News

  • 02 Jan 2020 12:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Arizona Judicial Council

    December 2019

     

     

     

    The Arizona Judicial Council met on Thursday, December 12, 2019 at the State Courts Building. Agendas and meeting information is available at https://www.azcourts.gov/ajc/Current-Meeting-Information.

     

    The Council thanked Amy Love, Legislative Officer for her dedication and service to the Arizona Judicial Council.  She will leave the AOC at the end of the year and take a Community Relations position at the Maricopa County Superior Court.

                       2020 Meetings Dates
         Thursday, March 19, 2020 - Phoenix
         Monday, June 22, 2020 – Tucson
         Thursday, October 22, 2020 – Flagstaff
         Thursday, December 10, 2020 - Phoenix


     

    Arizona Commission on Access to Justice Update and Annual Report
    Judge Larry Winthrop, Chair of the Commission on Access to Justice summarized the 2019 Commission Annual Report and provided an update on the anticipated and continuing projects for 2020.   The Commission will continue to partner with the Public Information and Messaging Workgroup (PIM) to provide public awareness and resources in 2020 on consumer debt and debt collection actions.  In 2019, PIM took on marketing and campaign efforts for eviction actions.  The Commission will also work with the Task Force on Delivery of Legal Services on the approved recommendations to offer legal assistance at a lower cost and provide more court navigator programs.
    Judge Winthrop noted that the Commission will have a leadership change in 2020.
    The Council thanked Judge Winthrop for his many years of leadership on the Commission.

    Implementation of the Mental Health Task Force Recommendations
    Marcus Reinkensmeyer, Court Services Division Director presented background information on the Task Force and provided the 25 recommendations that were approved at the October 2019 Council meeting.  He sought council support for legislative proposal 2020-17: Appointment of Experts; Misdemeanors, which amends language to permit one or more doctor(s) for misdemeanor Rule 11 cases at the discretion of the court.

    The Council supports as presented.

    A Mental Health Summit is also scheduled for March 2020.

    Update on IV-E Funding
    Caroline Lautt-Owens, Dependent Children Services Division Director updated the Council on recent federal changes in policy regarding Title IV-E Reimbursement (social security act) for child/parent representation in child welfare cases.  She explained that the intended impact will enhance representation and parents and youths will be more engaged.

    Arizona Violent Offense List for PSA Scoring and OST
    Kathy Waters, Adult Probation Services Division Director requested the Council’s approval to add two new crimes to the Arizona Violent Offense List for Public Safety Assessment (PSA), on behalf of Pima County.  The requested additions are:
    - Depositing Explosives (A.R.A. 13-3104)
    - Unlawful Mutilation (A.R.S. 13-1214)

    The Council supports the additions.

     

    FROST Risk Assessments Cut-Off Scores
    Kathy Waters next presented the research and recommended changes to the adjustment of the Field Reassessment Offender Screening Tool (FROST) risk assessments cut-off scores for supervision of adult probationers.

    The Council supports the changes as presented.

    Judicial Branch Legislative Package
    The Government Affairs Group presented the following 2020 legislative proposals for Council approval.

    -           Clerk of the Superior Court; Salary – Council supports

    -           Commission on Judicial Conduct; Clerk of the Superior Court - Council supports to withdraw the Clerk’s proposal and work with stakeholders to adopt a code of conduct for Clerks of Court, establish a Clerk Ethics Board, and create a training program for Clerks, Deputy Clerks and Supervisors

    -           General Stream Adjunctions – Council supports in concept

    -           Surcharge Distribution – Council supports

    FASTAR Pilot Program
    Judge Jeffery Bergin gave the second report on the FASTER Pilot program in Pima County.
    The Second Progress Report to the AJC Regarding the 
    FASTER Pilot is available here.

    Arizona Youth Assessment System (AZYAS)
    Joe Kelroy, Juvenile Justice Services Division Director presented on the recent changes to the Arizona Youth Assessment System (AZYAS).  AZYAS was approved for statewide use in 2013 by the Arizona Judicial Council.  In 2019, the University of Cincinnati Corrections Institute conducted a study that determines AZYAS is a reliable and valid tool.  Recommendations from the study suggest moving cut-off scores downward.

