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CHAPTER 17: APPENDIX - Table of Contents

17.1 - County Court Memorandum of Operation - 17.2 - Court Assignments

17.1 County Court Memorandum of Operation

20th JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF COLORADO
ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER
ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTIVE 01-103
SUBJECT: County Court Reorganization



TO: Judges and Magistrates, District Administrator, Clerk of Court, Division Clerks, Chief Probation Officer, Manager of Community Corrections, District Attorney, Chief Public Defender, Bond Commissioners

FROM: Roxanne Bailin Chief District Judge DATE: September 7, 2001



COUNTY COURT MEMORANDUM OF OPERATION

Effective Date: January 2, 2002

The County Court of the Twentieth Judicial District has developed a Memorandum of Operation to explain its structure and function with the assistance of representatives of all participants in the criminal and civil justice systems. This document describes the goals, expectations, structure, and operation of the County Court.

CRIMINAL CASES

Goals

Resolve cases in a timely fashion
Limit continuances to extraordinary, unanticipated circumstances
Enhance use of clerk resources
Provide trials more quickly
Provide earlier revocation hearings
Provide adequate motions hearing time on the docket
Reduce jail population held pretrial
Even out each judge's workload
Create a docket cycle that accurately reflects the work being scheduled

Expectations

The attorneys who practice in Boulder County Court already confer at an early stage in the proceedings. Accordingly, a major culture change is not required. It is true, however, that each event scheduled on the dockets in County Court not been perceived as a "meaningful event," that is, an event that moves the case forward. In addition, these events have been too distant from one another to allow for early disposition. As a result ten times as many trial are set than actually go to trial, thus clogging the docket with cases that are not really destined for trial.

The County Court expects that each event scheduled in a case will be a meaningful event that will move the case forward. To that end, all participants in the case will anticipate the work necessary to meet this expectation, will do that work, and will be prepared to accomplish the task associated with each event. For example, offers of disposition, shall be developed and delivered to opposing counsel in a timely fashion so that counsel may evaluate the offer, discuss the mater with the client, perform an prerequisites if possible, and be ready for disposition at the earliest event possible. In addition, if victim consultation is required by law or restitution must be determined, these tasks should be accomplished in a timely fashion. If discovery is necessary, the participants will proceed to obtain discovery as soon as possible.

The County Court will set for trial only cases that are likely to go to trial so that fewer cases will be set for trial and so that the trial calendar will more truly reflect cases that will go to trial.

The County Court also expects that requests for continuances will be made only for unforeseen and exceptional circumstances. The County Court expects the District Attorney's Office to use best efforts to obtain the vacation and training schedules of officers on a regular basis in order to reduce the continuances requested because of the unavailability of officers.

District attorneys and defense lawyers will be expected to prepare for trial quickly with it is determined that disposition is unlikely. The Court will engage in differential case management and set cases approximately. The goal is that 90% of the misdemeanor and traffic cases will be resolved within 90 days of the first pre-trial conference and 98% will be resolved within 120 days.

Structure and Operation

Attached is the County Court rotation system.

Filings and In-Custody Pre-Trial Conferences

During Intake, cases in which filings and in-custody pre-trial conference are not accomplished during the week of the first appearance at the jail shall be held over to the following week and become the cases of the next judge in the rotation. Those cases will remain the cases of the judge who handles the filings and the in-custody pre-trial conference.

Pre-Trial Conferences and Representation

With regard to Defendants who are able to post bond before 2:00 p.m. first appearances at the jail with regard to Defendants who are given summonses rather than arrested, the Defendants shall:

1. Return on bond or summons to the County Court Magistrate's Division
2. Engage in a pre-trial conference with the District Attorney
3. Enter into disposition before the Magistrate (whether pro se or represented by counsel), or
4. When the disposition is not accepted, the Defendant,
a. if charged with domestic violence regardless of whether represented by the Public Defender, represented by private counsel, or pro se, will be set for another pre-trial conference on a Tuesday morning in the District Attorney's office, or
b. if pro se, not charged with domestic violence, and interested in talking with the Public Defender, will be wet for another pre-trial conference on a Wednesday morning in the District Attorney's office,
c. if pro se, not charged with domestic violence, and planning to hire private counsel or to proceed pro se, will be set for another pre-trial conference on a Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon in the District Attorney's office.

All monolingual Spanish speakers will be set for Tuesday mornings if charged with domestic violence and for Wednesdays if they are not.

Nothing in this plan prohibits the District Attorney from setting another pre-trial conference in the Magistrate's Division for cases that will be dismissed if the Defendant can provide certain paperwork.

Nothing in this plan prohibits attorneys from entering their appearances, waiving arraignment, and setting their cases for pre-trial conferences.

With regard to Defendants who express an interest in talking to the Public Defender, the District Attorney will obtain a completed application form from such Defendants; attach a from to the front of the application form that states the name, case number, charges, and date of pre-trial conference set in the District Attorney's office; and place these forms and applications in the Public Defender's relay box by the end of the day. In this fashion, the Public Defender's office will be able to screen the Defendants for eligibility and become prepared for the pre-trial conference set in the division. The Public Defender's office shall provide an instruction form to the District Attorney's office for distribution to the Defendants. The District Attorney's office is not expected to assist Defendants in completing the forms.

