Code of Judicial Administration – Comment Period Closed September 24, 2020

CJA04-0202.02. Records Classification (AMEND). Minor’s names will be public in stalking injunctions. Reflects current practice.

CJA06-0507. Court Visitor (NEW). New rule outlining the appointment and role of court visitors, and establishing a process for review of court visitor reports.

CJA03-0407. Accounting (AMEND). Clarifies that “bail” refers to “monetary bail.” Amends examples of trust accounts to reflect the most common fund types.

CJA04-0609. Procedure for obtaining fingerprints and Offense Tracking Numbers on defendants who have not been booked in jail (AMEND). Clarifies that “bail” means release.

CJA010-01-0404. Attendance and assistance of prosecutors in criminal proceedings (AMEND). Clarifies that “bail” refers to “monetary bail.”

CJA04-0401.01. Electronic media coverage of court proceedings (AMEND). Clarifies that the rule applies to viewing proceedings by remote transmission. Eliminates the requirement for pool coverage. Any media who register may attend. Electronic access may be terminated for violations of the rule.

CJA04-0401.02. Possession and use of portable electronic devices (AMEND). Defines court proceedings. Prohibits individuals from recording or photographing remote proceedings.


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3 thoughts on “Code of Judicial Administration – Comment Period Closed September 24, 2020
  1. Tracy L. Olson

    CJA Rule 6-507 has a (5) missing in Section (2)(C) “to investigate the respondent’s circumstances and well-being, including when an attorney is not appointed under 75-5-303(d);” it appears that it should be 75-5-303(5)(d).
    Additionally, (3)(B) may place an undue burden on the court visitor as it mandates that the court visitor “will” do certain things, which include interviewing the physician and anyone known to have treated the respondent and meeting with the respondent in person at their place of dwelling. Some physicians can be difficult to get a hold of and interview them and all know treating physicians who may not have treated respondent for conditions relevant to the issues before the court may be a difficult thing to ask of a volunteer. Further, several facilities are not allowing outside visitors given the current situation with Covid-19 making a meeting with respondents at their place of dwelling impracticable. It may be better changed to “may” instead of “will” or to have that the court may order those particular duties be carried out, but that they are not mandated in every case.

  2. Jim Hunnicutt

    Rule 04-0401.02 seems to be aimed at accomplishing two different things: (1) describing how cell phones, laptops, and other electronic devices can be used inside a courthouse, and (2) prohibiting any kind of recording of court proceedings, regardless of the type of device. However, this rule includes unnecessary qualifying language muddying that second message. For instance, line 41 implies you cannot record court proceedings while “us[ing] portable electronic devices in courtrooms,” and lines 58-59 imply you cannot record proceedings while “viewing court proceedings conducted by remote transmission.” Lines 44 and 60 indicate that recording a court proceeding is only prohibited if done with a “portable electronic device.” Several portions of this rule could be deleted and replaced with broader and simpler language such as: “Other than court clerks acting within the scope of their authority, no one may record any court proceedings whatsoever. This prohibition applies to any and all recordings, including, but not limited to, recording images, sounds, speech, and/or any other type of video or audio, and regardless of whether the recording is made inside or outside a courtroom.”

    The proposed amendment changes the term “portable electronic device” in the Definitions section to “electronic device,” but throughout the rest of the rule, it keeps using the original term “portable electronic device.”

    Section (1)(B) seems outdated respecting some of the different types of devices listed. Consider adding “tablet computer,” “smartphone,” and “smartwatch.”

  3. Michael A Jensen

    CJA Rule 6-507 is unnecessary. Currently, court visitors are routinely appointed and provide the courts with sufficient information for the court to act appropriately under the circumstances.

    This new rule will unduly financially burden Respondent’s estate or Respondent’s family. Even if the court visitor is a volunteer, the time required by the proposed guardian and conservator will generate an expense to Respondent if such guardian or conservator is a professional. This financial burden particularly arises from Subsections (2)(2)(D) and (2)(2)(F) where the court visitor is obligated to ascertain the guardian’s or conservator’s plans for Respondent’s residence. Also, if included, this subsection should add the word “conservator” since it is generally the conservator who deals with Respondent’s residence, not the guardian.

    Subsection (2)(2)(A) is the most common use of the court visitor should present no problem, although the current system provides this without this new rule.

    Subsection (2)(2)(C) is too vague and may create an implied obligation on the court visitor to become an advocate for Respondent although Respondent already has an attorney of Respondent’s choice or by appointment of the court. This is subsection also may empower a court visitor beyond what it is intended, thereby resulting in an adversarial situation that escalates legal fees for Respondent. Remember, as a matter of law all of the legal fees incurred become the burden of Respondent, assuming the petition to appoint is not found to be without merit. There have been numerous cases where a court visitor feels so empowered they consider themselves the person who is to “protect” Respondent, despite the fact that Respondent already has an attorney advocate. In these instances, unnecessary legal fees are incurred in resolving the court visitor’s improper advocacy. In effect, the court visitor becomes an adverse third party.

    Subsection (3)(3)(B)(iii) is problematic, since it is often very difficult to actually ‘interview” a physician. The common practice is to have a letter or report from a physician describing Respondent’s condition sufficiently to opine about the need for a guardian and/or conservator. Such letter or report is generally competent evidence for the court to approve the appointment of a guardian and/or conservator. If there is a dispute over the cognitive status of Respondent, generally the court will appoint a physician to evaluate Respondent and issue a report. There is no need for a court visitor to interview the physician.