    The Council supports the recommendations to adjust the cut-off scores for the risk categories.

    Arizona Code of Judicial Administration (ACJA)
    Amendments to ACJA code sections were presented.

    ACJA § 6-105.01: Powers and Duties of Officers Evidence Based Practices – The Council supports
    ACJA § 6-201.01: Standard Probation Evidence Based Practice (amendment) – The Council supports
    ACJA § 6-202.01: Adult Intensive Probation Evidence-Based Practices (amendment) – The Council supports

    ACJA § 5-301: Court Security Standards (new) – The Council supports

    ACJA § 5-302: Court Security Officer Powers and Duties (new) – The Council supports

    ACJA § 5-303: Personnel Practices (new) – The Council supports

    ACJA § 5-304: Certification and Training (new) – The Council supports
    ACJA § 5-305: Use of Force (new) – The Council supports
    ACJA § 5-306: Firearms (new) – The Council supports
    ACJA § 5-307: Use of Conducted Electrical Weapons (new) – The Council supports as presented with the understanding that adjustments will be made before the Chief Justice approves the code as well as possible refinement and clarification for requirements for armed and non-armed contract security staff which would be presented at the March 2020 Council meeting.

     

     

     

    Alicia Moffatt

    Arizona Supreme Court

    Communications Specialist
    602-452-3665

    amoffatt@courts.az.gov


  • 17 Sep 2019 1:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From: Jeff Fine (COC) 
    Sent: Monday, September 16, 2019 2:55 PM
    To: Joseph Welty (SUP) ; Raymond Billotte (SUP) ; Byers, Dave 
    Cc: Reinkensmeyer, Marcus 
    Subject: FYI - New Warrant Payment Scam, Impersonating Court Officials

    Judge Welty, Mr. Byers and Mr. Billotte,

    Good afternoon. I hope all is well with you.

    I am writing to advise of a new scam and criminal strategy that has come to our attention involving individuals pretending to be court officials. Although similar scams have existed for years, the complexity of such appears to have increased. What my team has discovered is that scammers are contacting citizens by email pretending to be court officials, advising victims that a warrant exists for their arrest and to resolve the matter by mailing a payment in the form of prepaid debit cards. The scammers are using names such as mine in their baiting email messages, attaching fake court documents and asking individuals to take pictures of the debit cards and email the images in advance of mailing. Victims are advised to mail the cards to a valid court address such as ours, lending to the perceived credibility of the process while scammers use the info from the photos to obtain funds immediately. The empty debit cards then arrive at a government office such as ours days later.

    The Clerk Team here in Maricopa County is working with law enforcement to investigate and contacting media outlets to promote awareness. Please feel free to disseminate this information as you deem appropriate and contact my team or I with any questions.

    Below this message is an image of a fake court document sent to victims associated with a scam as described above. Our office recently obtained it from a citizen who was targeted.

    Respectfully,

    Jeff Fine

    Clerk of the Superior Court, Maricopa County





  • 02 Jul 2019 9:23 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     

    Arizona Judicial Council | June 2019 Update

    Announcements

     

    The Arizona Judicial Council met on Monday, June 17.  The next meeting is scheduled on Thursday, October 24, 2019 at Little America Hotel, Flagstaff, AZ.

    This was the last Arizona Judicial Council (AJC) meeting as members for Presiding Judge Janet Barton, Chief Judge Peter Eckerstrom, Chief Judge Sam Thumma, public member Ken Bennett, and State Bar president Jeff Willis.


    This was also the last meeting for the Chair, Chief Justice Scott Bales, who will retire from the Court at the end of July.

