Commonwealth Judiciary - 2019 Annual Report

Page 1

2019 Annual Report 1989-2019 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE COMMONWEALTH SUPREME COURT

The Supreme Court held an appellate session at Grace Christian Academy as part of its Justices in the Classroom Program. After the session, the justices answered the students' questions about the legal profession, life on the bench, and the inner workings of the judicial branch. (April 29, 2019)


t able of cont ent s

25 Adm in ist r at ive Of f ices 25 Director of Courts

3 Message from the Chief Justice

4 Su pr em e Cou r t 6 Clerk of the Supreme Court

10 Su per ior Cou r t

26 Budget and Finance Office 30 Grants Administrative Office 32 Marshals Service Division 34 Information Systems Unit

12 Clerk of the Superior Court

35 Human Resources Office

16 Commonwealth Recorder's Office

38 Facilities Management Office

18 Family Court Division

39 Rota Centron Hustisia

20 Office of Adult Probation Supervision

40 Kotten Tinian

22 Drug Court Division

41 Law Revision Com m ission 43 Judiciary Events


2019 An n u al Repor t | 3

buenas! Chief Justice Alexandro C. Castro Two-Thousand Nineteen marks a year of hope and new beginnings. After a long and eager wait, HVAC and mold remediation projects for the Guma? Hustisia began. This beginning is much more than just the start of a construction project; it symbolizes the hope of restoring the third branch of government and a commitment to the public that access to justice is integral for the maintenance of rule of law. The Judiciary faced many obstacles and hardships due to the closure of its courthouse in the preceding year, and such an adversity was exacerbated by the devastating impact of Super Typhoon Yutu. The courts? personnel were displaced and stretched thin in and outside of their workplaces; it was truly a test of perseverance and endurance. These are all the reasons why the start of the repair projects for the Guma? Hustisia was so needed for all of the Judiciary. Despite the obstacles and the additional workload brought on by these restoration projects, maintaining access to justice, advancing the rule of law, and upholding the Constitution remained as priorities for the Judiciary. Hearings and trials continued at alternate sites throughout Saipan, ranging from the United States District Court for the NMI to Northern Marianas College. Professional development seminars and workshops were held to improve robust and flexible technology systems and to streamline public access to judicial services. And despite the devastating impacts of Super Typhoon had on the community, the Judiciary hosted the CNMI-wide High School Mock Trial Competition, leading the winning team to represent the CNMI at the National High School Mock Trial Competition in Athens, Georgia. While these services and activities may appear ordinary and routine, we took them neither lightly nor for granted. It was our great honor and privilege to serve the public through thick and thin to ensure that the rule of law was guarded and preserved. In the year 2019, such priv ilege and honor became all the more meaningful as we saw a glimmer of hope through the start of restoring our beloved Guma? Hustisia? the people?s House of Justice, Iimwal Aweewe. It was also momentous as year 2019 marked the NMI Supreme Court?s 30-year anniversary. Si Yu?us Ma?ase for all those who contributed to these efforts.



suprem e court

"The Commonwealth supreme court shall hear appeals from final judgments and orders of the Commonwealth superior court. The supreme court shall have all inherent powers, including the power to issue all writs necessary to the complete exercise of its duties and jurisdiction under this constitution and the laws of the Commonwealth. The supreme court shall consist of a chief justice and at least two associate justices. The Legislature may increase the number of justices when necessary."

CNMI Constitution Art. IV Section 3


supreme court: clerk of

court

the numbers The year 2019 marked the 30th year of the Supreme Court?s existence in the Judiciary. In its 30 years, the Court significantly developed its jurisprudence in civil and criminal law and continued to play a critical role in the development of the Judiciary as a whole. Instituted by House Legislative Initiative 10-3 and memorialized in Article IV of the NMI Constitution, the Supreme Court maintains its status as the appellate court and the court of last resort. Beginning in 2006, any appeals from the CNMI Supreme Court must be petitioned for certiorari to the United States Supreme Court.

