Indiana Supreme Court
Division of State Court Administration
30 S. Meridian Street, Ste. 500
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Lilia G. Judson, Esq.
David J. Remondini, Esq.
Chief Deputy Executive Director
Funds are available to assist courts in a district or county in assessing their organization and also for helping implement recommended improvements. Applicant courts will identify a particular problem they want to solve, reform they want to achieve, or a general desire that the district/county would benefit from an objective assessment of the current organization, management, and processes and identification of best practices. Upon request, the Division of State Court Administration will work with prospective grant applicants to develop grant applications and with the grant recipients to select an organization to perform the study. Thereafter, the grant recipient will need to apply for a second grant to help implement the recommendations, although recipients of the initial study grants with successful studies will have preference for subsequent implementation grants.
The judges in a district or county may apply for these grants by submitting an application to the Division of State Court Administration. Proposed projects must engage the majority of judges in the district or county. Collaboration with and input from the clerks and bar is strongly recommended.
The court reform grants target three broad areas, which are listed below in the order of priority:
Within each of the above areas, the 2013 grants will target several specific initiatives which will receive priority consideration. They are:
Unified Court Administration
Consistent policies combined with consistent allocation of shared staff, resources, and facilities can enable a judicial system to eliminate duplication and improve efficiencies of time, money, and effort. Counties or districts wishing to improve the way they use judicial and other resources may explore implementing a unified trial court budget for the county or district, the use of a single court administrator, or consolidation of functions such as probation, ADR programs, and GAL/CASA service. Tippecanoe County recently received a $40,000 grant to establish the position of court administrator.
Development of Multi-Jurisdictional Drug or Other Problem-Solving Court
The fiscal challenges faced by smaller, non-urban counties often prohibit the establishment of new and innovative programs that improve case outcomes. However, by combining organization and efforts, much can be accomplished to produce unified responses to common problems such as drug involvement by criminal defendants. Small jurisdictions can join together to pool resources, as well as judicial time and court or program staff. In 2011, in coordination with the Family Court Project and the GAL/CASA program, Lawrence County received $24,000 to launch a Youth Problem-Solving Court.
Measuring Court Performance through use of CourTools
CourTools is a set of ten trial court performance measures developed by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) and used by trial and appellate courts throughout the country. In designing CourTools, NCSC integrated the major performance areas defined by the Trial Court Performance Standards with concepts from successful performance measurement systems used in the public and private sectors. CourTools allows courts to collect and present evidence of their success in meeting the needs and expectations of litigants. Courts interested in this project may choose which standards they wish to evaluate. For example, a court may wish to assess Clearance Rates, Time to Disposition, and Age of Active Pending Caseload. Assistance is available from State Court Administration, as well as the NCSC.
Studies on Consolidating Judicial Responsibility over Court Records
Since the summer of 2008, a team of trial judges working along with the Judicial Conference of Indiana and the Supreme Court has developed a strategic plan for the Indiana judiciary. Proposals include collaborating with circuit court clerks over how to best manage court records. With the aid of a consultant, a court and clerk may wish to conduct a study on how to manage the transition of responsibility for the clerk functions directly involved with record-keeping, digital information, file maintenance, and contact with the public with respect to court filings. Funding could cover the actual study of the legal and process-related issues for the kind of collaboration over court records as well as the logistics of the transition itself. During the 2011 grant cycle, Shelby County received $40,000 in funds to secure, organize, scan, and dispose of decades of court records, while LaPorte County received $30,000 for an NCSC study on streamlining responsibility for court records.
The Division of State Court Administration has gathered information on the availability of modern court technology in an effort to assist trial courts in purchasing innovative systems. In 2012, Allen County received funding for a follow-up grant to continue their work of streamlining and creating innovative wayfinding systems within the Misdemeanor/Traffic Division of Allen Superior Court. Using CRG funds, Allen County purchased and installed three monitors that display up-to-date Odyssey data - party names and case numbers, courtroom locations, hearing times - as well as two kiosks that allow litigants and jurors to check in and receive instructions. Requests to simply upgrade existing court reporting systems will not be considered.
Trial Judge/Supreme Court Staff Partnership Grants
Often trial judges have a great idea for a new project or program, but lack the staff to do the legwork and implement it. Many times Supreme Court staffers have a great idea to benefit trial courts, but no trial judge to engage as a partner. This new category is designed to encourage a Supreme Court staffer or a team of staffers to propose a grant that would either study a trial court problem or issue or propose and implement a solution to a problem or issue that was facing the trial courts. Staffers should propose to seek one of these grants with a specific trial judge or group of trial judges. Or a trial court judge or group of judges could reach out to a Supreme Court staffer to propose a new project or program to benefit the trial courts and enlist the staffer’s help to make the program or project a reality.
In addition, courts are encouraged to develop their own innovative reform proposals.
The grant recipients will have to make quarterly financial reports and semi-annual narrative progress reports, as well as a grant closing report.
Up to $30,000 per recipient is available for initial studies and technology upgrades, while up to $40,000 per recipient is available in implementation grants.
The Court Reform Grant Application must be received in the office of the Indiana Supreme Court, Division of State Court Administration, on or before July 1, 2013, at 30 South Meridian Street, Suite 500, Indianapolis, IN 46204.
The application is a fillable form that is available for download using the link below. Please complete it electronically, then print a copy and sign the certification at the end of the document. This document may be faxed to the attention of Elizabeth Daulton at (317) 233-6586, with the original to follow at the above address.
|Application for Court Reform Grant|
Fillable Rich Text Format Document - can be electronically completed and then printed to be signed and mailed.