Chief judges want to control court tech dollars

first_img Chief judges want to control court tech dollars Jan Pudlow Senior Editor It may be only $2 collected from each court filing fee, but it’s piling up into a high-stakes debate about who should have control of millions of dollars for an integrated court technology system.Right now, the counties have control of the money, with little direction from the legislature on how to spend it for court technology needs in circuits that cross county lines.When the Article V Technology Board met in Tallahassee September 23, Second Circuit Chief Judge Charlie Francis temporarily suspended his role as chair of the group to argue passionately that the chief judge of each circuit should take control of one integrated court computer system that serves everyone’s needs.“It is the chief judge who has the responsibility of how cases are processed. That’s the bottom line,” Francis said. “As the chief judge, as the constitution says, they look to me, and the buck stops here as to whether a case makes it through the system or not.”Judge Francis spoke against a motion made by 15th Judicial Circuit Public Defender Carey Haughwout that proposed money generated by the $2 filing fee be administered at the circuit level by a joint committee of the state attorney, public defender, and chief judge.Fifth Circuit State Attorney Brad King said he had concerns about “the idea of the chief judge being the sole decision-maker where the money is spent, even after consultation” with the others.“and large, the court’s role should be a neutral one and not taking an active role in the management of cases,” King said.But Judge Francis stressed that he, as chief judge, has a constitutional charge to supervise the court system, and that should include technology that enables one division of the courts to talk to another, as well as receive and share information from a variety of state agencies needed to make decisions in cases.Francis said he has “no problem with some kind of review process if judges are not handling things right.” But he believes the chief judge needs to be in charge of setting court system priorities.“Right now, in most civil cases, there is no record of what happens other than the court taking notes in chambers. Clerks don’t have that ability. We depend on judges’ handwritten notes to know what’s going on in 60 percent of our court system,” Judge Francis said with frustration. “My job is to make sure the whole court system is working correctly.”The committee tabled the discussion until the next meeting, October 21, when they hope to have hard numbers on just how much the $2 fee is generating and how it is being spent. Francis said he does not think the $2 fee is sufficient to cover court technology costs.Statewide, Florida spent a total of $1.35 billion on all technology in 2003-04.“That’s a chunk of money to be spent on technology and the legislature has legitimate concerns if it is being spent properly,” Francis told committee members. “Our job is to recommend a funding model or models to the legislature.”It was clear from public testimony that confusion is swirling about the $2 fee enacted by the legislature last year, as part of a combo of county/state/and fee-generated funding for the courts.The legislature passed a $4 hike in filing fees on official records, of which $2 is set aside for the clerks. But the other half goes to fund the public defenders, state attorneys, and the court.“The legislature did not give enough clear direction to the counties as to how to utilize that fund,” said State Court Technology Officer Mike Love. “They set it aside and said, ‘Clerk, you capture it. You then pass it to the board of county commissioners.’ The board of county commissioners, with little direction thereafter, is to use their discretion in supporting the technology requirements of the state court system.”Exactly how much money the $2 fee is generating was unclear, but likely it is not enough.“I know that three years ago, when this was being contemplated, each dollar would generate $26 million. So there’s at least $100 million bucks we’re talking about. The clerk gets half of it and the other players get to split the other half,” Love said.“The reason you see there’s discontent is because there is not enough money in the $2.”Some of that discontent was detailed by those who testified before the board:• Third Circuit Chief Judge Julian Collins, of Lake City, said: “We need a circuit-wide system, not seven separate counties. We need centralized control over our $2 portion of the $4 surcharge” in order to have “reliable funding and an opportunity for centralized planning. Some counties are so small they won’t generate enough funds for technology.”• Jon Lin, court technology officer for the Fifth Judicial Circuit, handles five counties from his office in Ocala and he wishes he could prepare one circuit-wide budget. “I don’t have the ability to actually move equipment where I need it, when it needs to be transferred to another county,” he said. “I’d like to see our county employees for technology, who are funded out of the $2 fee, become state employees.”• Britt Beasley, court administrator for the Fourth Judicial Circuit, of Duval, Clay, and Nassau counties, said, “We’re experiencing somewhat of a crisis in funding. One of the problems is that with the $2 fee going directly to the local government, the local government is experiencing budgetary problems, and they are somewhat reluctant to dispense the money—or there seems to be a lack of understanding of what the money should be used for.” Beasely proposed that “we could actually fund 20 circuit systems totally for perhaps less than you can fund 67 county systems.”• Ken Nelson, chief technology officer for the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Pinellas and Pasco counties, said, “We would like to recommend that the $2 of the $4 fee be returned to the circuit so that it could be administered as a circuit-wide fund, preferably by the chief judge.. . . Right now, we are in a situation where both of our counties micromanage everything we spend, right down to having us have our equipment authorized by the local IT departments. It becomes a real problem.”• Sheldon Gusky, executive director of the Florida Public Defender Association, said the biggest concern of its members is how best to resolve conflicts when they crop up. “Everybody has talked about funding, but nobody has talked about costs. Where are we today? What is the liability out there for the various entities on costs? What is the demand that is not being met?” Chief judges want to control court tech dollars October 15, 2005 Senior Editor Regular Newslast_img read more

