Talking about Courtroom Scheduling

Under the article “County Board Considers Multi-Million Dollar Construction,” commenter “Questioning” has a couple of sentences about the court system’s wasting people’s time that I would like to comment on.

Here’s the whole comment with the part that interested me most in enlarged bold face type:

emiclake pretty well nails it.

Population drops from 320,000 to 308,000 so we need to expand government buildings.

Here is the population estimates that accompanied the Kluber Architect's suggestions of additions, remodeling the courthouse complex.

Here is the population estimates that accompanied the Kluber Architect’s suggestions of additions, remodeling the courthouse complex.

We sure do elect the dumb ones don’t we?

How about we eliminate the court curtain call and schedule attendance?

This business of having EVERYONE THERE first thing in the morning is an insult to the taxpayers!!

How about we move the health department to the Mental Health Board Taj(x) Mahal?

How about we start using Elgin Mental Health center for what it was designed instead of incarcerating the mentally ill in our jail?]

We already have too much government – more building = more government!!

= = = = =

I’ve sat in McHenry County courtrooms shaking my head at how much time that judges spend determining their calendars.

What I do not understand is why scheduling clerks could not perform the same task and let the judges hear cases.

Does this have something to do with how lawyers bill their clients?

It seems to me that most of the scheduling could even be done remotely.

Surely there must be some computer program that could juggle the parties’ and the judges’ schedules as well or better than the judges themselves.

Judges just get paid too much to spend time on such a routine function.


Talking about Courtroom Scheduling — 9 Comments

  1. Thank you Cal. You explain everything much better than I can. The parking lots at the court house fills to capacity every morning court is in session and by 09:00 am it starts to empty.
    In addition, why is the jury pool present first thing in the morning when it has not yet been determined if a trial is going to need a jury?
    The last time I was called for jury duty, about 70 potential jurors showed up at 08:00 a.m. Around 09:00 am a judge came in and addressed the pool about serving. At 11:20 we were ALL sent home. Not one juror actually sat on a jury! What a waste of taxpayer dollars!!!

    No wonder we are so heavily taxed!!

  2. U.S. census lists the County population at 307,343 as of July last year.
    The chart above is already on the high side.

    If Andy Shaw and the Democrats have their way and pensions become taxable (at any level) in this State, the exodus will accelerate. I can see the for sale signs in Del Webb going up already!

    Yes Jack Franks is a Democrat and has voted to retain Michael Madigan as house speaker and chief obstructionist to Rauner’s attempt for a state recovery.

  3. When I chaired Management Services the suggestion to stagger the court calls and to “use the internet” for rescheduling court dates was a standing request with the court administration.

    We were told it was not possible.

    I have vehemently disagreed with that conclusion.

    It is only commonsense.

    There are places and departments where a whole new mindset on how county government operates is becoming more and more evident.

  4. “Surely there must be some computer program that could juggle the parties’ and the judges’ schedules as well or better than the judges themselves.”

    Want to see some big-time patronage pork barrel spending?

    Ask a department of county government to purchase a software program.

    Here’s how it would go down.

    Spend $2M on consultants to look for a program that fits the needs (wants) of the idiots in charge and/or rabble.

    When the consultants come back with a recommendation that no off-the-shelf program can do everything the idiots in charge demand the program do, they recommend we have a program coded from the ground up.

    In the mean time, someone’s spouse gets a 9-month correspondence course certificate in computer coding and are all the sudden the most qualified vendor to code the software.

    The spouse gets a $10M contract to write the program plus a $1M a year contract to provide support in perpetuity (because the only person who can service a bespoke program is the person who wrote it).

    The program never actually works but has just enough functionality that they county can’t cancel the contract.

    All of this because people think these they know how to do judges’ jobs better than the judges do.

  5. rawdogger?

    Your premise was wonderful all the way through until your last sentence.

    That didn’t make any sense.

  6. Hey, while we are talking about the courtroom, it’s time for Judge Mary Nader to RESIGN!

    I have witnessed her in the courthouse and it is a pathetic display of professionalism.

  7. Forget the correspondence course.

    The spouse just subs out the coding work for a fraction of the contracted amount and keeps the lions-share for generaling/brokering the deal.

  8. Is that what happened in the Circuit Clerk’s Office in a previous administration?

  9. Cal, the problem is you identified the problem, but there is no solution.

    The problem is that judges learn how to be judges from the judges who preceded them.

    This would be fine, but often the judge who preceded the new judge was terrible.

    They all insist that defendants be in court on their court dates because Tuesday.

    No really, they insist that defendants and parties be at routine scheduling court dates that there is no need for the defendants or parties attendance (it only requires their attorneys).

    If I had to guess, this justifies having 18 judges (at 160k/yr a pop).

    The funny part that you never get to is that the traffic court judge gets 160,000 a year for doing a job that makes $80,000 in any other part of the country.

    They constantly make up rules that make the parties and defendant’s head explode with confusion and anger.

    I am waiting for a juror to go postal from the “special needs” way they assemble juries (when there aren’t any jury trials going).

    The hilarious part is that until recently they would set jury trial cases in criminal matters in misdemeanor jury trial with no pre trial conference beforehand (This was the practice for about 15 years).

    Of course the cases would settle on the trial date, with the jurors left holding the bag.

    The entire system suffers from the absence of any real court management from the Chief Judge, and the Circuit Judges as a group.

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