Defendants who wish to speak with the Public Defender before the next pre-trial conference in the District Attorney's office shall be encouraged to call the Public Defender's office and make an appointment; however, the referral of information to the Public Defender's office is designed to avoid continuances caused by the failure of Defendant's to contact the Public Defender's office before the next court appearance.

Defendants who are in custody at the 2:00 p.m. first appearance may have in-custody pre-trial conferences. The Court may also schedule a second in-custody pre-trial conference. At that point, the Public Defender will enter if the Defendant is eligible for representation. If the second in-custody pre-trail does not result in a disposition, the case will be set for case management conference. Any Defendant who is released on bond and who did no participate in a second in-custody pre-trail conference shall be set for a pre-trial conference pursuant to the schedule set froth above in numbered paragraph 4.

Each Division will maintain a Tuesday and a Wednesday during each rotation during which the judge will take immediate dispositions upon the acceptance of a plea disposition at the pre-trial conference.

Case Management Conference

In the event that a disposition is not reached at the pre-trial conference, the case will be set for a case management conference approximately two weeks from the pre-trial conference. The Defendant must be present regardless of whether he or she is represented. If the Defendant is represented, both the Defendant and counsel must be present. The conference may be held in court on the record or in chambers on the record at the discretion of the judge. The judge will discuss with counsel and the Defendant whether discovery has been completed and if not, what remains to be done and how it will be done. In addition, the judge will discuss whether motions will be filed and if so, what issues will be raised. The judge will not express an opinion concerning the strength or quality of any motion. If requested by the defense attorney or the Defendant, the judge may discuss the consequences of plea or trial in terms of sentencing if he or she wishes to do so. Although dispositions may be reached before or after management conferences, the judge will not press the parties for dispositions.

In the event that a disposition is not reached at the case management conference, the judge may set the case for motions if motions have already been filed or if motions are likely to be filed. Filing motions at the case management conference is preferred but not required. If motions have not been filed, the judge will give the parties a date by which motions must be filed.

The judge may:

1. set the case for trial if motions definitely will not be filed, or
2. set the case for motions only and wait until the motions hearing to set the case for trial, or
3. set the case for motions and trial.

The judge's decision will be based upon the importance of the motions, the likelihood of dispositions at the motions date, the likelihood of trial, and any other factors the judge deems relevant. The preferred course of action is setting motions date only. Motions filing dates will be set approximately one week from the case management conference. Motions hearings dates will e set approximately three weeks from the case management conference. Every effort will be make to set trials at least thirty days but no more than sixty days from the motions date or the case management conference date if no motions are anticipated.

At the case management conference, the judge shall determine whether the case should be set on a two-day trailing docket or given a firm date. This determination shall be made for each case.

Defendants who are not represented by counsel at the case management conference but who state the intention to hire counsel shall be given a return date for an additional case management conference as soon as possible. Defendants who continue to be pro se at the continued case management conference shall be deemed to proceeding without counsel and given a pre-trial readiness conference date. Judge may wish to instruct such Defendants to observe a trial or to view a videotape of a trial if such a videotape is made available.

Motions Hearings

In the event that a disposition is not reached at the motions hearing, the case will be set for trial unless the trial date was already set at the case management trial.

Trial

Any Defendant who has not already reached a disposition the week before the jury trial, may reach a disposition agreement no later than the Thursday of the week prior to the trial.

Post-Trial Revocations

Revocation hearings will be set for two Friday per four-week rotation.

Miscellaneous

The judges shall make available several setting during non-trial days, such as 9:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

The judge shall pre-approve personal recognizance bonds on revocation warrants whenever appropriate.

Every judge will use best efforts to cooperate with the transfer of dockets and trials between judges as may be reasonably necessary under the circumstances.

CIVIL CASES

Non-Jury trials

Civil non-jury trials shall be set on two Monday afternoons during each rotation. The Court may order mediation or settlement conferences as it deems necessary.

Jury trial:

Civil jury cases shall be set on any of four jury trial days during each rotation.

TRO/PRO Hearings

During intake, the judge will do the TRO's until 12:00 p.m. and will then turn this duty over to his or her "companion" judge. The companion judge for Judge A is Judge B. Likewise, when Judge B is in Intake, Judge A will hear TRO's after 12:00 p.m. When Judge C is in Intake, then Judge D will be the "companion" judge for TRO's, and Judge C will cover the TRO's after 12:00 p.m. for Judge D. The judge who hears the TRO will ordinarily hear the PRO. The Traffic/Misdemeanor Magistrate will also be assigned TRO's and PRO's as indicated on the schedule.

