Judiciary Times by linxiaoqin


									 New Pro Se Materials a Customer Service “Plus”
     As part of its commitment to improve services for        clear, accurate and easy to understand,” said Richard
all New Jersey citizens, the Judiciary has released a         J. Williams, Administrative Director of the Courts.
new set of helpful materials to assist people who             “Our new pro se packets will benefit all litigants who,
want to try to represent themselves in court without          for reasons of choice or financial need, represent
an attorney. The release followed successful testing          themselves in New Jersey courts.”
in three counties.                                                The Judiciary’s Ad Hoc Working Group on Pro Se
    “Pro se litigants—that is, citizens who represent         Materials developed the new packets over the last
themselves—deserve informational materials that are
                                                                                                 Continued on page 6

Judiciary Times
The newsletter of the Judiciary, State of New Jersey

More Space, Less Waste: Supreme Court Directive
To Speed Up Disposal of Old Court Records
by Linda Brown Holt
     Old court records never die, they just…accumulate! the Delaware River to the Great Lakes…and
     If you placed the state’s millions of inactive court beyond. Stashed in warehouses, crammed into
file papers end to end, they would probably extend from courthouse basements and stuffed into cubicles
                                                          throughout New Jersey, old court papers linger on
                                                          long after they have exhausted their original useful-
                                                               “Actually, we don’t keep these files forever, it
                                                          just seems like we do,” said Kate McCann, records
                                                          manager for Superior Court. McCann pointed out
                                                          that a retention schedule already in place allows for
                                                          the periodic destruction of certain files.
                                                               But there will soon be an accelerated pace to
                                                          the removal and recycling of paper files that have
                                                          outlived their usefulness. Thanks to a Supreme Court
                                                          directive, expected to have taken effect by the time
                                                          this newsletter is published, the time will be short-
                                                          ened for retaining certain types of files.
                                                               Under the new directive, paper files of criminal
                                                          records, for example, would be retained for 20 years
                                                          for third and fourth degree convictions and 40 years
                                                          for first and second-degree convictions. Capital
                                                          cases would continue to remain in the permanent
                                                                      Non-paper files will remain
Space….the final frontier. This corridor of old court          “This doesn’t mean that all traces of these cases
records in the Superior Court Records Center is a small   will disappear,” said McCann. “Historians and others
part of the thousands of files in storage statewide. The  interested in legal archives can rest assured that
Judiciary will reclaim thousands of cubic feet of space   we’ll always have records of these cases,
thanks to an accelerated retention schedule directed by the
Supreme Court this spring. (Photo by L. Holt)                                                    Continued on page 8
2.                                                                                                   Judiciary Times
 Notes from the Director

                  Customer Service: It’s Everyone’s Business
                                                by Judge Richard J. Williams
                                             Administrative Director of the Courts
Whether it’s bad or good, cus-                or service agency ignored or           rity, fairness and quality service.
tomer service is something we’ve              incorrectly transferred.                    But while quality service is
all experienced first-hand.                       At the same time, most of us       clearly one of the pillars of the
     We know what it’s like to wait           can remember with pleasure the         Judiciary’s fundamental mission,
in needlessly long lines, to be               clerk who told us about an in-store    we still have much to learn as we
ignored by staff attending to                 special or a service provider who      seek to improve as a customer
personal business, or to have                 made time for us even when we          service organization. How can we
repeated phone calls to a business            didn’t have an appointment.            build on the Judiciary’s already
                                                                                     excellent record in customer
     Judiciary Times is prepared by                                                  service?
     Constituent Relations, Publications                                             Seven steps to extraordinary
     and Video Production Services,                                                           customer service
     Office of Public Affairs, the                                                        There are seven steps each of
     Administrative Office of the Courts                                             us can take as we strive each day
     (AOC) for employees of the                                                      to improve our performance in this
     Judiciary and volunteers who work                                               critical area.
     with the court system. The Chief                                                     First, we need to know the
     Justice of the New Jersey Supreme                                               definition of customer. A cus-
     Court is Deborah T. Poritz. The
                                                                                     tomer is each and every individual
     Administrative Director of the
     Courts is Richard J. Williams.                                                  who contacts our office or reaches
        Please e-mail short news articles,                                           us by phone, e-mail, letter or in
     photos and/or suggestions to:                                                   person. This individual is poten-
     Linda_Holt@judiciary.state.nj.us                                                tially our ally in building public trust
     or send disk, photos and paper
                                                 Judge Richard J. Williams
                                                                                     and confidence in the Judiciary
     copy to: Editor, Judiciary Times,                                               statewide. A customer may be
     Office of Public Affairs, PO Box          Increasingly, businesses and          someone filing a suit or on proba-
     037, Richard J. Hughes Justice       non-profits alike are beginning to         tion, but he or she may also be a
     Complex, Trenton NJ 08625-0037.      realize that the quality of customer       vendor, a journalist or the file clerk
     Submissions are subject to editing,  service is as important as the             down the hall.
     and not all can be published.
                                          quality of the product or service               Second, we need to focus on
     Editorial Staff and Contributors     they provide. Half-hearted or pro          attitude . Each customer deserves
     Director of Public Affairs
                                          forma efforts will not do. Nothing         to be treated in a pleasant, helpful
              Winifred Comfort            less than first-rate customer              manner. It is a privilege to help
     Editor Linda Brown Holt              service is now being pursued by            others in the service of justice, and
     Contributing Writers                 the most progressive companies             our actions, facial expressions,
              Gina Barry, Terry Grabert,  and agencies.                              even the care with which we dress
              Jeanette King, Anne              While the importance of               should show how seriously we
              Marasco, Dr. Yolande P.     customer service may be news to            take our charge.
              Marlow, Phyllis Pason,      certain organizations, I am happy               Third, we should constantly
              Marilyn Slivka, Debbie
              Thomson, Janet VanFossen.
                                          to report that it is already part of       improve our ability to listen.
              Nancy Allen was co-writer the culture of the Judiciary. Our            Sometimes what customers say is
              of the article, “Statewide  logo, shown on the last page of this       not what they mean. We need to
              Evaluation a Success,”      newsletter, confirms that New              listen to what may be the underly-
              which appeared in the       Jersey courts are dedicated to             ing concern they need resolved.
              winter edition of Judiciary principles of independence, integ-         We can facilitate this process by
                                                                                     Continued on page 7
Judiciary Times                                                                                                 3.

