Litigants in court cases
Litigants in court cases are seeking justice. In a civil case, one side may have been severely injured in an accident and is seeking monetary damages to pay doctor’s bills and make up for lost income. Or, a small-business owner who was not paid for products that she delivered to a customer may be forced to close her shop and go into bankruptcy if the court does not swiftly order the other side to pay her. In a criminal case, a victim and the community are seeking closure and safety, while the defendant is seeking a fair hearing and a return to freedom, if he or she is innocent.
Judges, court clerks/managers, and the taxpaying public are seeking judicial efficiency. They want cases to move swiftly through the courts with minimal delays and expenses.
Carefully read the module resources before posting in this topic.
In your initial post, identify the main point or technique from the readings that you believe demonstrates a means of ensuring judicial efficiency while protecting the process of securing justice for litigants. Describe the point or technique, and explain how it balances justice and judicial efficiency. For example, you might state that the federal electronic case-filing system promotes justice because it is fast, and reason that since it does not require paper or rooms full of filing drawers in the clerk’s office, it is more economical.
In response to your peers, challenge their positions; argue how the point they described might impede or slow the pursuit of justice. Defend your position by explaining how that point might hurt someone in a civil or criminal case. For example, you might argue that the federal electronic case-filing system is complicated and requires computer equipment and knowledge that poor and elderly litigants may not have.
To complete this assignment, review the Discussion Rubric document.
Peer 1 for reply
In my opinion the most important process for ensuring judicial efficiency while protecting the process of securing justice for the litigants was having firm and credible court dates. You can be know all the answers for the test but if you show up late or on the wrong day you don’t get to take it. You can be the best at driving the bus but if you’re not on time it doesn’t matter. As the old saying goes “time is money”. Trails should commence on the first date scheduled. It is important for everyone to expect the trial to have a start date this alleviates doubt of when the trial date and people not being prepared which could cause a crunch time for litigants if say the proper forms were not filed or copies need to be made. Providing reasonably firm trial dates has an effect of producing earlier pleas and settlements. “National research shows that a court’s ability to provide firm trial dates is associated with shorter times to disposition in civil and felony cases in urban trial courts. Furthermore, a court’s ability to provide a firm trial date in felony cases has been found to be associated with shorter civil jury trial case processing times” (Steelman, 2018). When a trial dates is set it also aids in keeping juror costs down. The number of cases is document which assist in planning on the number of jurors needed taking the guess work out.
There are four steps to ensure firm and credible trial dates:
Maximizing dispositions before setting specific trial dates- The court should seek opportunities to dispose of cases before they are put on the court’s trial list.
Realistic calendar setting levels=be aware to not overbook cases.
Continuance policy-strict policies are in place to prevent an abundance of continuance cases.
Back up judge capacity-be able to provide back- up judges to assist with last minute adjustments and unanticipated calendar problems.
Peer 2 for reply
How do we ensure that we correctly balance the scales of justice and the rights of citizens to a speedy trial? Through technology we are able to file complaints and look up cases online and it is effective, but having an online system can’t help run the system, only improve. At the end of the day it will be hard worked hours from those working within the judicial system. From the Judge all the way to the litigants who are seeking justice. Each individual has a responsibility to do their part to ensure the wheels keep rolling on the bus of justice. Steelman (2008) identifies several key features to ensure caseflow management will be successful. Out of all the features he list’s it is hard to narrow one down to which plays a more important role than the other because in reality without one the others fail. However, I feel setting a standard and enforcing that standard for cases and how long it should take for a case to make it completely through the system is highly important. In the military we have standards for everything and I mean everything. From the way we look to our conduct and job performance. It is these standards and enforcing them that gives us pride and keep us in check. Now yes there will be hiccups from time to time but we are human.
By having standards in the court room, everyone knows what is expected of them, “Such standards for total elapsed time provide a basic framework for caseflow management efforts.”(Steelman, 2008, Overall time standards, p. 10). You can’t build a house without a foundation, and standards are the foundation of the judicial system. By having standards it will allow for the other aspects of caseflow management to succeed. For example, almost everything is digital or can be found online somewhere, what good is it to make trial information, such as dates and docket numbers and who to contact for more information available online if the information isn’t updated consistently. Or if the system goes down, you call your IT guy to fix it because that’s one his duties and standards of his job.
Steelman, D (2008). Improving caseflow management: A brief guide, retrieved from https://cdm16501.
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