Mourinho feels ‘depressed’ about Kane’s injury

first_imgTottenham manager Jose Mourinho has said he feels “depressed” when talking about Harry Kane’s hamstring injury.Advertisement Read Also:Tottenham star claims EPL Goal of the Month awardSpurs host Liverpool on Saturday and Mourinho said he knew Jurgen Klopp’s side would win the league back in October.“When I was working with you [Sky Sports], I told you Liverpool would be champions and this was three months ago,” he added.“For me the situation they are at is no surprise — they are the best team in our competition It is a big challenge and we would prefer to play against them with everybody available but that is the way it is.”FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 The Spurs captain has been ruled out until April after sustaining the injury in Spurs’ 1-0 defeat against Southampton on New Year’s Day. Promoted ContentBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever MadeTop 7 Best Car Manufacturers Of All Time5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks7 Black Hole Facts That Will Change Your View Of The UniverseWhat Happens When You Eat Eggs Every Single Day?11 Most Immersive Game To Play On Your Table TopThe Biggest Cities In The World So FarThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks6 Interesting Ways To Make Money With A Drone10 Phones That Can Work For Weeks Without Rechargingcenter_img Loading… Kane is set to have surgery on his left hamstring but Mourinho is not too optimistic about the club’s chances of signing a striker during the January transfer window.“Harry is important and irreplaceable, no player can replace Harry Kane,” he told a news conference ahead of the Premier League clash against runaway leaders Liverpool.“I know you [the reporters] want to speak about Harry, I don’t want to speak because if I speak too much I get a bit depressed and then you are going to say I am miserable and depressed and in a bad mood so it’s better to speak about things that make me laugh.“The reality is that I came here two months ago, I knew the situation. I didn’t know I would lose Harry and Moussa Sissoko for so long.“But the situation was to get the best out of the players that we have. That doesn’t change.”last_img read more

Newcastle takeover excites Ameobi

first_imgRelatedPosts EPL: Newcastle set to extend winning streak Saudi may have enough uranium deposits to make nuclear fuel – Reports Saudi Arabia sets date to lift some international flight restrictions Newcastle United loans chief Shola Ameobi has said that there’s a lot of excitement inside the club amid takeover talk.While communication from the top of the club has been limited, he admits he and other staff at the club are getting excited by talk of the £300 million takeover getting closer. It was reported that the Saudi Arabia-backed deal was close and could be complete within the next seven days.“We’re excited about all the noises that we’re hearing,” Ameobi said on Sky Sports’ The Football Show.“But at the moment Im at home with the kids, homeschooling the kids, and just trying to stay safe.”When asked about what he’d heard from inside the club, Ameobi, who played for the first team for 14 years until 2014, admitted information had been thin on the ground.“I think the one thing over the last six weeks while we’ve been on furlough, there’s not really been any communication, we’re not allowed to do our day to day job, so communication hasn’t been there,” he said. “Lee Charnley has sent a couple of emails over this time to reassure us about what steps they’re trying to take but like you can imagine everything is silent.“Mike likes to do things discreetly and in his own way, and as employees we don’t get to know any of that, so we’re the same as you guys, just waiting and seeing what comes.”Tags: Newcastle UnitedSaudi ArabiaShola Ameobilast_img read more