Judiciary Uses New Technologies
To Protect Victims of Domestic Violence
     Mary Doe was terrified.                One of these applications is      information about domestic
     A resident of Bergen County,      the New Jersey Central Registry,       violence at the Judiciary’s Web
she was visiting Ocean County on       which has been in operation for        site, available on computers at
business when her estranged            about two years.                       libraries and community service
husband, John, showed up outside            With the Central Registry, law    agencies and organizations.
her hotel. She had a restraining       enforcement officials have 24/7             A function of PROMIS/
order against him in Bergen, but in    access to information about            GAVEL, a Criminal Division
the press of business, had forgot-     restraining orders and complaints      application used by every Superior
ten to bring the document with         against offenders. “Law enforce-       Court and Prosecutor’s Office,
her. Without the actual order, the     ment officers must consult it when     generates a series of letters to
police could not act immediately to    they are dispatched to the scene of    update victims regarding the status
protect her from the man who had       a domestic violence case,” said        of their cases.
abused her for a decade.               Cassidy. “With this tool, the victim        And the Family Automated
     This fictitious encounter could   no longer has to be in possession      Case Tracking System (FACTS), a
have occurred in 1995. Today, the      of the actual restraining order.”      computer application with nine
same scenario would have a far                                                docket types in use for the past 15
more positive outcome for Mary                                                years, now provides seamless
and other victims of domestic                                                 connections with other agencies
violence.                                                                     and sources of information and
     Thanks to the foresightedness                                            assistance.
of Judiciary leadership, the talent                                                “We now can record out-of-
and hard work of staff, and the                                               state orders in the central registry
latest advances in technology,                                                and include fingerprint ID numbers
domestic violence victims in New                                              in the Central Registry to help
Jersey have more protections than           The Central Registry also is      officers link to Criminal and
ever before. And the list of           part of the background check           Municipal-Criminal records,” said
benefits keeps growing.                when a person attempts to apply        Cassidy. “Later this year, updates
     “New Jersey is definitely a       for a gun permit or purchase a         to temporary restraining orders
national leader in the use of          firearm.                               and dismissals will be entered
technologies to protect domestic            Because it is the only state in   directly into FACTS from the
violence victims,” said Harry          which the Central Registry is also     courtroom.”
Cassidy, Family Division chief.        the official record of the court,           With more than 44,000 new
“We’re providing police officers       New Jersey is well positioned to       domestic violence complaints filed
with instantaneous sources of          be a leader in the development of      each year in New Jersey, the
information and more complete          a national registry to protect         Judiciary’s approach bonds caring
data, and keeping firearms out of      domestic violence victims traveling    professionalism with the latest
the hands of offenders.”               to other parts of the country.         advances in technology to protect
     Family Division staff, working         Other technologies spring to      individuals whose homes are no
closely with Information Technol-      the fore if a restraining order is     longer safe havens. “We are
ogy Office professionals, are using    violated. At the Municipal level, an   constantly making improvements
an ensemble of computer applica-       Automated Complaint System             to increase the level of protection
tions and resources to store           (ACS) form now contains a              and support,” said Cassidy.
information quickly and accurately,    check-off box for domestic             “Working in tandem with other
and to make sure decisionmakers        violence. Victims now can also file    state agencies, the Judiciary
have immediate access to life-         complaints at any time in their        continues to seek new ways to
saving data.                           local police station and view          help protect victims.”
4.                                                                                        Judiciary Times