     

    Next Meetings:
    Thursday, October 24, 2019 | Little America, Flagstaff

    Thursday, December 12, 2019 | State Courts Building, Phoenix

    Commission on Technology

    Karl Heckert briefed members on the activities from the recent annual Commission on Technology (COT) meeting including the list of fiscal year priorities (below) and sought Council support on the following:

     

    Approve the addition of a second factor to the login process for court staff having elevated credentials, policy setting or decision-making responsibility, or access to sensitive information. Any device accessing the court network must be queried for the second factor and must be reverified every 30 days. – AJC Supports


    Approve an ongoing 2.5 percent annual increase in JCEF subscription charges for Fiscal Years 2021 through 2026 as a component of the long-term, gap-closing strategy recommended by the Commission on Technology. COT recommends that the subscription charge structure be revisited for FY27 and beyond. – AJC Supports


    Approve the FY20 JCEF automation budget, as recommended by the Commission on Technology.  Approve the JCEF non-automation court programs budget and the JCEF probation budget, as recommended by the AOC Administrative Director and as appropriated by the Legislature. – AJC Supports

    Commission on Technology’s strategic information technology priorities for FY2020-2023 are:

    1.            Production Support (incl. bug fixes, req. chgs)

    2.            Manage & Improve Security (incl. COOP rvw)

    3.            Finish Core System Deployments (GJ/ LJ)

    4.            Mitigate Aging Technology Risk

    5.            Increase Revenue Flow (FARE, eAccess, eFile)

    6.            Increase Data Utilization (ex. access & BI)

    7.            Public Facing Services (ex. eFile, eAccess, eNotification, ODR)

    8.            Integrate Systems to Improve Productivity and Capability

    9.            Enhance Core Systems w/New Functionality

    Judicial Branch Legislative Update
    Jerry Landau and Amy Love reviewed the 2019 legislative session.   A summary of the bills is available below.
    https://www.azcourts.gov/Portals/84/MeetingMaterials/2019/June/TAB_3_AJC_Leg.pdf

    Arizona Code of Judicial Administration (ACJA)
    Marcus Reinskensmeyer discussed the FARE program and proposed amendments to ACJA §5-205: Collections that would better reflect the FARE program.  Marcus sought Council support on the creation of a new $9 DSO/TIP fee for each state tax interception from agencies that do not take part in FARE, to offset the use of running the DSO program. – AJC Supports

     

    Small Claims Pilot Report

    Retired Judge Steve McMurray and Marretta Mathes updated members on the Small Claims Pilot Committee and sought Council support on the Committee’s recommendations about which model to implement statewide and approval of the draft rules in the pending rule petition.

     

    Since the pilot, small claims processing has improved everywhere.  The current rule change petition will make the improvements available statewide.  Recommend rules for process that include using technology to monitor and track cases. – AJC Supports

     

    Small Claims Pilot Program: Report and Recommendations to the Arizona Judicial Council Report

    Ex Parte Protection Orders – Time Standards

    Marretta Mathes presented on behalf of the Steering Committee on Arizona Case Processing Standards.
    The Committee reviewed the data for ex parte protection orders and recommended a final case processing standard of 99 percent within 24 hours. – AJC Supports

    Report on “Enhancing Court and Probation Practices for Cases Involving Juveniles Who Commit Sexually Abusive Behaviors”
    Joe Kelroy and Dr. Kurt Bumby (via phone), Center for Effective Public Policy, presented the final report and asked for Council support to approve the final report and its recommendations.  They provided an overview of the advisory committee from Arizona’s five largest counties and its study and results.  – AJC Supports

    Court Security Officer Academy
    Jeff Schrade presented an update on the first Court Security Officer Certification Academy. Arizona has approximately 500 court security officers in 160 court locations, between court employees and law enforcement individuals, approximately 175 of whom carry weapons. Seventeen individuals from 11 counties and cities attended the first academy. The Academy will be part of the certification process of standardized training to become a certified Court Security Officer and will eventually incorporate the Firearms Academy and its standards.

    Justice for the Future: Planning for Excellence

    Justice Brutinel provided an overview of his five-year strategic agenda: Justice for the Future: Planning for Excellence. Many of the judiciary’s imperatives continue from prior agendas into this one. This agenda includes new plans for using technology to improve and track the courts’ effectiveness, to resolve more cases and payments online, and to respond to escalating cyber threats. The agenda calls for responding better to mental health issues in the courts, improving access to justice for self-represented litigants, establishing a trial judge training academy, and many other initiatives.

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