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Joint | March 3, 2015 | Committee Room | Joint Appropriations on Justice and Public Safety

Full MP3 Audio File

Speaker: It's not gonna be so often. William, I know you're a fast talker and we're just gonna take questions as we go. William, you wanna begin? Oh, one point of business. Mr. Boles, our Chairman, wanted to introduce someone. Speaker: Yeah, I'd like to introduce Reverend David Fry from <00:21> Baptist Church in Widford Pines. Here's here as a guest today and just thank you for being here. Speaker: Thank you. Speaker: Yeah, I appreciate you coming and I'm sure you'll probably have some questions after this meeting, but anyway. Speaker: Thank you, Mr. Chair. We've lost our clicker. Good morning. I'm William Childs from Fiscal Research Division. Last week we talked, we did an inter-, we did an overview. [sil] Is that better? Can everybody hear me? [sil] Okay, I just need to talk loud? Ooh, wow. Okay. I like that. See if you all can hear me now. I think it was last week we did an overview of the administrative office of the courts. We are starting in with the presentations on the judicial branch. Today I wanna talk about workload and personnel at the administrative office of the courts and please do interrupt me if you have questions. We'll start with a little bit of background. As you recall, we're talking about the administrative office of the courts which is 469 million in general fund budget for this year. That's 18 percent of the JPS budget. You'll see this slide a few times, but the major points here are that 92-to-93 percent of AOC's general fund budget is made of personal services, that's people, and there are 533 elected officials, 548 judicial officials total, that are under AOC's umbrella. This is another way of looking at this umbrella. The trial courts take up the vast majority of AOC's budget. You can even include the specialty programs and District Attorney's and see that trial courts are mainly what AOC does. Here's another way of looking at personnel and again the clerks are a big part of what AOC does. And we saw, this slide and the next slide are the current trends in dispositions throughout the State of North Carolina. As you can see, they are going down in district courts and in superior courts, although if you look at the numbers underneath . . . the criminal non-traffic cases, there is some fluctuation there, but they are mostly stable. So, workload: traditionally from the point of unification basically until a few years ago the allocation of court resources were, were to take place in that AOC would come up with a list of how resources, personnel resources had to be allocated in the upcoming year. There was really not much in the way of an objective measure. People were going by well we need this, we need that and then the General Assembly would allocate these resources and there was a statutory minimum of certain types of personnel that are still in statue. However, starting in 2007 AOC worked with the National Center for State Courts which is kind of the national clearinghouse for court knowledge to create some kind of objective workload formulas. Now the idea here is that the workload formulas are . . . they take the subjective side out of the hands of AOC and they say here are some real ways to figure out where we need people and how to use these scant resources. These are currently considered a national standard for workload formulas and I do have a list of the personnel we are talking about. It is not everybody, but it is pretty close to it. This is how these work. So, the National Center for State Courts . . . [end transcript].