Middlesex Justice Symposium Sheds Light
On How to Fund At-Risk Youth Programs
     Bright-eyed young people teamed up with judges,    moderated a program filled with information sharing
parents, police, school leaders and even “Noah’s Ark”   and hands-on workshops designed to give people real
on Jan. 18 as 250 guests and participants joined        tools to improve lives in their neighborhoods.
together in support of programs for at-risk youth in         Michele LaBrada, vice chair, oversaw program
Middlesex County.                                       planning for this year=s conference. The morning
     The energizing event was the Fourth Juvenile       program opened with a panel featuring key Middlesex
Justice Symposium held in the New Jersey                                                leaders: the Superinten-
Law Center in New Brunswick.                                                            dent of Schools, Mary
And while this year’s theme was,                                                        Jean Guidette, the
“Awareness of Funding Alloca-                                                           Middlesex Vicinage
tions Available for At-Risk Youth                                                       Family Division Man-
Programs,” the full-day event                                                           ager, Charles Hager,
was so much more, providing a                                                           Judge Roger Daly
forum for open communication                                                            (Family Division) and
and building understanding                                                              two administrators from
among young people, families,                                                           the Juvenile Justice
and court and community                                                                 Commission, Bernice
leadership.                                                                             Manshel and Mark
     The sponsorship reflected a                                                        Ferrante.
broad range of support from                                                                  Afternoon work-
diverse organizations and caring                                                        shops focused on
professionals in the county. The                                                        funding sources and
Middlesex County Vicinage Advisory Committee on         alternative community-based programs as well as
Minority Concerns (VACMC) sponsored this year’s         focus groups, a mock trial and police-youth programs.
gathering in collaboration with the Middlesex Family         Alternative youth programs highlighted at the
Division, the Middlesex County Bar Association, the     conference were Noah=s Ark Outreach and the North
Middlesex County Council for Children=s Services, the   Brunswick Police Department’s Straight-Up Pro-
Middlesex County Human Relations Commission, and        gram. Noah=s Ark Outreach focuses on families at-
the National Association for the Advancement of         risk for juvenile delinquency, encouraging mentors and
Colored People (NAACP)- Metuchen/Edison Chap-           inspiring young people. The Straight-Up Program
ter.                                                    introduces young people to new ways of thinking and
     Reginald Johnson, chair of the Middlesex County    working, and leads to greater self-esteem.
Vicinage Advisory Committee on Minority Concerns,            With the strong support of Assignment Judge
                                                        Robert A. Longhi and the Trial Court Administrator,
                                                        Gregory Edwards, the Middlesex Vicinage Advisory
Essex Bar Foundation Committees                         Committee on Minority Concerns has consistently
Honor Helen Kaiser of ES Panel                          reached out to its local community, including various
Two committees of the Essex County Bar Foundation       agencies and organizations, schools, police, treatment
honored Helen Kaiser, program coordinator of the        programs and services, parents and youth to educate
Early Settlement Panel (ESP) during a dinner re-        them about the court and court programs and services
cently.                                                 and the continuing problems of minority youth in their
   Kaiser has been coordinator for 10 years, during     county.
which time the Essex County ESP program became               The dialogue which has resulted from these
one of the strongest in the state, according to the     continuing efforts has forged a stronger working
Foundation’s Family Law and Family Bench Bar            relationship among those organizations and agencies
Committees.                                             whose focus is on youth in the county.
   Kaiser has served 28 years in Essex County and
previously served as secretary for three judges.
Judiciary Times                                                                                                 5.

Mercer’s Cynthia VanEk Named
Child Support Supervisor of the Year
Cynthia VanEk of the Mercer County Probation                   VanEk established cooperative working relation-
Services Child Support Unit, was named Supervisor         ships with the Family Court, the Mercer County
of the Year recently at the 19th Annual New Jersey        Welfare Agency and the County Sheriff’s Depart-
Child Support Conference in Atlantic City. A vicinage     ment, resulting in better coordination of services.
assistant chief probation officer, VanEk was chosen            Under her leadership, the unit continues to make
for her outstanding performance as a probation child      progress in the areas of enforcement and customer
support manager.                                          service. Identifying customer service as one her top
     VanEk was nominated for the award by Assign-         priorities, VanEk established ongoing customer
ment Judge Linda R. Feinberg, Michael Green,              service training and implemented the use of customer
vicinage chief probation officer; Linda Anthony,          service surveys. A special area was created in the
assistant Family Division manager; and Dennis Micia,      child support unit to receive and serve customers.
director of welfare, all with the Mercer Vicinage. To          “She is an excellent supervisor and has mastered
be considered for the award, candidates must have         the talent for encouraging staff to develop and
implemented innovative programs, cooperated with          achieve high performance goals,” noted Judge
other agencies, demonstrated leadership and good          Feinberg. As a result of staff efforts, Mercer County
management techniques, and established and attained       Child Support Division exceeded its collection goal for
management goals.                                         a third consecutive year.
     VanEk began her career as a student intern in             “Cindy, in our estimation, is truly a role model for
Mercer’s Probation Service Child Support Unit. After      us all,” commented Green. “Through her hard work,
becoming an investigator, she rose through the ranks      commitment to service and professionalism, she has
of Child Support as a probation officer, senior proba-    risen through the ranks of our profession. We are all
tion officer and supervising probation officer.           proud of her achievements…”

