Metropolitan News-Enterprise

 

Monday, December 16, 2002

 

Page 3

 

Judicial Council Announces Recipients of Administrative Innovation Award

 

By ALLISON LOMAS, Staf Writer

 

The Judicial Council of California Friday recognized the efforts of the Nevada and Orange Superior Courts for innovative programs that improved access to the judicial system, by naming them among this yearís winners of the 2002 Ralph N. Kleps Award for Improvement in Administration of the Courts.

The Nevada County court created a Public Law Center to assist the growing number of self-represented clients navigate the court system, and the Orange County court installed high-speed computerized kiosks at all seven of its locations to provide the public free and instant access to all of the courtís preprinted forms.

In total, 10 courts were recognized this year, including the Superior Courts of Amador, San Benito, Nevada, Yolo, San Joaquin, Sonoma, Orange, Riverside and San Diego Counties for innovative programs ranging from† Almador Superior Court becoming its own employer, to an outreach effort by San Benito Superior Court to inform teenagers about the legal and financial consequences of teen parenthood, to a cultural awareness video to educate the bench and judicial staff in San Joaquin County on the ways in which Southeastern Asian formalities can be misunderstood in the courtroom.

These programs were selected from a field of 44 nominated projects for their innovation. To qualify programs must be in operation for at least one year, be transferable to other courts and improve court administration.

They must also reflect at least one the Judicial Councilís long-range goals, which include access, fairness, diversity, independence and accountability, modernization, quality of justice and service to the public, education and technology.

This is the eleventh year that the Judicial Council has given the award named in honor of Ralph Kleps, a nationally recognized expert in the field of court administration, who served as Californiaís first administrative director of the courts from 1961 to 1977.

The Judicial Council instituted the Ralph N. Kleps Award to honor the contributions made by individual courts to improving access to a fair and impartial judicial system.

This yearís awards will be presented at the California Judicial Administration Conference in February.

 

Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company