And came in and did time studies in various court houses around the state, basically estimating how much time is spent on cases, how much time is spent on administration for different type of workers, and they use these to determine case weights by the type of offense. So for instance, I've got up here that the average time an ADA would spend on a traffic case is six and a half minutes. Average time an ADA spends on a first degree murder is 10,173 minutes. So the workload need for each district is based on the number of cases that have come into that district, the type of cases, which are then weighed by the amount of time that the personnel spends on those types of cases divided by the amount of casework that a person could do in a year, basically. These workload assessments are still in place with the National Center for State Courts. This references a 2013 report that the NCSC put out which has, it outlines the way the workload assessments process should be an, an ideal assessment, which is more, which is more or less what happened here in North Carolina. There was an advisory committee, there were time studies, there were quality adjustments that were built into the workload study. I mention this because on bench time for judges is something that is talked about a lot around here, and that is included in the time studies that, that the NCSC performed on, when, when they did their studies of judges. So this is the type of work, the NCSC workload formula is used in 25 states, has done assessments in 38 states, two territories, and they have had some results in other states for changes in the way that they allocate personnel. This is a short analysis of the clerk of court workload for the current year. There are 20, 2,629.6 authorized positions. There is a workload determined need of 2754, and essentially what's below that, and I've tried to do this for the different personnel we're gonna go through, because it shows where the most need is and where the least need is. And so as you can see I pulled, and then there are a couple of different ways of cutting that. So you could say that by pure numbers, Wake county needs the most clerks. They 38.2 according to the workload formula. That means they are short that number of clerks. And then by percentages, they have the, the, the lowest ratio there of workload to need, so they have 6 number of clerks to the x number of need and that is at 76.8%. Which as you can see, Mecklenburg would be second by number, Onslow would be second by their workload, need ratio, and then the table at the bottom shows the least need. The ones that, the counties and districts that are the most over in terms of clerks to what the workload formula would have. As you can see on the left, it would be Vance by number. They have 4 clerks over their workload formula determined need, and on the right it would be Northampton which is at 131% of their workload to need ratio. There are 18 counties that need at least two clerks. There are only four that have more than two over the workload formula, and that is taking into account those with minimums, so there is a minimum number of six clerks per county. This chart shows clerk personnel excluding the elected clerks from 2008 to the present. This is in response to a question that Representative McNeill had last time we met. He wanted to see how personnel breaks down over time. We can go back to 2008 because it was the data and ?? only goes back to 2008. I could have pulled a couple more years, but I'd probably still be working on that now. As you can see the numbers have been fairly stable. The number now is very close to the number in 2008. There was a bump in 2009 in the number of clerks. I don't know why right now. I've put out a question asking why this is, but I do not know why there were three years where there were about 100 more clerks than there are now. This is average compensation back to 2008 for three levels of clerks, assistant clerk, deputy clerk, and deputy clerk bookkeeper. This is again, fairly stable. ?? the magistrate workload, there are 674.6 authorized. There's a current need, including a minimum of three per county

Of 692.5. Without that minimum, there would, we would have enough magistrates employed for the court system. We would be over workload formula recommendation, but many counties feel like they need three, sometimes four, because of geographic concerns. You can see the greatest negatives in Mecklenburg, both by number and percentage and the least negatives in Gaston by number which is two over, and Wilks by percentage, which is at 145%. There are 12 counties that need at least one magistrate. This is a combination of the number and the average compensation, so the red bars follow the axis on the left. That is the number of magistrates employed by the North Carolina court system or the FDE. The line follows the axis on the right and that shows average compensation over the last eight, eight years, which went up last year because of some changes that y'all put into the step plans, and I'll go into that in just a second. I think most people in this room are aware of the clerk and magistrate step plans and how they work. Just to provide a little bit of basic information here, the clerks, increases provided annually based on job performance. Magistrates are just provided on the anniversary date. This shows the minimums and maximums for both assistant clerks, who are the lieutenants of the clerk court and the deputy clerks who are the worker bees and for the magistrates. So the reason these step plans are of concern is that there were no experience based steps provided in the budget from fiscal year 09, 10 until the last year. There was a 1.2% across the board increase in pay provided to everybody in 12, 13 and, and the 2013 budget, there was funding for a step for the clerks, ?? 3.6 million, and there was funding for a step for the magistrates and an increase in their base pay, base rate of pay and that was at 3.7 million. These decisions will be made by the full chairs of appropriations. I just bring this up to provide the, the information for this committee. And then finally, clerk and magistrate turnover. For the deputy clerks, there is a 12% total turnover in the last year. Of that, 10% was voluntary. That means 10% were clerks that chose to leave instead of being forced out, and of those, 3% were retired. So that is a 7% voluntary turnover rate. For assistant clerks, it's much lower. There's a much higher retirement rate. And for magistrates it's lower too. Okay. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Faircloth. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you mister chairman. Do we ever do a comparison of personnel turnover ?? private sector ?? like jobs with the private sector? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you mister chair. I'd have to go to the salary and benefits team for that and they unfortunately could not be here today. But we can get that answer and get it back to you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Go ahead, Representative. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The question I have ?? increase in the small claims court. Has that done any, has that increased the workload of small claims ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Right here, so in the civil cases, district work civil cases have actually gone down, and it's hard to extract from that. I'm sorry, thank you mister chair. It's, it's hard to extract from that how much. Well, I'm sorry, the small claims cases here have been basically standard, have been stable over the last two years, and here, the civil cases are kind of all wrapped all together in the superior court. So it's hard to say how much of a, I'm sorry, it's hard to say how much of a shift has been evolved from that. I actually, I don't know the answer to that. Can, can AOC provide, can we ask AOC for a date? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Absolutely. ?? I don't know if you have

