Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thursday March 11, 2010

As I mentioned yesterday I am away at an ABA meeting but am able to give you this update as provided to me by someone who has knowledge of what happened on Wednesday and this morning.
"Yesterday, House Judiciary heard from Bob Greemore about possible sources for the $250,000+/- savings they need to find to make up for the fact that they’ve added two FTEs to the Probate Judge count proposed by the Commission. [So there will be six full-time probate judges and two half-time probate judges for eight probate election districts altogether. Half-time judges are in Franklin-Grand Isle and Addison.]
Then they moved to assistant judges. The Committee had a consensus that Assistant Judges should no longer sit in their so-called “side judge” role. The Committee had consensus that whatever is ultimately decided, the AJs need a job description; they need to meet training requirements; the training needs to be under the auspices of the Court Administrator’s Office; and those who run and are elected are expected to fulfill the job description. [In other words, it’s no longer voluntary as to whether or not AJs sit on cases for which they’re eligible, once they’ve successfully met training requirements.]
Today, after further discussion, the straw poll of the Committee was that AJs would have no “side” judge responsibilities; no small claims responsibilities; and no municipal ordinance responsibilities, but that they would have traffic responsibilities.
The Committee also decided that although probate judges must be lawyers, Probate Judge Hodgdon would be grandfathered so he could continue to sit as a probate judge so long as he continues to be elected.
Magistrates will be subject to retention.
There will be language regarding a transitional period for ADA compliance by county courthouses that will allow for planning and costs to be placed in capital bill.
They changed the language of the current draft re: probate registers. Now it will say something along the following lines: the court administrator will designate a probate register in each unit, and the probate register can designate additional registers with approval of the court administrator."
Tomorrow is the committee's deadline. I'll post a link to the final bill as soon as I have it. Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. Bob,
    Thanks for the update.
    I checked the calendar today and found that the Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act survived Cross Over Day.
    So did the Jury Trial bill.