Elaine Dietrich Appointed Counsel to Judge Williams
Elaine D. Dietrich of Princeton has been appointed          Dietrich & Mikulski, P.C., from 1990 to 1992 . She
Counsel to Richard J. Williams, Administrative Direc-       served as a deputy attorney general with the Depart-
tor of the Courts, New Jersey Judiciary.                    ment of Law and Public Safety from 1989 to 1990 and
     “I am delighted to welcome Elaine                                   from 1992 to 1993.
Dietrich to her new role with the                                             Dietrich serves on the Supreme Court
Administrative Office of the Courts,”                                    of New Jersey District VII Ethics Com-
said Judge Williams. “Elaine brings to                                   mittee; as a member and trustee of the
her new position an impressive back-                                     Mercer County Bar Association; and as a
ground in legal affairs and a profound                                   member of the Mercer County Women’s
grasp of the most urgent issues facing                                   Law Caucus.
our courts. Her commitment to fairness,                                        Born and raised in Trenton, Dietrich
integrity and quality service will make                                  graduated from Notre Dame High School,
her an invaluable asset to the Judiciary                                 Lawrenceville. Her father, J. Raymond
as we seek continuously to improve                                        Dietrich, a Trenton attorney for nearly 50
services to citizens.”                                                    years, currently practices law with two of
     Dietrich previously served consecutively as                          his five daughters, Virginia M. Dietrich
                                                 Elaine D. Dietrich
attorney, chief and administrator                                         and Joanne M. Dietrich, in the law firm
of the Labor and Employee Relations Unit of the             of Dietrich and Dietrich.
Administrative Office of the Courts since joining the            “I look forward to continuing to work with Judge
Judiciary in 1993. A graduate of Thomas M. Cooley           Williams as the Judiciary seeks to provide consistent,
Law School in Lansing, Michigan, Dietrich served as         high-quality services to all the people of our state,”
a law clerk in Superior Court in Trenton from 1988 to       Dietrich said.
1989 and as a litigation attorney with Dietrich,
 6.                                                                                           Judiciary Times

 New Pro Se Materials a Customer Service “Plus”
 Continued from page 1                  actions in family and civil courts.   plaint and for appealing a munici-
                                            The packets were tested in        pal court judgment suggest that
 two years with extensive input from
 judges, statewide court staff and      Essex, Hudson and Mercer              litigants should consider legal
 the Supreme Court Committee on         Counties where more than 80           representation in these more
 Minority Concerns. The Judiciary percent of all users found them to          complicated areas of law. “The
 estimates that 85,000 people each      be either “very helpful” or “help-    court system can be confusing,”
                                        ful,” while three-fourths of small    the special civil material states.
 year file small claims and special
 civil complaints without a lawyer.     claims filers and two-thirds of       “It is a good idea to get a lawyer if
     There are separate packets for special civil filers were able to         you can.”
 each of the following areas: small     complete the forms without                 Still, if litigants are unable or
 claims/auto; small claims/non-auto; assistance.                              unwilling to be represented by a
                                            Materials provided in the         lawyer, the new packets will help
 appeal of a municipal court judg-
 ment; and the special civil part. The packets include information on         them navigate through the court
 forms and other information in-        what to expect in court, forms,       system.
 cluded in the packets may be used definitions and concise, step-by-               The new pro se packets are
 in any superior court in the state.    step directions.                      available at all New Jersey
                                            Using the correct packet,         superior courts and at the
     These are the first in a series of
 packets to be developed in the         citizens should be able to file a     Judiciary’s Web site, http://
 areas of the court where people        claim without an attorney in small    www.judiciary.state.nj.us/ . The
 most frequently represent them-        claims court. However, the pack-      municipal appeals packet is
 selves. Others will cover various      ets for filing a special civil com-   available at the municipal courts.

                                              On the Light Side
      Passaic Vicinage Judges Retain Championship Cup
  by Frank M. Donato, J.S.C.            general jurisdictions may play        groups’s top player, attributed the
                                        in the Vicinage Cup Matches.          team’s success to grit, skill, grace
For the third year in a row, the        The successful challenger does        under pressure and to a solid team
Passaic County’s Judge Golf Team        not win the Cup, but only gains       effort by members. In addition to
successfully defended the Vicinage      temporary possession of the Cup       Judges Riva, Donato and Sabbath, the
Cup at the annual Vicinage Cup          and the absolute obligation of        team included Judges Anthony
Judge’s Tournament. The Cup’s           Defending the Cup and thus            Graziano, Ronald Sokalski, Michael
Founder and Creator is Frank M.         becomes the next Defender. The        Diamond and Glen Wenzel.
Donato, J.S.C. of the Civil Division.   perpetuation of the tradition of           Riva praised the efforts of all
The team’s captain is Joseph J.         the Cup is thus assured”.             team members especially in the
Riva, J.S.C., of the Criminal Divi-         The first tournament was held     absence of Judge Scancarella, Presid-
sion and the director of golf is        in 1998 at Bowling Green Golf         ing Civil Part Judge, who he described
George E. Sabbath, J.S.C. of the        Club in Morris County. The            as “the world’s greatest living judge
Family Division. The Cup’s dedica-      second tournament followed in         athlete” and Assignment Judge
tion reads:                             1999 at the Pine Barrens Golf         Passero, a solid contributor to the first
    “The Vicinage Cup is created        Club in Ocean County. The Year        two victories, who he noted is a “solid
as perpetual Challenge Cup for          2000 event was held at the            clutch player in the tradition of
friends of golf among the vici-         Linwood Country Club in Atlantic      Hogan.” Next year, with these great
nages. Any vicinage shall always        County. Passaic’s team won all        players back on board, we expect to
be entitled to the right to chal-       three tournaments, successfully       do even better.
lenge for the Vicinage Cup. Only        defending the Cup and keeping it           With the expectation that many
Superior Court Judges of New            at home, emblematic of the team’s     vicinages will challenge for the Cup
Jersey or similar judges of             supremacy. Captain Riva, the          next year, Judge Riva promises to field
                                                                              a strong team from Passaic County.
Judiciary Times                                                                                                 7.