2019 An n u al Repor t | 6

supreme court was established in 1989 3 justices with a term of office of 8 years the


Deputy Clerk of Court Nora V. Borja shares a light-hearted moment. In addition to her clerk duties, Nora serves as Bar Administrator, assisting applicants for the bar examination and attorneys with licensing issues. (September 23, 2019) 2019 An n u al Repor t | 7


just ices in t he classroom

Assistant Attorney General Robert Charles Lee and Assistant Public Defender Jean Pierre Nogues presented oral arguments at the appellate session held at Grace Christian Academy. Students had the opportunity to ask the two attorneys questions about the legal profession. In photo, from left , attorneys Nogues and Lee, Justice Manglona, Chief Justice Castro and Justice Inos join the students after oral arguments. (April 29, 2019) 2019 An n u al Repor t | 8


The Supreme Court started the Law and the Freshman Legislator program in 2004. Designed for newly elected legislators, it provides them with an overview of the Covenant, CNMI Constitution, statutory construction, and other topics. Seven legislators participated in 2019: Donald M. Manglona, Joel C. Camacho, Luis J. Castro, Richard T. Lizama, Sheila J. Babauta, Joseph A. Flores, and Antonio M. Borja -- shown front row above with members of the bench.

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Judge Camacho, Judge Govendo and Presiding Judge Naraja share great moments in the Supreme Court chambers during a visit. (6/12/2019) 2019 An n u al Repor t | 10


superior court

"The Commonwealth superior court shall have original jurisdiction in all cases in equity and at law. The court shall also have original jurisdiction in all criminal actions ... The superior court shall consist of a presiding judge and at least four associate judges. At least one full- time judge shall be assigned to civil and criminal actions filed in Rota and one in Tinian..." CNMI Constitution Art. IV, Section 2

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Cler k of Cou r t Pat r ick V. Diaz (seventh from left) with members of the bench and the staff of the Office of the Clerk of the Superior Court. (November 23, 2019)

Cases Filed in t h e Su per ior Cou r t 2015-2019 Year

Civil

Cr im in al

Fam ily Cou r t (In clu din g Ju ven ile)

2015

204

222

645

289

2016

255

242

658

429

2017

298

172

576

455

2018

443

102

478

248

2019

381

143

572

109

2019 An n u al Repor t | 12

Sm all C


Claim s

The Office of the Clerk of Court (?COC?) is the largest division supporting the Superior Court. The COC processes all civil, criminal, family, small claims, traffic cases, and agency appeals. It is also the custodian of all records filed with the Superior Court and is responsible for issuing criminal and traffic clearances. Despite many challenges, the COC took steps to enhance the efficiency of court operations and improve overall customer service. Throughout 2019, notwithstanding the many challenges and obstacles of multiple sites, two courtrooms and the COC's offices continued operating smoothly out of the Marianas Business Plaza (?MBP?). MBP became the trial court?s hub, where the COC maintained safe and accessible services to all court customers. The Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center was secured as a site for traffic

Tr af f ic

TOTAL

9

2,507

3,867

9

3,352

4,936

5

6,017

7,525

8

4,228

5,499

9

4,704

5,909

clerk of court of t he superior court court. Additionally, the United States District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands hosted courtrooms for other trial court hearings. One of COC's priorities was moving case files and cassette tapes to alternate sites for scanning and safe keeping due to the partial closure of the Guma' Hustisia. The COC document and tape retention projects involved numerous case files from over 35 years of case load activities. On May 1, 2019, 40 boxes containing approximately 2,800 archived (from Trust Territory High Court to 1983) court files were moved to the Kotten Tinian via Tinian Shipping Services. As of December, 860 case files containing approximately 37,000 pages have been scanned. Also in May, files were relocated to MS Villagomez Building, as an alternate storage site in preparation for scanning and digital storage. In November, additional disposed case files were prepared for shipping to Rota Centron Hustisia. Further, 1,048 cassette tapes were shipped to Rota Centron Hustisia for digitizing. By December, 285 tapes were digitally transferred and stored on external drives.

Most CNMI court filings and services are processed electronically through FSX, an online case management database, making for a more efficient workflow.

2019 An n u al Repor t | 13


Cu st om er Ser vice Cou n t er Tr an sact ion s 2019

Cr im in al Clear an ce

Saipan

10,016

Tin ian

343

Rot a

391

Tot al

10,750

CNMI Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexandro C. Castro and Superior Court Presiding Judge Roberto C. Naraja (July 16, 2019)

2019 An n u al Repor t | 14


Tr af f ic Clear an ce

Tr af f ic Hist or y

TOTAL

1,854

910

12,780

71

13

427

46

0

437

1,971

923

13,644

Case files st ored at an alt ernat e sit e during t he Gum a' Hust isia's m old rem ediat ion project . (June 2019)

Boxes of archived case files were moved to a staging area for transport to Kotten Tinian for scanning. (May 2019)

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com m onwealt h recorder 's office In 1983, the legislature established the Commonwealth Recorders Office ("CRO") pursuant to 1 CMC ยง3701 and Public Law 3-64. CRO operates under the general supervision of the Presiding Judge. CRO is tasked with filing, maintaining, and updating marriage certificates, official real estate transaction documents, and personal property documents. During 2019, the Judiciary continued to develop the large-scale map and scanning project, which it started in 2018. Digital preservation of vital documents and maps saves costs, increases productivity, and increases judicial efficiency and economy. A rise in economic development throughout the year increased the use of CRO?s recording services. The office strives to meet all demands, fulfill mandated duties, and improve the recording process. As technology develops, CRO hopes to transition to electronic communications and recording in the foreseeable future.

