FINAL 2021 Annual Report

“Contact tracing,” public health, N95, KN95, social and physical distancing, plexiglass, and a host of uncommon words became as familiar as our daily legalese and, many times, challenged the core mission of the court to provide access to justice. The severe budget reductions imposed on our court, within a swift 90 days as the world experienced an economic shutdown, were as unprecedented as the pandemic. Court leaders worked hard to stay within our guidelines of ensuring our team’s health, safety, and well-being so they could take care of our community. One of many goals included the least impact to our employees, which meant limiting furlough days and avoiding lay-offs at the cost of holding vacant positions open. The long-term goal to preserve the institution and the quality of our staff was achieved, as was exhibited by the loyalty, passion, flexibility, and sheer willpower of all our judicial officers and staff. During the worst of the pandemic in 2021, our court continued to find creative ways to increase access to justice. Through a series of technology grants, the court implemented a variety of tools including live audio streaming, expanded remote mediation appointments for visitation and custody issues, remote settlement conferences, and other calendared matters in all case types, such as in Juvenile Dependency Court. On August 30, 2021, we began our first remote civil jury trial. Self-Help services continued through our remote platform Direct Access to Self-Help (DASH). We completed the final go-live of our new case management system and soft-launched a home-grown product for remote access to cases and court documents.


NANCY CS EBERHARDT Court Executive Officer



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