Good docket management matters because it supports: Legitimate role of the courts in all the legal work of society The value and importance of civil jury trials Dispute resolution accessible to all Legitimate dispute resolution options within trial court system Elected judges in carrying out the duties of their office Case law development through litigation and appeals process
Ethos of Docket Management Efficient docket management is a justice function because it profoundly impacts access to the justice system Single greatest problem in docket management: Postponing trial dates on or immediately prior to the trial date Complexity is the enemy The Court controls the Court’s docket One touch rule
Docket Management • Master calendar system vs. Individual calendar system • In either system, the single greatest docket mechanism is: • A date-certain for trial
Overview of how we will discuss docket management: Oregon Standards for Civil Time to Disposition Lane County Civil Time to Disposition Oregon Uniform Trial Court Rules – “Rule 7” tool Trial date postponements Oregon eCourt (if we have time)
Oregon Standards for Civil Time to Disposition 1. http://courts.oregon.gov/Multnomah/docs/AboutUs/OregonJudicialConferenceStandardsForTimelyDisposition_StandardsForTimelyDisposition.pdf • The Oregon Judicial Conference1 adopted Oregon standards for timely disposition in 1990. Each case type (e.g. civil and criminal) has benchmarks for timely disposition. The benchmark standard for each case type is set as follows: • 90% of cases shall be resolved by the first benchmark; • 98% shall be resolved by the second benchmark; and • 100% shall be resolved by the final benchmark.
Oregon Standards for Civil Time to Disposition • In civil cases, the benchmarks for a timely disposition are as follows: • 90% of all civil cases should be settled, tried, or otherwise concluded within 12 months of the date of case filing; • 98% of all civil cases should be settled, tried, or otherwise concluded within 18 months of such filing; • The remainder of all civil cases should be settled, tried, or otherwise concluded within 24 months of such filing. • Exceptions can be made for individual cases in which the court determines exceptional circumstances exist and for which a continuing review should occur.
National Standards for State Trial Courts: General Civil Cases 75% within 180 days (6 months) 90% within 365 days (12 months) 98% within 540 days (18 months) Civil cases include automobile torts and other personal injuries, contract disputes, product liability issues, malpractice matters, infringements of intellectual property, and requests for injunctions among other case types.
Uniform Trial Court Rules (UTCR) • UTCR 1.010 provides: • The Uniform Trial Court Rules, since October 1, 1985, have applied uniformly to all proceedings and actions in circuit court across Oregon. • The Uniform Trial Court Rules are construed so as to achieve consistency with statutory provisions and to promote the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every proceeding and action as well as the efficient use of judicial time and resources.
UTCR 7.020 or “Rule 7” UTCR 7.020, provides trial courts with the authority to actively manage cases towards conclusion. Rule 7 requires the court to maintain a pre-setting tracking system. This system allows the court to track case filings or lack of case filings on all cases before they are set for trial. Cases are tracked from the moment of filing.
UTCR 7.020 provides: (1) After service is made, the serving party must forthwith file the return or acceptance of service with the trial court administrator. (2) If no return or acceptance of service has been filed by the 63rd day after the filing of the complaint, written notice shall be given to the plaintiff that the case will be dismissed for want of prosecution 28 days from the date of mailing of the notice unless proof of service is filed within the time period
UTCR 7.020 (continued) • (3) If proof of service has been filed and any defendant has not appeared by the 91st day from the filing of the complaint, the case shall be deemed not at issue and written notice shall be given to the plaintiff that the case will be dismissed against each nonappearing defendant for want of prosecution 28 days from the date of mailing of the notice unless one of the following occurs • (a) An order of default has been filed and entry of judgment has been applied for. • (b) Good cause to continue the case is shown to the court on motion supported by affidavit and accompanied by a proposed order. • (c) The defendant has appeared
UTCR 7.020 (continued) (4) If all defendants have made an appearance, the case will be deemed at issue 91 days after the filing of the complaint or when the pleadings are complete, whichever is earlier. (5) The trial date must be no later than one year from date of filing for civil cases or six months from the date of the filing of a third-party complaint under ORCP 22 C, whichever is later, unless good cause is shown to the presiding judge or designee.
UTCR 7.020 (continued) • (6) Parties have 14 days after the case is at issue or deemed at issue to: • (a) Agree among themselves and with the presiding judge or designee on a trial date within the time limit set forth above. • (b) Have a conference with the presiding judge or designee and set a trial date. • (7) If the parties do neither (a) nor (b) of (6) above, the calendar clerk will set the case for trial on a date that is convenient to the court.
For purposes of Rule 7: Determining “At Issue” (UTCR 7.020(4)) • If all defendants have made an appearancethe case will be deemed “at issue” either: • 91 days after the filing of the complaint; or • When the pleadings are complete • (whichever comes earlier) • When a defendant’s first filing is a motion, rather than an answer, the case is determined “At Issue” 91 days after the filing of the complaint. • The filing of a motion is an appearance pursuant to this rule.
63-Day Notice (Please see Attachment A) • Notice of Intent to Dismiss – No proof of service has been filed with the court as to the party listed… the Court will dismiss this case as to the party listed below in 28 days. The case will be dismissed for want of prosecution unless one of the following occurs prior to the 28 day deadline: • A) Proof of service is filed with the court • B) Good cause to continue the case is shown to the court on motion supported by affidavit. • C) The listed party files an appearance with the court.