2019 An n u al Repor t | 16


2019 An n u al Repor t | 17


2019 An n u al Repor t | 18

fam ily court division Based on the mandates of the Family Court Act of 1995, the Family Court Division ("FCD") provides administrative support for filing and distributing orders and pleadings, coordinates interpreter services for those of Limited English Proficiency, and mediates designated matters. In 2019, the FCD committed resources toward improving a more accessible and informed court division. The FCD staff conducted home studies to submit reports for cases involving custody, adoption, or guardianship. In 2019, there were 46 court-ordered home studies. FCD also hosted monthly classes for separating parents and coordinated genetic testing for parties in paternity cases. Resources were also dedicated to pro se services, which in 2019, totaled 4,978 contacts with self-represented litigants. In February, the division opened its temporary office at the Marianas Business Plaza ensuring continuity of operations during the Guma' Hustisia's repair and recovery projects. In addition to courtroom and judicial support, the division applied for various federal grants, attended conferences on family court issues, worked to finalize its Standard Operating Procedures, and assisted families with their court-ordered referrals to other social services, such as the Community Guidance Center and Hope Recovery Center.

Right: Family Court Manager Kevin Joseph Villagomez works with Joleen T. Salas and Nikita M. Cabrera in handling over 1,000 transactions and cases in 2019.


2019 An n u al Repor t | 19 Pro Se Assist an ce

Or der / Pleadin gs

Gen . In f o

Ref er r als

Jan u ar y

92

50

130

115

Febr u ar y

80

45

145

56

M ar ch

95

58

150

72

Apr il

98

60

172

95

M ay

120

97

193

68

Ju n e

105

76

152

66

Ju ly

97

76

187

133

Au gu st

91

98

192

102

Sept em ber

82

66

162

77

Oct ober

64

59

187

136

Novem ber

48

49

192

90

Decem ber

55

63

162

120

1,027

797

2,024

1,130

2019

Tot al

Below: The Family Court Division sponsored the Juvenile Justice Stakeholders' Conference. Judge Arthur R. Barcinas (fourth from bottom right) of the Guam Superior Court gave the keynote address. (March 29, 2019)


office of adult probat ion supervision The Office of Adult Probation Supervision's ("OAPS") collective and driving mission is enforcement, accountability, responsibility, and restoration of justice. The OAPS was established under Public Law 11-46 and reformed under Public Law 15-46. It is committed to curbing recidivism by applying evidence-based practices to affect positive change in probation clients; restoring a well-balanced response to probation victims of crime; and ensuring accountability to the community.

On July 17, 2019, the Office of Adult Probation, Juvenile Probation and Parole Officers pose for a photo after the Pre-Trial, Probation and Parole Supervision Week, Proclamation signing at the Governors Office.

Under the direction of the Presiding Judge, the OAPS is tasked with supervising all persons placed on probation or suspended sentences on Rota, Saipan, and Tinian. The Chief Probation Officer is charged with the overall administration and operation of the division. Probation Officers have the power and duty to carry out the OAPS responsibilities deemed necessary by the Judiciary. These responsibilities include treatment and crime prevention services, victim restitution, pre-trial supervision, pre- and post-sentencing investigation, restitution assessments, hearings, and various referrals for all types of court cases.

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The OAPS continues to handle a high number of criminal and traffic cases. At the end of 2019, OAPS recorded a total of 184 new cases ? 52 criminal and 132 traffic. Of the criminal cases, 19 were STOP VAWA, and of the traffic cases, 91 were Driving Under the Influence cases. The OAPS also executes numerous reports, appearances, and bench warrants. The OAPS delivers services for law enforcement, public safety, and rehabilitation needs.

Over view Caseload 2019 Month

Court Referrals Criminal

Court Referrals Traffic

Criminal STOP VAWA (included

DUI Caseload

Courtesy

PSI

Restitution Indigent Assessment Assessment

Jan.

