April 19, 2011
As we have blogged about here and elsewhere, critics of the centralization of California’s courts have focused their ire on the Judicial Council and the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). One of the key focal points in this dispute is the California Court Case Management System (CCMS), a centralized case management system designed to support courts of all sizes around the state. As explained in this California Bar Journal article, the long-running CCMS project, which is managed by the AOC, recently received a strongly negative report from the State Auditor. The most glaring problem is projected cost overruns of between $1.3 billion and $1.9 billion.
Today, as discussed in this press release, in response to the CCMS’s critics, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye appointed a Judicial Council committee chaired by Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge James Herman to oversee the council’s policies pertaining to the CCMS, as well as to oversee the council’s recently established CCMS governance and advisory committees. As stated in the press release: “The 10-member committee will seek reports and recommendations from the CCMS Executive Committee and the Administrative Director of the Courts and will ensure that reports to the council are clear, comprehensive, and provide relevant options so that the council can make effective final policies about CCMS. The committee will advise the council on CCMS policy decisions and report on CCMS at Judicial Council business meetings, which are open to the public.” The press release quotes the Chief as saying “The new committee will be responsible for ensuring that council policies are complied with and the project proceeds on schedule and within budget.”