63-Day Dismissal (Please see Attachment B) Notice having heretofore been given to counsel that unless proof of service was filed within 28 days from the date of said notice, or good cause to continue the case was shown to the court it would be dismissed, and it appearing that no such action has been taken; It further appearing to the Court that filing fees, services fees and other costs, in the above-captioned case, were deferred by court order and have not been paid; And the Court being fully advised, IT IS THE JUDGMENT OF THE COURT that the above entitled case be, and it is hereby dismissed. The party(s) listed below a money award is hereby entered in favor of the State of Oregon for deferred fees.
91-Day Notice (Please see Attachment C) Appearance or Default 91 Days - UTCR 7.020(3) No appearance or default has been filed with the court as to the party listed at the bottom of this notice. The court will dismissthis case as to the party listed below in 28 days. The case will be dismissed for want of prosecution unless one of the following occurs prior to the 28 day deadline: a) An order of default has been filed and entry of judgment has been applied for. b) Good cause to continue the case is shown to the court on motion supported by affidavit. c) The listed party files an appearance with the court.
91-Day Dismissal (Please see Attachment D) Notice having been given that this case would be dismissed as to (Non-Appearing Party) listed below who had not made an appearance in the case or who had not been defaulted unless good cause was shown to the Court for failure to default the party or to require the party to make an appearance, and it appearing that no such action has been taken; And the Court being fully advised, IT IS THE JUDGMENT OF THE COURT that the above-entitled case be, and it is hereby dismissed as to (Non-Appearing Party)
Determining “At Issue” (UTCR 7.020(4)) • If all defendants have made an appearance the case will be deemed “at issue” either: • 91 days after the filing of the complaint; or • When the pleadings are complete (whichever comes earlier) • When a defendant’s first filing is a motion, rather than an answer, the case is determined “At Issue” 91 days after the filing of the complaint. • The filing of a motion is an appearancepursuant to this rule.
At Issue Notice (Please see Attachment E) IMPORTANT NOTICE: PLEASE READ Pursuant to Uniform Trial Court Rule Chapter 7, this case has been identified as being ready to be assigned a trial date. Except for substantial hardship shown to the presiding judge or his designee, this case must be assigned a trial date that is no later than eleven (11) months from the date of filing. (UTCR 7.020 (5)) To set this matter for trial, you may do any one of the following: • Call the calendar clerk at 682-6521 within fourteen (14) days of the date of this notice and agree on a trial date that has been agreed upon by the parties; • Arrange a conference call with the presiding judge or designee within fourteen (14) days of this notice to set a trial date. • Do neither 1. or 2. and the calendar clerk will assign the case a trial date that is convenient to the court. PLEASE NOTE THAT ONCE SET, TRIAL DATES ARE CONSIDERED BY THE COURT TO BE FIRM DATES AND THE COURT WILL BE PREPARED TO TRY YOUR CASE ON THE ASSIGNED DATE. TRIALS WILL NOT BE POSTPONED BECAUSE A PARTY IS NOT PREPARED, OR THE DATE IS THE "FIRST SETTING", OR FOR ANY OTHER NON-EXTRAORDINARY REASON. PLAN ACCORDINGLY.
National Standards for State Trial Courts: Service of Process In 98% of cases, service of process should be completed within 60 days In 98% of cases, responsive pleadings should be filed or default judgments entered within 90 days In 98% of cases, discovery should be completed within 300 days In 98% of cases, trials should be initiated within 480 days
Trial date postponement(Please see Attachment F) • Uniform Trial Court Rule 6.030 Postponement of Trial (continued): • A request to postpone a trial must be by motion. • A motion to postpone a trial must be signed by the attorney of record and contain a certificate stating that counsel has advised the client of the request and must set forth: • the date scheduled for trial, • the reason for the requested postponement, • the dates previously set for trial, • the date of each previous postponement, and • whether any parties to the proceeding object to the requested postponement.
Trial date postponement • Uniform Trial Court Rule 6.030 Postponement of Trial provides: • If a motion to postpone a civil trial is based upon stipulation of the parties: • The new trial date must be within the time periods set forth in UTCR 7.020(5), • The motion must be filed at least 28 days before the date then set for trial, • The motion must be signed by the attorneys of record, • The motion must contain a certificate stating that the attorneys have advised their clients of the stipulation and the clients agree to the postponement, and • The motion must set forth the date scheduled for trial, the new trial date requested, and that the new date is available on the court’s trial docket.
Oregon eCourt Oregon eCourt is the Oregon Judicial Department’s transition to an electronic courthouse that will “go live” in the Lane County Circuit Court in 2015. Oregon eCourt promises to improve access to all court proceedings as well as transition the court to a more modern technology for the management of court records and information.
Oregon eCourt Better Access – Better Information – Better Outcomes Oregon eCourt will give courts and judges the tools they need to provide just, prompt, and safe resolution of civil disputes; to improve public safety and the quality of life in our communities; and to improve the lives of children and family in crisis. Implementation of the Oregon eCourt Case Information system and other components of Oregon eCourt will occur in three major phases over a five year period: the Pilot phase, the Early Adopters phase, and the Remaining Courts phase. Go Live in Lane County: March 9, 2015
Party Based System Odyssey uses an algorithm to match up party records and merge identical parties together. When a search is conducted, all available county records can be displayed for that party.