3

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

Feb.

0

40

0

34

0

1

0

2

Mar.

6

9

0

7

0

1

0

1

Apr.

5

22

1

16

0

0

0

4

May

6

1

5

0

1

1

0

0

June

6

19

3

11

0

2

0

0

July

5

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

Aug.

3

14

0

7

0

1

0

3

Sept.

3

8

1

5

0

1

0

2

Oct.

6

9

2

5

0

3

0

3

Nov.

6

8

3

5

0

2

0

1

Dec.

3

2

1

1

0

3

0

3

Sub-Total

52

132

19

3

1

15

0

19

TOTAL

184 Tot al Ref er r als 28% Cr im in al Cases 72% Tr af f ic Cases 69% DUI

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Communities across the nation are changing the way the criminal justice system approaches offenders addicted to drugs and alcohol. Problem-solving courts, such as drug courts, are new to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Originally spearheaded by now-retired Associate Judge David A. Wiseman, efforts to start the CNMI?s first evidence-based treatment court have been ongoing since 2008.

drug court division

The CNMI Drug Court was finally established in 2016 after years of planning and research. Drug Court now provides an appropriate and effective mechanism for offenders with substance use disorders. The program was implemented with guidelines, best practice standards, and evidence-based strategies from the National Association of Drug Court Professionals. As expected, Drug Court encountered challenges since its inception, but nonetheless achieved multiple notable accomplishments in 2019. Drug Court received 26 referrals in 2019. This year, there were 26 active cases, 8 pending cases, 0 deemed unsuitable program cases, 4 cases terminated due to new charges, and 18 successful graduates. Upon completing entrance protocols, an average of 37.5 active participants have been engaged in a comprehensive, holistic approach, which combines intensive judicial interaction, aggressive community supervision, frequent drug testing, case management, and substance and alcohol treatment services throughout the year.

Drug Court staff completed the QPR Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Program Training. January 2019.

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In 2019, Drug Court Supervision Unit Officers were armed allowing them to conduct community supervision efforts independently. The objectives of the Supervision Unit are to ensure participant compliance, protect community, and divert participants from involvement in crime. Drug Court officers are trained to utilize evidence-based drug court standards and research to provide a holistic approach to addressing criminal thinking patterns. During the reporting period Drug Court maintained intense and frequent accountability measures, as illustrated in the table below.

NO.

Com m u n it y Su per vision an d Com plian ce Act ivit ies

Tot al

1.

Field Home Checks

239

2.

Call-Ins

4,296

3.

Community Service Hours

1,128

4.

Urinalysis Tests

4,185

5.

AlcoholBreathalyzerTests

102

6

Oral Swab Drug Tests

181

CNMI Drug Court Team Members, Chief Public Defender Douglas Hartig, and Attorney Chester Hinds at the 2019 NADCP Annual Training Conference. 2019 An n u al Repor t | 23


The Drug Court team includes Caseworkers, who are an integral part of each participant?s success in the program. A comprehensive, integrated, coordinated community-based approach links participants to various services based on individual needs and in accordance with the treatment plans. Caseworkers work closely with providers while guiding each participant through each Phase of the program. 788 case management meetings were held during the reporting period. There were a total of 141 referrals to various agencies to complement the needs of each participant. Drug Court partners with the Marshal Service Unit, Department of Public Safety, Department of Corrections, and other law enforcement agencies to ensure participants are engaged in a comprehensive accountability track. Nu m ber of Dr u g Cou r t Par t icipan t s by Ph ase, St at u s, an d Gr adu at es Q4 N

