Code of Judicial Administration – Comment Period Closes June 15, 2020

CJA03-0402. Human Resources Administration (AMEND). Clarifies language, provides consistency with relevant state statutes and current practices, and aligns with the Judicial Council direction.

CJA04-0202.08. Fees for records, information, and services (AMEND). Amendments account for the use of thumb drives and other current technology, and increase the charge for storage devices from $10.00 to $15.00.

CJA04-0411. Courthouse Attire (NEW). To ensure that Utah’s courts are open in accordance with Article 1, Section 11 of the Utah Constitution while balancing the need for decorum in court proceedings and safety of all persons having business in Utah’s courthouses.

 

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5 thoughts on “Code of Judicial Administration – Comment Period Closes June 15, 2020
  1. Kara Wells

    In regard to CJA03-0402. Human Resources Administration:

    79 (6) A grievance review panel is established within the grievance process to sit as a quasi
    80 judicial body and review any action taken under the authority of the judiciary’s human resources
    81 (policies) procedures and which pertains to decisions regarding employee promotions, dismissals,

    I am concerned with the removal of the language “employee promotions.” Taking out this language suggests that an employee will have no venue for a grievance regarding promotions. Are the Courts really going to take away our right to challenge a promotion? This seems counterintuitive to the Courts mission for justice. Even when a grievance is not won, an employee is able to feel that their concerns were heard and the risk for retaliation is reduced. Taking out this language is a disservice to court employees of all levels.

     
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  2. John Murray

    The rule states that no person having business in a court shall be denied access based on attire.

    Exceptions found at rule 4-411(3)(a)(i,ii,ii) are limited to clothing that would be disruptive, prejudicial, or a safety concern.

    A statement on http://litigation.utahbar.org/ states the following:

    “Lawyers are expected to dress appropriately. Men should wear a tie. Lawyers should advise clients and witnesses to also dress appropriately. No one in shorts or tank tops will be allowed in the courtroom.”

    (Statement)

    It seems that the proposed rule 4-411 precludes any requirement that anyone wear a tie or a suit coat in court and that a comment should be added to specifically state that this is the case or a fourth exception should be added to paragraph 3 of the proposed rule. Further, without an explicit exception, it seems that 4-411 should explicitly state an exception or recognize that it supersedes any bar rules or courtroom rules requiring the wearing of a necktie or suit coat.

     
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  3. Charles A. Stormont

    I want to applaud the Judicial Council for its proposed new rule CJA04-0411 regarding Courthouse Attire. This new rule makes clear that the courts are to be open to everyone, regardless of personal circumstances or means. Often parties to debt collection and landlord tenant proceedings (e.g., evictions) have lost everything, including access to their wardrobe. Others only have access to a wardrobe for their regular lives, which do not match expectations of some in society for what should be worn in a court proceeding, nor do they have the means to access resources to meet those unrealistic and arbitrary expectations. Although I do not work in the criminal field, I understand this is also a very serious challenge for many victims of domestic violence. Appearing in court costs them hours at work, which reduces their income and impacts their ability to meet basic needs. In my opinion, by appearing in court, they have shown the system tremendous respect because they have had to overcome obstacles to be there. Convincing a supervisor it is worth letting them have time off, arranging for alternative child care, finding transportation to the courthouse, and so on. These are all real obstacles for the parties to the most frequently filed cases in Utah. By overcoming those obstacles, these parties deserve their day in court, and their attire should not arbitrarily serve as an additional barrier. In my pro bono service, I have encountered clients with legitimate defenses who possess only the clothes on their back and the things in their pockets. This rule ensures they can have their day in court. So I applaud the proposed rule as a wonderful correction of the unjustified misconceptions of some about who deserves their day in court. Thank you for this proposed rule to promote increased access to justice.

     
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  4. Randall N Skanchy

    Proposed new rule CJA04-0411
    This issue was debated at the last District Court Judges Annual meeting. I am surprised, based upon the pushback from judges from some jurisdictions, to see this as a proposed mandate upon each judge in the state . Each judicial district and each judge , has different opinions on this issue and it unfortunate that the Judiciary is mandating what an individual judge’s view of what is or is not appropriate should be.

    While I don’t espouse turning people away, especially in eviction and debt collection calendars, we should continue to encourage people to show their best selves. Other calendars are less about what you can wear and more about the respect one might accord to a courtroom and the litigants in that room. It doesn’t seem inappropriate to ask courtroom participants to look their best and be their best in a courtroom . The erosion of courtroom decorum might have some lesson to be learned from NYC’s Broken Window Policy that visible signs of crime, anti-social behavior, dirty streets, and disorder create an environment that encourages further disorder Perhaps our policy makers might consider leaving courtroom decorum to individual judges and rather examine how to build respect for all stakeholders in the courtroom.

     
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