CSAC Bulletin Article

Judicial Council Meets Re: Defendants Rights
How to Better Inform Defendants of Their Rights in Infraction Cases

December 15, 2016

The Judicial Council will consider amending the California Rules of Court to standardize and improve court procedures―and notice of those procedures―to defendants in infraction cases at its public meeting on Friday, December 16 in Sacramento.

Additionally, the council will consider recommendations related to notice and procedures for failures to appear and failures to pay bail; court-imposed fines, fees, and assessments; and ability-to-pay determinations for infraction offenses. The council will also consider revising court procedures on installment payment plans and sponsoring legislation to provide judges with greater flexibility in ordering supervised release in criminal proceedings.

Additional items on the council meeting agenda include:

Legislative Priorities for 2017: The council will consider recommendations on what its legislative priorities should be for the upcoming year. Proposed priorities include investment in the judicial branch, securing critically needed judgeships, funding courthouse construction, creating efficiencies in court operations, and pursuing a three-branch solution to improve California’s fines, fees, penalties, and assessments structure.

Trust Funds Held on Behalf of Trial Courts: The council will consider a request for funds to be held on behalf of the Superior Court of Santa Barbara County so it can address significant expenditures that cannot be financed within its annual budget.

Courthouse Construction Funding: The council will consider a report for the Legislature that details the insolvency of Senate Bill 1407’s Immediate and Critical Needs Account that pays for the judicial branch’s courthouse construction program. The council will also consider a report for submission to the state Department of Finance of funding requests for the next phase of these new courthouse projects should funding become available.

Council Liaison Visits to Local Courts: The council is scheduled to receive liaison reports on the superior courts in Modoc, Santa Barbara, and Siskiyou Counties . These reports give council members information on a court’s operations and challenges, as well as its solutions to increase efficiency and effectiveness in how it provides access to justice for the public.

The meeting agenda and council reports have been posted online. The live video-cast of the meeting will be on the California Courts website on the day of the meeting.

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