Q3 N

Q2 N

Q1 N

M ean

Act ive Part icipant s

33

36

42

39

37.5

Phase I

2

7

4

4

4.3

Phase II

8

9

12

12

10.3

Phase III

8

15

20

20

15.8

Phase IV

15

5

3

3

6.5

2

Pending referrals, processing for suitability

8

4

6

8

6.5

3

Unsuitable Participants

0

0

0

0

0

4

Terminated

3

0

1

0

4

5

Graduates

6

10

0

2

18

1

Com m u n it y Su per vision an d Com plian ce Act ivit ies

Tot al

1

Field Home Checks

239

2

Call-Ins

4,296

3

Community Service Hours

1,128

4

Urinalysis Tests

4,185

5

Alcohol Breathalyzer Tests

102

6

Oral Swab Drug Tests

181

2019 An n u al Repor t | 24


adm inist rat ive offices direct or of court s

Director of Courts Sonia A. Camacho assumed her position in December 2017. As Director, she supervises personnel with the Commonwealth Judiciary Administrative Office. She oversees the Judiciary?s policy development and planning, court performance monitoring, and assists with the implementation of the Judiciary?s strategic plan, Judicial Council initiatives, and justice programs. Camacho has served on various management teams, supervised chamber assignments, facilitated court programs, overseen transitional and budgetary initiatives, and assisted with the development of case management strategies. Administrative offices under the supervision of the Director of Courts are as follows: 1. Budget and Finance Office 2. Grants Administrative Office 3. Marshals Service Division 4. Information Systems Unit 5. Human Resources Office 6 Facilities Management Office.

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budget and finance office The Budget and Finance Office serves both the public and Judiciary administration. Public functions include: providing cashiering services for all Judiciary fees and fines, DPS-BMV fees and fines, and other governmental agency fees; operating a collection and disbursement system for fiduciary accounts (child support, bail, restitution, probate funds, civil jury funds, and other third-party funds per court order); and providing data entry processing for traffic and criminal assessments. At the direction of Budget and Finance Director John T. Villagomez, the office also maintains the judicial branch?s finances by processing certification of funds for Judiciary purchases; processing and issuing payments to vendors; maintaining files and bookkeeping records for all transactions; and tracking Judiciary fund status for all judicial accounts. It issues activity reports to the Judicial Council, the Director of Courts and the Department of Finance.

2019 An n u al Repor t | 26

Budget and Finance Office and Recorder's staff share holiday goodies.


In FY 2019, the Government reduced its budget by 15.2856% in the third quarter, and thus caused a reduction of the Judiciary?s budget from $6,853,337 to $5,805,763. The reduction came 3 quarters into the fiscal year, leaving only the fourth quarter for the Judiciary to account for the $1 million reduction. While other government agencies reduced working hours to prevent budget deficits, the judiciary strategically budgeted so that it could operate at full personnel capacity.

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The Third Branch received

3.99% of CNMI Budget Initial budget of $6.85 million, later reduced during the fiscal year to $5.8 million under the Executive Branch's austerity measures

2019 An n u al Repor t | 28


budget headlines

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grant s adm inist rat ion Grants Administration Office saw continuation of efforts being made all year, primarily with respect to assisting in the completion of recovery projects and obtaining reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for such expenses. Specific to more traditional grant activity, at the very end of the year a method was put in place to bring about much broader review of the Judiciary?s grant progress reports?filings with special attention to federal compliance. Unfortunately, the Grant?s Administration Office at end of the fourth quarter saw a valuable employee move along the further extension of his own career path. Magdiel ?MJ? Corpuz (pictured right) significantly helped enhance the effectiveness of the Grants Office and provided numerous administrative services to other divisions, senior staff and judges.

M agdiel Job A. Cor pu z Program Specialist

At 2019 year ?s end an RFP for the Kotten Tinian repairs was close to issuance. Special care has been taken to ensure the cost of repairs, replacements, building re-painting, and broken equipment removal from the building?s roof were not underestimated, and that all typhoon related damages were included in the assessment. An impression of the repainting required is provided in the picture to the right of a portion of the building that faced the ravages of the storm. Large sections of the building will have to be repainted to produce a uniform appearance These recovery costs, estimated at $85,000, will be reimbursable because we didn?t have any losses reimbursed by FEMA from previous storms and therefore having had insurance prior to Typhoon Yutu on the Tinian building was not a pre-condition.

Non-functioning interior lights were replaced with more energy efficient LED, notably in the Superior Court Chambers

2019 An n u al Repor t | 30

Jam es W. St ow ell Grants Administrator

Repair required at Kotten Tinian.


FY 2019 Gr an t s & Ot h er Fu n ds Pr oject ion Applicat ion Am ou n t

Aw ar d Am ou n t

Am ou n t Spen t

U.S. Feder al Govt . Fu n ds

$1,063,533.12 $440,161.25

$69,299.05

CNM I Local Govt . Fu n ds

$-

$-

$-

Reim bu r sem en t s

$210,332.18

$120,249.14

$71,383.00

Non -Pr of it Or gan izat ion

TBD

TBD

TBD

2019 Gr an t s & Ot h er Fu n ds

$1,273,865.30 $560,410.38

CY 2016-2019 Cu m u lat ive Su m m ar y

$140,682.05

Fu n ds Balan ce (12/ 31/ 2019)

U.S. Feder al Govt . Fu n ds

$492,519.53

CNM I Local Govt . Fu n ds

$327,553.00

Reim bu r sem en t s

$97,762.64

2016-2019 Cu m u lat ive Tot al

$917,835.17

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m arshal services division

safety &

security

training

and

more

training

2019 An n u al Repor t | 32


2019 An n u al Repor t | 33


inform at ion syst em s unit

Computer Specialist Jorale James Mendoza received the Associate Judge Award at the Professional Development Day.

