March 28, 2012
As reported yesterday by Cheryl Miller in The Recorder, the Judicial Council has voted to wind down the controversial Court Case Management System (CCMS). The system, which would have linked courts in all of the state’s 58 counties, had become something of a political football in recent years. The Alliance of California Judges and others critical of the authority wielded by the Judicial Council and the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) have frequently criticized the soaring costs of implementing CCMS, arguing the money could be better spent elsewhere in the judicial branch. CCMS has had its defenders as well, including the Chief Justice, former Chief Justice Ronald M. George, and Justice Ming Chin. Last year, the AOC went so far as to negotiate with billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong regarding how he might assist the state to implement CCMS. But, as Miller reports, the high cost of the system, a perennial lack of adequate funding, and a recent Assembly budget committee vote to freeze CCMS spending pending the Legislature’s review, were enough to cause the Judicial Council to vote to scrap the project.