Customer Service: It’s Everyone’s Business
Continued from page 2                 hours in the day to get everything       mind. We need to identify possible
politely helping customers focus      done. This is all the more reason        service requests in advance and to
their questions so we can help        for taking the time to show we           have the necessary tools and
them find solutions.                  care about customers and to              personnel available. This is some-
Customers are a high priority provide a level of service that                  thing we may already do well.
     Fourth, we need to help          cannot be reached without an             However, because it is such an
customers get results. Sometimes investment of time. Where do we               important point, we need to
this process may be complex and       find this time? It has been my           constantly review and reevaluate
seem to distract us from other        observation that following sound         the way we work from a customer
activities. At these times, we need principles of customer service             service perspective.
to ask ourselves, “Who or what is     from the first encounter eliminates           Finally, number seven, we
more important than our custom-       many of the distractions that turn       need to remember that the book is
ers?” I think you’ll find this a good into wasted minutes and hours.           never closed on a customer
way to stay on track with service- Finding out exactly what a cus-             contact. You could say,
related issues.                       tomer wants through better               a customer is forever. There is
     F i t , we need to take the time listening skills, for example, may
        fh                                                                     always the need for assessment,
with our customers that they          lead to a quicker solution.              follow-up and a plan for future
deserve. Time is a precious                Sixth, we need to make sure         improvement. Customer service is
commodity for each of us, and         our offices and workspaces are           far more than satisfying one
there never seem to be enough         organized with customers in              citizen. Each person who contacts
                                                                               us may give a message about the
                                                                               Judiciary to countless other
 Statewide Recognition for a Job Well Done                                     individuals. Do we want these
                                                                               customers to convey a positive
                                                                               message of quality service, or the
                                                                               unthinkable alternative?
                                                                                    Each month, I see many
                                                                               wonderful testimonials from
                                                                               customers attesting to the excel-
                                                                               lent customer service they have
                                                                               received from our staff. By
                                                                               striving for continuous improve-
                                                                               ment, each of us can make
                                                                               extraordinary customer service the
                                                                               regular course of events. All it
                                                                               takes is seven steps and the
                                                                               realization that, by our actions, we
                                                                               can make a positive contribution to
The Conference of Chief Probation Officers sponsored a Trainers’ Recog-        equal justice for all.
nition Dinner at the Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex on Jan. 30. The
event included recognition of entry-level trainers from Probation (Supervi-
sion and Child Support); Criminal; Family; staff safety trainers (from all
divisions), EEO/AA trainers and AOC’s Education and Development Unit.          Tina Matos Honored
Among those attending the event were (left to right): John Higgins,
vicinage chief probation officer, Somerset; Nancy Allen, AOC; Allen                The Essex County Bar
Quintavella, vicinage assistant chief probation officer, Bergen; John P.       Association has presented a
McCarthy Jr., director of Trial Court Services; Gayle Maher (at the time,      Merit Award to Tina Matos, the
Judiciary training coordinator, Somerset; appointed chief, Supervision         EEO/AA Officer in the Essex
Services, Juvenile, effective April 23); Patt Fowler, AOC probation special-   Vicinage.
ist (and party planner).
8.                                                                                            Judiciary Times
More Space, Less Waste: Supreme Court Directive
To Speed Up Disposal of Old Court Records
Continued from page 1
whether they be in computer files or microfilm.”                Using the Automated Computer Management
McCann is quick to point out the dangers of storing        System (ACMS), Judiciary staff now can keep track
material entirely on PCs with technologies that may        of the dates when files expire. Documents then can
change and become obsolete over time.                      be shredded and recycled with the aid of a vendor
    The records retention schedule covers many             specializing in records destruction.
kinds of printed materials, not just transcripts. In the        While the new directive will accelerate the
Civil Division, for example, files affected by the         retention schedule, McCann points out that a regular
schedule may include cases, calendars, index records       schedule of file removal has been in place since the
and docket books.                                          ‘80s. “In the past five years, we destroyed about
                                                           12,000 cartons a year,” she said. “The new process
                                                           will build on this foundation.”
       AOC Reorganizes                                              Court reporters’ noted included
       To Improve Services                                      While vicinage staffs are enthusiastic about the
                                                           prospect of more space and fewer old files, there is
 The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC)             one area in which they particularly euphoric: court
 announced its reorganization earlier this year to         reporters’ notes. The retention period for these two-
 streamline its structure and to improve services to       inch-wide, fan-folded strips of paper has been
 vicinages, employees and the public. The following        “forever, at least for criminal cases,” said Jeff
 changes have taken effect:                                Newman, chief of reporting and technical services.
      ISD becomes ITO—The former Informa-                  “We have had to store cartons of notes in court-
 tion Systems Division (ISD) is now known as the           houses and other facilities. Now, cartons of these files
 Information Technology Office (ITO). With this            can be disposed of, freeing space for other uses.”
 change, Jim Rebo was named the Judiciary’s                     Such a massive undertaking is being rolled out
 Chief Information Officer and joined other direc-         with careful planning and preparation. Records
 tors at the top level of the AOC organization.            coordinators—a new Judiciary position—are (or will
      Key additions to Trial Court Services—               be) available in each vicinage to assist with records
 Trial Court Services now includes the Municipal           management. Other elements being developed to
 Court Services Division, headed by Dennis L.              ensure success include an implementation plan and a
 Bliss, and the Quantitative Research Unit, headed         number of activities designed to introduce the new
 by Mark Davies.                                           retention schedules to the vicinages.
      Counsel and EEO/AA changes—Keith M.                       In the meantime, public interest in viewing files
 Endo was named counsel to the Ethics 2000                 remains high. According to McCann, thousands of
 Commission established by the Supreme Court.              customers visit the Superior Court Records Center on
 Elaine D. Dietrich replaced him as counsel to the         Jersey St. in Trenton each year to review civil cases.
 Administrative Director. The counsel’s office             In the cheerful front offices, helpful staff assist
 combines its current legal work with the law-             customers seeking information from files as recent as
 related work of the employment law section,               yesterday’s news or as old as the Civil War.
 including the hearing officer role, previously under           These services will continue to thrive even as
 Ms. Dietrich’s direction. EEO/AA under Bobby E.           boxes upon boxes of printed material, some of it
 Battle and Minority Concerns under Yolande P.             caged in securely locked cells, find new life as mulch
 Marlow now report to Deputy Administrative                or paper pulp in an east coast recycling plant.
 Director Theodore J. Fetter.                                   “The long anticipated revised schedule is a
      Units reassigned—Judicial Education,                 godsend,” said Thomas G. Dibble, Essex vicinage
 headed by Richard L. Saks, and Professional               records manager. “Not only will it help us save space,
 Services, headed by Patrick J. Monahan, now are           but more important, it will allow for better day-to-day
 part of the Office of Professional and Govern-            management of one of our most important court
                                  Continued on page 11     resources.”
Judiciary Times                                                                                              9.
Vicinages recount adventures with the “Ex-Files”