The Judiciary continued to cope with challenges in 2019. Typhoons have delayed progress on multiple planned projects. Assuring continuity of operations has taken precedence over new project development. ISU continues to provide support services to a total of seven different sites as conditions in the Guma?Hustisia slowly improve. Relocation of courtroom settings, department operations, and public services has taken many man-hours away from project development.

Systems Administrator Michael Villacrusis and Computer Specialist Jorale Mendoza conducting a workshop on smartphone usage.

In 2017, the Judiciary adopted a strategic plan with goals and strategies to put in place from 2018 to 2022. This serves as a road map for departments, guiding them in planning projects to develop the Judiciary. ISU focuses primarily on strategic plan Goal No. 4: ?Improve Technology and Court Data Systems" and continues work on projects furthering this goal.

2019 An n u al Repor t | 34

Computer Specialist Jorale Mendoza installing the security camera


The Office of Human Resources is responsible for providing a comprehensive human resource program including recruitment of qualified applicants into a diverse workforce; employment and orientation services; administration of employee benefits such as health, retirement and life insurance programs; and coordination of employee training and professional development sessions.

hum an resources office

(l-r) Human Resources

Administrative Officer Michelle V. Guerrero with Administrative Human Resources Specialist Sarah P. Cabrera and Director of Courts Sonia A. Camacho

During the 1st quarter, the HR Office sent out a reminder to all supervisors to complete the Annual Performance Appraisal form for their employees for the period of January 1 through December 31, 2018 in pursuant to the NMI Judicial Personnel Rule 11. During the 2nd quarter, the HR Office provided employee information in preparation to distribute the ?30-Day Austerity Notice in Hours and Compensation? to all Judiciary employees. The ?30 Day Notice? was not implemented due to the Twenty-First Commonwealth Legislature passing and the Governor signing into law Public Law No. 21-2, providing the Chief Justice 100% reprogramming authority. The HR Office instead distributed the Austerity Schedule and Public Law 21-2 letters out to all Judiciary employees. During the 3rd quarter, the HR Office provided employee information in preparation to distribute the ?Austerity Schedule and July Allotment? dated on July 12, 2019 to all Judiciary employees. Although the ?30 Day Notice? was not implemented due to the Twenty-First Commonwealth Legislature passing and the Governor signing into law Public Law No. 21-2, providing the Chief Justice 100% reprogramming authority. However, a reminder that it remains in effect until it is lifted in writing by the Chief Justice and the Presiding Judge. The Judiciary will continue to monitor the availability of funds per allotment. During the 4th quarter, Co-op Education and Training Program continues to provide the Judiciary with high school students that continue to work in a couple of departments. There were two co-ops that participated in the Supreme Court and Law Revision Commission divisions. The HR Office has coordinated with Marianas High School to accommodate both the students?needs for training and our departmental needs for assistants in our various projects and ongoing daily activities.

2019 An n u al Repor t | 35


Table 1. Human Resource Statistics 1st Quarter

2nd Quarter

3rd Quarter

4th Quarter

TOTAL

New Hires

10

4

3

3

20

Document Retention

0

0

1,232

230

1,462

Renewals

16

7

7

7

37

Position Restructures

4

0

0

0

4

Salary Adjustments

4

0

0

0

4

Resignations

5

4

3

2

14

Terminations

0

0

0

0

0

Separation of Contract

0

8

1

2

11

Contract Completions

2

4

0

1

7

Vacancies

25

21

17

12

75

Consultations/Visits

366

331

242

335

1,274

Positions Filled

13

4

4

3

24

TOTAL

445

383

1,509

595

2,932

Table 2. Professional Development Training Tr ain in g

Dat e

No. of Par t icipan t s

Sexual Harassment Policy Training for Managers

02/13/19

16

Sexual Harassment Policy Training for All Employees

02/15/19

47

Corrective and Disciplinary Actions Presentation for

03/22/19

9

One Note for Beginners

07/12/19

17

Microsoft Word Training

07/19/19

19

The Appellate Process

07/26/19

11

Procedural Justice and Procedural Fairness

08/23/19

25

Investment Planning Presentation

11/25/19

46

Getting to Know Your Smartphone

11/25/19

19

Technology in the Workplace

11/25/19

8

Discovering the Marianas

11/25/19

49

CNMI Judiciary: A 30-Year Review

11/25/19

66

Health and Wellness

11/25/19

67

Courtroom Security - Part I and II

11/26/19

66

Trauma Informed Services

11/26/19

69

2019 An n u al Repor t | 36


t raining sessions

Staff training on OneNote for Beginners held in July 2019.

