Judicial Branch Presentation Pursuant to the SMART Act and Joint Rule 25
COMMITTEE ON JOINT JUDICIARY
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08:35 AM -- Judicial Branch Presentation Pursuant to the SMART Act and Joint Rule 25
The committee was called to order. Nancy Rice, Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court, testified to the committee concerning the Judicial Department. Committee members received a presentation packet, prepared by Judicial Department Staff (Attachment A). Chief Justice Rice discussed the department's SHERLOCK self-help litigant assistance program, as well as efforts undertaken by the department, and the department's JBC requests.
Chief Justice Rice responded to a question concerning the number of cases going to trial. She stated that the rate of criminal cases that go to trial is unchanged over recent years. She stated a concern that civil cases are not being tried, but instead are settled, mediated, or arbitrated. She stated that concerns over the cost of a full trial and possible appeals discourage taking cases to trial. In response to a question concerning judge diversity, Chief Justice Rice cited demographic figures for Colorado's bench.
Chief Justice Rice responded to questions regarding juvenile in-court shackling, and a recent Colorado Supreme Court ruling on tax deductions for oil and gas activities and its impact on the state budget.
Chief Justice Rice responded to questions regarding judge training, and the performance of the Judicial Performance Commission. Discussion ensued regarding judicial performance.
Chief Justice Rice responded to questions regarding potential best practices for problem-solving courts, and the applicability of the Colorado Open Records Act to the Judicial Branch.
Chief Justice Rice responded to questions regarding oversight of magistrates. The following person testified regarding the Judicial Branch:
09:45 AM -- Ms. Dena McClung, representing herself, read her testimony to the committee, which concerned the Lifetime Supervision Act. Ms. McClung responded to questions regarding her recommended changes to the act.