Tireless Efforts Put a Cap on Record Overload
Here are just a few of the ways vicinages have been coping with tons of old records, and what the new
Supreme Court directive on records retention means for the future:

   Volunteers, interns and staff           Passaic’s Records Retention        Jails and basements are a recur-
   have worked together in Sus-            Committee is “eagerly antici-      rent theme among vicinages eyeing
   sex to shred over 4,300 cubic           pating a massive records           storage space, and Atlantic-Cape
   feet of files. “Shredding is a          ‘purge’ pursuant to the new        May is no exception. Clarence
   daily ritual,” reports Elizabeth        retention directive, according     Dickerson, general operations
   Domingo, assistant trial court          to Phyllis Hornstra.               manager, reports that the old jail,
   administrator. The vicinage is                                             one block from the Atlantic
   also working with county                Essex reports storing nearly       Criminal Courthouse, and the
   officials to destroy “ancient”          15,000 cubic feet of files at a    basement of the Cape May
   records from the basement of            records center 12 miles from       Courthouse both provide storage
   the Fire and Police Academy             the courthouse. Following the      for old records. Ditto a large
   and the County Clerk’s office.          old retention schedule, the        county-owned warehouse three
   “And we can’t wait to clean up          vicinage disposed of hundreds      block from Atlantic’s Civil Court-
   the court reporter notes pursu-         of cubic feet of files and boxed   house.
   ant to the new schedule,” she           and shipped the equivalent of
   added with a smile.                     250 five-drawer vertical            Ocean is hard at work on the
                                           cabinet cabinets to the            Family microfiche project, and
   In Burlington, progress has             Division of Archives and           plans to destroy selected dockets
   been steady and even. Boxes of          Records Management for             dated up to and including 1990.
   files no longer clutter hallways        microfilming.                      Lisa Joyce, assistant systems
   and areas outside of offices.              With the new directive,         coordinator, reports storage in an
   Some material is stored with the        Essex can dispose of at least      off-site county facility and a room
   county in the jail basement, and        300 additional “filing cabinets”   in—no surprise—the courthouse
   much progress has been made             full of obsolete files weighing    basement.
   in microfilming, reports Leigh          about 75 tons, according to
   Eastty, general operations              Thomas G. Dibble, vicinage         Microfilm usage is helping Mer-
   manager. Certainly, one of the          records manager.                   cer free up storage space for new
   most popular staff members in                                              files and records. According to
   Mount Holly is Isaac Boykin,                                               Debra D’Amico, records manager,
   who became the vicinage’s                                                  Mercer recycled 184 cubic feet of
   records coordinator on March                                               old records in January.
                                                                              Bergen stores its older files in a
   Passaic keeps old files in                                                 warehouse in Garfield. From
   several locations, including an                                            there, the files generally go to
   outside storage facility. The                                              microfilming or are destroyed per
   vicinage has secured funding to                                            the records retention schedule.
   continue renovations to the                                                Civil generates close to 60,000
   courthouse basement “rec                                                   records per year between its law
   room” (that’s “rec” as in                                                  and special civil sections. Bergen
   “records”). With open shelving,                                            is in the process of redesigning its
   the renovated basement provide                                             record storage process, and hopes
   cost effective space for no-        Valuable old records of historical
                                       interest will be conserved and main-
                                                                              to see some real results starting
   longer-needed files. Best of all,   tained. (Photo by L. Holt)             next year.
10.                                                                                              Judiciary Times