2019 An n u al Repor t | 37


facilities management office The Facilit ies Managem ent Office, under t he m anagem ent of Building Superint endent Gerald E. Weaver, is t he point of cont act regarding all repairs and m aint enance needed at t he Gum a' Hust isia. The pressing project s t he Facilit ies and Managem ent Office list include: 1. Mold Rem ediat ion 2. Rebuilding of At rium Skylight s

Gerald E. Weaver, Building Superintendent

Guma' Hustisia Atrium Skylight Project (November 1, 2019)

Initial Site Inspection by WM Engineering and Industrial Hygienist in preparation for mold remediation (February 4, 2019)

2019 An n u al Repor t | 38


2019 An n u al Repor t | 39

rot a cent ron hust isia

1

1 In July 2019, Judge Wesley M. Bogdan joined Mayor Eraim M. Atalig, Office of Adult Probation staff, and representatives from law enforcement agencies at the Probation, Parole and Community Supervision Week Proclamation Ceremony held at the Centron Hustisia. 2 Rota Department of Public Safety, which occupies a portion of the Centron Hustisia, assists the Judiciary in maintaining facility grounds. 3 Typhoon shutters were installed to protect Centron Hustisia windows.

2

3


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kot t en t inian


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law revision com m ission The primary duties of the Law Revision Commission (LRC) are to codify, compile, and publish Commonwealth laws for public access.The LRC personnel review all Commonwealth public laws, local laws, and promulgated administrative regulations and update the Commonwealth Code (CMC) and the Northern Mariana Island Administrative Code (NMIAC) by integrating the changes made by all new permanent laws and regulations. In 2019, the LRC uploaded 16 public laws and 19 local laws from Saipan, Tinian, and Rota to its website. Each of these laws were processed into searchable PDF documents and made available online. The LRC also reviewed, converted, and uploaded the twelve regular and one addendum Register published in 2019, which consisted of over 74 chapters.Additionally, the LRC uploaded onto its website all 14 of the NMI Supreme Court opinions issued in 2019. The Notices of Certification, Judicial Administrative Orders, and Court Rules published by the Supreme Court were also uploaded to the LRC website. In addition, the 48 Superior Court decisions that were marked for publication were uploaded and are available on the website. Last, the LRC completed publication of NMI Reporter volume 9, a project started in 2017. Volume 9 collects and compiles all Supreme Court opinions in the five year period from 2012?2016, including headnotes to these


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opinions prepared by LRC personnel. In March, the LRC was fully staffed with Staff Attorney Aaron C. Rowland and Executive Legal Assistant Dean M. Palacios joining the team. After four months, Mr. Rowland resigned. Recruitment of staff attorney continued to be a challenge, and the LRC faced high employee turnover. The Office was fully staffed for only about four months in 2019. After operating out of the LRC Executive Director ?s site post Super Typhoon Yutu, the Office finally moved into its alternative office space at the JCT Building II in mid-April. There, the LRC welcomed PSS Co-op student intern Gabelyn I. Kabiriel, training and mentoring her. Ms. Kabiriel assisted the LRC with compiling digest materials for Reporter 9, among other things. The LRC conducted nine trainings throughout the year, donated the CMC to various organizations, and continued assisting the NMI Judiciary with research, legal matters, training, and document processing.


Director of Courts Sonia A. Camacho introduces court division managers to the newly elected legislators at the Law and the Freshman Legislator Program.

year-round around the court

Eager for tomorrow! Monica Manibusan, Lynette Camacho, Michelle Guerrero and Olga Bykov are all smiles at the end of the workday.

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In Oct ober 2018, Super t yphoon Yut u dest royed t he Gum a' Hust isia's at rium skylight s. In t he following m ont hs, rain cam e int o t he at rium as t he flut t ering blue t arps could not sust ain t he weight . At t orney Carl Dela Cruz spearheaded t he roof repair project , coordinat ing funding, procurem ent , and const ruct ion. Const ruct ion of concret e caps began in lat e 2019 as seen in t hese phot os.

addressing super t yphoon yut u's wrat h

In addit ion t o t he skylight s, t he Gum a' Hust isia sust ained dam age t o port ions of it s duct ing syst em . Repairs were com plet ed over t he sum m er.

