bureau, court records from the DeKalb, Floyd, Monroe, Tipton, and Warren trial courts and the Washington, Center, and Franklin Township Small Claims Courts in Marion County are available on-line at courts.in.gov. There is no cost to access the records, and they are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! The biggest challenge in implementing a new case management system is change: change from an old system to a new; change from one business process to another. But challenges also bring opportunities. The deployment of the Odyssey CMS comes at a perfect time for the judges and clerks to examine how they manage their business and case processes to ensure that they are in compliance with federal and state laws and the trial and administrative rules of the Indiana Supreme Court.
Pictured (left to right): Joni Dobbins and Mary Hauber of Floyd Circuit Court and Lindy Moscrip of JTAC.
By Mary L. DePrez, Director and Counsel for Trial Court Technology, State Court Administration
MAR/APR 2009 13
B RENDA' S B A ILI W ICK
DISABILITY ACT PROTECTIONS EXPAND IN 2009
resident George H. W. Bush heralded the enactment of the original Americans with Disability Act with a speech on July 26, 1990 in which he stated:
“This is an immensely important day, a day that belongs to all of you. Everywhere I look, I see people who have dedicated themselves to making sure that this day would come to pass: my friends from Congress. . . . and perhaps most of all, everyone out there and others—across the breadth of this nation are 43 million Americans with disabilities. You have made this happen. All of you have made this happen. . .” President Bush’s reference to “43 million Americans with disabilities” was based on a number included in the legislative history of the act. The United States Supreme Court considered this statistic and it weighed large in their decisions in Sutton v. United Air Lines, Inc., and Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Ky., Inc. v. Williams. The Court considered how to establish parameters on the severity of a disability when reviewing the legislation that established a pool of 43 million protected Americans with disabilities. If the Court defined disability too narrowly, the Act would apply to fewer than 43 million Americans; but if the definition was too broad, it could mean many times more than that number. In the Sutton decision, the Supreme Court held the ADA did not apply to impairments that only limited the employee from holding a narrow class of jobs. Unless the impairment precluded the employee, without accommodation, from holding a wide variety of occupations, the impairment did not substantially limit a major life activity, and therefore the employee was not a qualified individual with a disability. The impairment of the worker in the Sutton case was 20/200 vision that could be corrected with glasses. Lower courts later interpreting the decision found almost all impairments failed to rise to the level of a substantial limitation of a major life activity. The Toyota decision was an affirmation of the Sutton reasoning and further held that for an employee to be substantially limited in performing manual tasks, that person must have an impairment that is “....of central importance to most people’s daily lives. The impairment’s impact must also be permanent or long term.” Following these decisions, courts granted summary
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judgments in over ninety percent of all cases brought under the ADA. Many then argued that the courts had created a “catch 22” in which employers can fire individuals for having a disability; yet, the employee’s condition does not meet the ADA definition of disability so that there is no ADA violation. It was truly a rare case when a plaintiff could prove that he or she had a disability that met these threshold tests: is permanent or long term, is of central importance of most people’s daily lives, limits employment in a broad range of occupations, and the job at issue can be done with a reasonable accommodation which was denied by the employer. Bombarded with complaints that the courts had stripped the ADA of its protections, Congress made changes to the ADA, effective January 1, 2009, including the following amendments: a legislative direction that the Supreme Court’s definition of “substantially limits” is inappropriately high; a statement of legislative intent that extensive analysis should not be required to determine if a person is disabled under the ADA; and a mandate for the EEOC to broaden the definition of disability in conformance with the intent of Congress. Congress did not change the definition of disabled. But, it added the definition of “major life activity” that includes: caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working. Congress also added a definition of “major bodily functions” by adding functions of the immune system; normal cell growth; and digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine and reproductive functions. Congress also added by amendment a mandate that an impairment that limits one major life activity does not need to limit other major life activities to be considered a disability under the Act. A disability that lasts six months is sufficiently permanent to now be under the umbrella of the ADA. Further, a determi-
nation of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity must be made without regard to the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures, except for ordinary eyeglasses and contact lenses. To understand the importance of this, the most common restriction on physical activity of an employee has been lifting restrictions; e.g. “no more than 30 pounds.” The Seventh Circuit has consistently ruled against plaintiffs claiming disability who were restricted from lifting twenty pounds and more as not meeting the ADA definition of disability. Now, by definition, “lifting” is a major life activity. What does this mean for an employer? In the last five years, an attorney analyzing a possible ADA violation typically went through a circular line of questions and routinely determined that the condition was not covered by the ADA. Now, however, that attorney will be reluctant to recommend that an employer deny accommodation on the basis that the person fails to meet the definition of disabled under the ADA. Government employers will be particularly at risk because by law cost is never a factor for government employers in determining reasonableness of accommodation. We anticipate a substantial amount of litigation following these ADA amendments. All employers should take certain steps to avoid involvement in a test case: 1. update your job descriptions; 2. make sure the skills, training, licenses, and experience needed to “qualify” for the job are listed; 3. specifically state in each job description the “essential functions” of the job; 4. don’t assume an impaired individual or employee is unable to do the job; 5. require objective evidence or a medical opinion in determining disability; 6. give careful consideration to all requests for reasonable accommodation; and, 7. before you deny a request, seek counsel. Please feel free to give me a call to go over the facts and discuss your situation.
By Brenda Rodeheffer Employment Law Services, State Court Administration Trial courts can seek advice on employment law issues by contacting Brenda Rodeheffer directly at (317) 234-3936 or
SP OTLIGHT THE HONORABLE G. MICHAEL WITTE, now Senior Judge and formerly Dearborn Superior Court Judge, was named by the Indiana Supreme Court to serve as temporary judge of Wayne Superior Court 1. Judge Witte replaces Wayne Superior Court #1 Judge P. Thomas Snow, who was recently named Chairman of the Alcohol & Tobacco Commission. The Indiana Supreme Court named Madison County attorney GEOFFREY B. YELTON to serve as temporary judge of Madison Superior Court 4. Yelton replaces the Honorable David W. Hopper, who passed away February 25th. Three members of the Marion County Judiciary have been elected to positions on the Indianapolis Bar Association Board of Directors for 2009: THE HONORABLE ROBYN L. MOBERLY, Judge, Civil Division 5, has been elected to serve as Secretary; THE HONORABLE WILLIAM J. NELSON, Judge, Criminal Division 7, has been elected to serve as Vice-President; and, THE HONORABLE GERALD S. ZORE, Judge, Civil Division 7, has been elected to serve as VicePresident. THE HONORABLE TANYA WALTON PRATT, Marion Superior Court Probate Division, was re-appointed to serve on the Board of Directors of the Marion County Bar Association.
CHECK OUR WORK! Indiana Judges, Clerks, and Court Staff: We publish information about your court or office to our website, and we need your help to make sure it is up-to-date. Please take a few minutes to visit the following page on our website: courts.IN.gov/trialcourts Select your county from the map or menu and review the names and contact information just to verify that we got it right! If you find any errors, please use the "contact webmaster" link at the top or bottom of the page to send us your corrections.
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CONTRIBUTORS Lilia G. Judson Executive Director, State Court Administration David J. Remondini Chief Deputy Executive Director, State Court Administration Mary L. DePrez Director and Counsel for Trial Court Technology, State Court Administration James R. Walker Director of Trial Court Management, State Court Administration James F. Maguire Staff Attorney, State Court Administration Brenda Rodeheffer Employment Law Services, State Court Administration Kathryn Dolan Public Information Officer, State Court Administration Lindsey Borschel Web Coordinator, State Court Administration / JTAC
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