Hon. Roxanne Bailin
Chief Judge
Twentieth Judicial District

Judge A/Day

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Monday

Morning: TRO's until 12:00 p.m.; Afternoon: Intake

PRO's Civil Trials (non-jury)

TRO's after 12:00p.m.; (optional full-day civil trials) Civil Trials (non-jury)

Felony PH/Status/Dispo

Tuesday

Same

Civil and Criminal Trials

TRO's after 12:00 p.m.;* Chambers Work during DA Pretrials with Immediate Dispo if Plea

Civil and Criminal Trials

Wednesday

Same

Civil and Criminal Trials

TRO's after 12:00 p.m.; Chambers Work during DA Pretrials with Immediate Dispo if Plea

Civil and Criminal Trials

Thursday

Same PH/Status/Dispos

PRO's; Case Mgmt. Confs; Motions; Sentencing; Dispos

TRO's after 12:00p.m.;Case Mgmt. Confs.; Motions; Sentencing; Dispos

Felony PH/ Status Dispos

Friday

Same* Plus Expedited Felony/Status

Motions; Dispos; Revocation Hearings

TRO's after 12:00 p.m.; Motions, Dispos

PRO's; Motions; Dispos; Revocation Hearings

 

Judge B/Day

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Monday

TRO's after 12:00 p.m. (optional full-day civil trials) Civil Trials (non-jury)

Felony PH/ Status/Dispos

Morning: TRO's until 12:00 p.m. Afternoon: Intake

PRO's; Civil Trials (non-jury)

Tuesday

TRO's after 12:00 p.m.;* Chambers Work during DA Pretrials with Immediate Dispo if Plea

Civil and Criminal Trials

Same

Civil and Criminal Trials

Wednesday

TRO's after 12:00 p.m.; Chambers Work during DA Pretrials with Immediate Dispo if Plea

Civil and Criminal Trials

Same

Civil and Criminal Trials

Thursday

TRO's after 12:00 p.m.; CAse Mgmt. Confs.; Motions; Sentencing; Dispos

Felony PH/ Status/Dispos

Same PH/Status/Dispos

PRO's; Case Mgmt. Congs; Motions; Sentencing; Dispos

Friday

TRO's after 12:00 p.m.; Motions; Dispos

PRO's; Motions;Dispos; Revocation Hearings

Same* Plus Expedited Felong/Status

Motions;Dispos; Revocation Hearings

 

*The traffic misdemeanor magistrate will hear all Tuesday afternoon TRO's and all Friday morning TRO's. The magistrate will set PRO's associated with those TRO's on Tuesday afternoons and Friday mornings and will set any PRO's referred from the judges on Tuesday afternoons.

Judge C/Day

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Monday

Felony PH/ Status/Dispo

Morning: TRO's until 12:00 p.m. Afternoon: Intake

PRO's; Civil Trials (non-jury)

TRO's after 12:00 p.m. (optional full-day civil trials) Civil Trials (non-jury)

Tuesday

Civil and Criminal Trials

Same

Civil and Criminal Trials

TRO's after 12:00 p.m.;* Chamber Work during DA Pretrials with Immediate Dispo if Plea

Wednesday

Civil and Criminal Trials

Same

Civil and Criminal Trials

TRO's after 12:00 p.m.; Chamber Work during DA Pretrial with Immediate Dispo if Plea

Thursday

Felony/PH Status/Dispo

Same Plus Expedited Felony/Status

PRO's CAse Mgmt. Conf.; Motions; Sentencing; Dispos

TRO's after 12:00 p.m.; Case Mgmt. Confs.; Motions;Sentencings; Dispos

Friday

PRO's; Motions; Dispos; Revocation Hearings

PRO's; Motions;Dispos; Revocation Hearings

Same* Plus Expedited Felony/Status

TRO's after 12:00 p.m.; Motions;Dispos

 

Judge D/Day

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Monday

PRO's Civil Trials (non-jury)

TRO's after 12:00 p.m. (optional full-day civil trials) Civil Trials (non-jury)

Felony PH/ Status/Dispo

Morning: TRO's until 12:00 p.m. Afternoon: Intake

Tuesday

Civil and Criminal Trials

TRO's after 12:00p.m.;* Chambers Work during DA Pretrials with Immediate Dispo if Plea

Civil and Criminal Trials

Same

Wednesday

Civil and Criminal Trials

TRO's after 12:00 p.m.; Chambers Work during DA Pretrials with Immediate Dispo if Plea

Civil and Criminal Trials

Same

Thursday

PRO's; Case Mgmt.

TRO's after 12:00 p.m.; Case Mgmt. Confs.; Motions; Sentencing; Dispos

Felony PH/ Status/Dispo

Same Plus Expedited Felony/Status

Friday

Motions; Dispos; Revocation Hearings

TRO's after 12:00 p.m.; Motions; Dispos

PRO's; Motions; Dispos; Revocation Hearings

Same* Plus Expedited Felony/Status

 

*The traffic misdemeanor magistrate will hear all Tuesday afternoon TRO's and all Friday morning TRO's. The magistrate will set PRO's associated with those TRO's on Tuesday afternoons and Friday mornings and will set any PRO's referred from the judges on Tuesday afternoons.

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