Above--Carl Dela Cruz gives Justice Manglona an update on the roof capping project. Left--Judiciary facility staff Ray Babauta assists contractors with the ducting system.


HVAC heat ing, vent ilat ion, and air condit ioning

& m old rem ediat ion project s Mold can be seen on office furniture, gypsum boards, and office supplies within the Guma' Hustisia . Moisture from typhoons exacerbated mold growth.

Meeting with Department of Finance Leadership (February 4, 2019) Shortly after the signing of PL 20-61, the Judiciary initiated a meeting with then-Secretary of Finance Larrisa C. Larson accompanied by then-Technical Analyst Ryan C. Camacho.

WM 30% Construction Design Submission Review (April 26, 2019) WM Engineering Services, LLC traveled to Saipan to meet with the Mold Remediation Committee to discuss their 30% Construction Design Submission.

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2019 Justice Award Recipient: Elizabeth Salas Balajadia Elizabeth Salas Balajadia, P.E., received the 2019 Justice Award on May 31, 2019. She was honored for her service toward completion of the Guma?Hustisia?s mold remediation and air conditioning restoration projects for two years. Ms. Balajadia?s service demonstrates her high level of professionalism and commitment to public service. Her assistance has contributed to the substantial headway made on the Guma Hustisia?s projects and, as a result, promoted access to justice. Ms. Balajadia is a licensed professional civil engineer serving as the Executive Branch?s Capital Improvement Project Administrator. Her background knowledge allowed her to guide the Judiciary and contractors through the project timeline and budget. Throughout the project, Ms. Balajadia made recommendations and participated in weekly project meetings that eventually paved the way toward repairing the damage wreaked by Typhoon Yutu.


justice reaching out our islands'

next leaders MOCK TRIAL A collaboration between the Judiciary, the Public School System, and the Bar Association enabled the CNMI to send a team to the National High School Mock Trial Competition in Athens, Georgia.

2019 champions

marianas high school

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our manamko' The Judiciary host ed t he Proclam at ion Signing for Law Day at t he Manam ko' Cent er in April 2019.

2

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Micronesian Cleanup Day

a tradition of

caring for our environment 2019 An n u al Repor t | 49


professional development day

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Every year in November, the Judiciary sets aside a day for staff training, with topics ranging from ethics to technology to mental health. The day allows staff from across the Divisions to provide insight on how to improve the work environment and the Judiciary's objectives.


celebrations

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holiday cheers

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i nt ernat ional wom en's day our women leaders jud g e d irect or of cour t s hr m anag er chief p rob at ion officer d r ug cour t m anag er sup rem e cour t cler k of cour t g eneral counsel law cler ks com m onwealt h recorder

we are p roud of t he jud iciar y's

hardworking

women

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professional development day awardees

Hyun Jae Lee Chief Justice Award

Rebecca R. Santos Presiding Judge Award

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Marshals Service Division (Jesus Santos, Maria Tudela, Scottie Aguon, Britton Cruz, Leon Lizama, Chief Marshal Jason Tarkong, Sherla Sablan, Jason Camacho, and Eric Esteves) Associate Justices Award

Jorale James (JJ) A. Mendoza Associate Judges Award

Martha B. Mendiola CNMI Supreme Court Award


Dolores B. Sablan CNMI Superior Court Award Drug Court Division Award

Rosie Jane T. Ada Clerk of Court - Superior Court Award

Carl Allen F. Dela Cruz Budget & Finance Office Award

Michael C. Villacrusis Commonwealth Judiciary Administrative Office Award

Sophia C. Geisinger Office of Adult Probation Division Award

Raymond C. Babauta Building Maintenance Unit Award

Nora V. Borja Clerk of Court - Supreme Court Award

Clarice Y. C. Mendoza Family Court Division Award

Leon L. Lizama II Marshals Service Division Award

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despidida Ursula Lifoifoi-Aldan Chief Probation Officer

On October 3, 2019, Judiciary probation officers greeted Chief Probation Officer Lifoifoi-Aldan's cortege as she made her last visit to the Guma' Hustisia. Members of the bench solemnly awaited at the Guma' Hustisia entry for the Chief 's hearse.

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2017

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Appendix

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