                  NATIONAL VOLUNTEER WEEK April 22-28, 2001
                The 2001 national theme: AChange the World . . . Volunteer!@
Ocean’s LaBruto Recalls Early Years of Volunteer Program
       by Jeanette King                    had put into place a new volunteer    rounded by concerned, caring
Coordinator of Volunteer Training          program on jury issues, the Ocean     individuals who simply want to
                                           County Citizen=s Judicial Advisory    make a contribution to helping
With more than 5,000 participants          Committee. This committee’s           people who need additional
statewide, the Judiciary’s Volunteer       mandate was to examine the jury       assistance, may be economically
Program is a true success story.           system and make recommenda-           disadvantaged or are just going
But this remarkable program has a          tions for improving the experience    through a particularly difficult
relatively short history. In a sense, it   of jury duty, a responsibility that   period of their lives,” MaryEllen
can trace its current success to one       later expanded to other areas of      said recently.
extraordinary individual: MaryEllen        the court system.                          MaryEllen notes that many
LaBruto of the Ocean Vicinage.                  MaryEllen=s leadership has       Ocean Vicinage volunteers are
     In February 1989, MaryEllen           resulted in a volunteer workforce     working full-time, raising families
accepted the challenge to increase                                               and even attending school, and yet
volunteer participation in the Ocean                                             they make the time to give back to
Vicinage. At the time a novice in                                                their community.
the area of volunteer program                                                         Drawing on 12 years of
management, she now admits that                                                  experience, MaryEllen shares the
she did not know the potential that                                              following advice to vicinages
volunteer programs could have in                                                 thinking about expanding their
the courts. Today, these programs                                                volunteer programs:
have blossomed, and MaryEllen has                                                     Take it slow and steady; look
the longest tenure of any Judiciary                                              at what you have and where you
employee in this position.                                                       want to go; carefully screen and
     At the time, there were few                                                 place your volunteers. You are
resources to guide her in the devel-                                             successful when you can:
opment of a vicinage volunteer                    MaryEllen LaBruto                      select the right individual for
program. To learn more, she took           in Ocean County that is 550                   a given program,
courses offered by Rutgers Continu-        persons strong. Ocean volunteers              offer on-going educational
ing Education program and read             offer services in a wide range of             and training opportunities,
available literature on the subject of     programs, including minority                  and
volunteers.                                concerns, child placement review,             retain your volunteer
     Building on this knowledge,           domestic violence complaints,                 workforce because you have
MaryEllen began to develop and             mediation, probation and other                offered them meaningful and
propose innovative volunteer               areas.                                        fulfilling work.
initiatives to Assignment Judge                 As a result of her experience,   These are some of the elements of
Eugene Serpentelli to enhance the          this year’s national theme for        a successful program which over
existing volunteer programs already        volunteers—AChange the World . .      the years have sustained
in place in the vicinage. She also         . Volunteer!@—has real meaning        MaryEllen LaBruto and made her
shared her plans for ways to expand        for MaryEllen. She states that        work so enjoyable. Because of her
the program and to offer more              volunteers in Ocean have signifi-     pioneering work and the tireless,
opportunities to the community for         cantly changed her world from the     daily efforts of all staff who work
participating in court volunteer           time she specialized in criminal      with volunteers, the program
programs.                                  case management (sex assault and      continues to grow and to attract
     Judge Serpentelli encouraged          child abuse) and mediating child      new volunteers to share in the
MaryEllen’s work and supported the         custody cases.                        Judicary’s commitment to indepen-
new volunteer initiative. He already            “It is wonderful to be sur-      dence, integrity, fairness and
                                                                                 quality service.
Judiciary Times                                                                                                   11.

Camden Caseload Benefits                         Justices’ Portraits Return
Mentally Ill Probationers
                                          Portraits of former New Jersey      Trenton, where the Justices now
Building on the success of its            Justices, safely stored during      can watch over the busy opera-
program for mentally ill probation-       building repairs, were returned     tions of the press, constituent
ers sentenced in superior court, the      to the walls of the Judiciary’s     relations and publications units.
Camden County Probation Divi-             Office of Public Affairs re-             Shown here are two of the
sion launched a municipal mental          cently.                             portraits: Alexander T. McGill
health caseload in November                    The portraits were hung on     (left), who served from 1887 to
2000.                                     the fifth floor of the Richard J.   1900; and Alfred Reed (right),
     Under the direction of Senior        Hughes Justice Complex in           who served from 1875 to 1911.
Probation Officer Debra Thomson,
the program links probation
officers with mental health agen-
cies and municipal courts to help
officers provide the best services
     Probation Officer Elaine
Mancini notes that Camden’s
specialized caseload for mentally ill
probationers sentenced in superior
court has grown steadily since it
was launched in April 1998.

Somerset Mural Honors Late Judge Halpern
A Revolutionary War mural                “Somerset County, Crossroads of      nal Practice Committee and as
painted in honor of the late Judge       the Revolution,” the painting        president of the Somerset County
Joseph Halpern is now on display         depicts important scenes in          Bar Association. On many occa-
in the Somerset County Court-            Somerset County history, including   sions, Judge Halpern sat by
house.                                   the burning of the courthouse, the   designation on the New Jersey
     A group of the judge’s former       capture of Gen. Charles Lee in       Supreme Court when a particular
law clerks commissioned Adrienne         1776 and the ambush at Two           justice was unable to hear a case.
Crombie of Frenchtown to pro-            Bridges.
duce the 6 x 18 foot acrylic             Fairness, Intelligence, Compassion
painting on canvas. Titled,                 Judge Halpern, who died in
                                        1989, was widely respected and
AOC Reorganization                      admired for his fairness, intelli-
Continued from page 8                   gence and compassion. A lifelong
                                        resident of the area, he served as
mental Services headed by David         a judge of Somerset County
P. Anderson, Jr.                        Superior Court, Assignment Judge
     Staff training mission up-         of Middlesex County and a
graded—Organizational Develop-          Presiding Judge for the Appellate
ment and Training under Steve           Division. Among many leadership
Wilkins now reports to Deputy Ad-       positions, he served as as chair-
ministrative Director Fetter.           man of the Supreme Court Crimi-
12.                                                                                           Judiciary Times

Sculpture Honors Late Justice William J. Brennan
A bust of the late United States and New Jersey             ceremony included Association representative Joseph
Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., was          H. Kenney, Esq., and Michael B. Himmel, Esq.;
unveiled during a ceremony in the Supreme Court             William J. Brennan III, Esq., son of the late Justice;
Courtroom in Trenton on January 30.                         and Daniel J. O’Hern, a retired New Jersey Supreme
    The Association of the Federal Bar of the State         Court Justice, who once clerked for Justice Brennan.
of New Jersey presented the bust to the Court. The          Deborah T. Poritz, Chief Justice, presided over the
sculptor is Jon Bailey of Indianapolis, Indiana, a 1994     ceremony.
magna cum laude graduate of Rutgers University at                Born in Newark in 1906, Justice Brennan gradu-
Camden. Mr. Bailey also received an MBA from the            ated with honors from the
Yale School of Management in 1997. Speakers at the          Wharton School of the
                                                            University of Pennsylva-
                                                            nia. After receiving a
Corporate Leaders Discuss Ways                              degree from Harvard Law
To Make the Judiciary Even Better                           School in 1931, he joined
Corporate leaders offered ways to help the Judiciary        the firm of Pitney, Hardin
become better than ever during a panel on the topic,        & Ward, where he was
“Internal Consulting--An Insider’s Perspective,” on         made a partner in 1937.
Feb. 14. The program was sponsored by the Judiciary         He served in the Army in
Education and Training Council (JETCO).                     World War II and was
    Judiciary training coordinators and human re-           discharged as Colonel in
sources professionals from throughout the state             1945. He resigned from
learned about organizational development techniques         the firm, which then
successfully used by companies such as Reebok,              included his name, in 1949 to accept a Superior Court
PNC Financial Services, Johnson & Johnson, and              Judgeship. After service as the Assignment Judge for
Resourts International Casino Hotel, according to           Hudson and Burlington Counties, in 1950 he was
Steve Wilkins, the Judiciary’s organizational develop-      elevated to the Appellate Division.
ment and training chief.                                         In 1952, Justice Brennan was sworn in as an
                                                            Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court
                                                            and became a public spokesman for individual rights
                                                            during the McCarthy era. He was appointed to the
                                                            U.S. Supreme Court by President Dwight David
                                                            Eisenhower in 1956. Justice Brennan issued 1,360
                                                            opinions in his 34 years on the U.S. Supreme Court.
                                                            Among his most notable opinions are cases that
                                                            supported freedom of speech (New York Times v.
                                                            Sullivan), the one-person-one-vote concept (Baker v.
Learning from corporate examples. Panels included (left     Carr) and other principles of justice. He died in 1997.
to right) Joe Doyle of Johnson & Johnson, Kathie Birkbeck
of Resorts International Casino Hotel, Ami Bagby of
Vicinage 15 and Lee Goar of Vicinage 11.

                              Mission Statement of the New Jersey Court System
                                     We are an independent branch of government constitution-
                                     ally entrusted with the fair and just resolution of disputes
                                     in order to preserve the rule of law and to protect the
                                     rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and

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