Speaker: . . . someone that can ask for this. Speaker: Give us just a few minutes Mr. Chair. Speaker: Alright we'll come back to you in just a sec. [sil.] [muffled speech; inaudible] Speaker: Oh, okay. Representative Graham? Speaker: Which one? Speaker: C before G. Speaker: Age before beauty. Speaker: I don't know, but that might be available. But go ahead. Speaker: I don't think I need to [00:34]. Speaker: My question . . . thank you, Mr. Chair . . . my question was what's the minimum requirements for the clerks? The positions? What's the minimum requirements for those positions? Speaker: Thank you Mr. Chair. I think the minimum requirements are a high school diploma. Is that correct? The clerks are nodding yes. Speaker: So, okay. I'll return the same thing for the deputy as well? A minimum? A high school diploma? Speaker: For the deputy clerks, yes sir, and that's generally where clerks will start. Assistant clerks may have, just depending on the people applying, but there may be law degrees involved there. There is usually more experience and more training involved in being an assistant clerk. Speaker: And clerks have to have a PhD in astrophysics. Judge? Speaker: John Smith, Director of Administrative Office of the Courts, the change in magistrate jurisdiction was October 2013. Their case loads have been dropping fairly consistently over time and when that went into effect we stabilized. Speaker: Okay. Any? Yeah, it would have to. Thank you. Thank you, Representative Jackson. Speaker: A follow-up for Judge Smith. I was just wondering . . . my understanding is that, that change of jurisdiction is actually optional . . . to the Chief District Court Judge. So do we know how many have chosen to increase the threshold and have how many have left it? And what the previous > Speaker: John Smith, Director of Administrative Office of the Courts. Initially when I met with the Chief District Court Judges it was about 50-50, but now up it's about two-thirds. Most of the Chief District Court Judges are finding that . . . . . . across the state is a compelling reason to . . . >. Speaker: Okay. Follow-up. Speaker: Thank, thank you. Speaker: Certainly. Speaker: And would there be any analysis of how the trends and filings compares to county's who have increased the jurisdictional level versus the county's that haven't? Speaker: John Smith, Director of Administrative Office of the Courts, we have not done that analysis. We could do that analysis if we could work the. . . . Speaker: Any follow up? Speaker: No. Speaker: Okay. Representative Graham, George. Speaker: [?? Inaudible] Speaker: Thank you, Mr. Chair. The turnover for the clerks . . . yah'l passed a special provision last year that allows clerks to keep their salary reserve and use that for, for raises within the clerks offices up to the point of a step. They can't actually get a full step, but they can approach a full step. So the salary reserve is actually kept within the clerk's offices right now and in terms of left salary that is used by AOC to help with operating budget concerns. Speaker: [?? Inaudible] Speaker: That is . . . the salary reserve . . . the new provision is limiting the amount that AOC can use for their operating budget in the current year. I don't think it's creating a fund balance; I believe it's being used. Speaker: [?? Inaudible] Speaker: In lap salary . . . I was talking about, about . . . yeah. Speaker: Does that complete your . . . ? Speaker: Sorry, sorry. Speaker: Okay, let's see. We've got a couple of folks. Senator Randleman. Speaker: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Speaker: Can I get the workload assessment? I may be getting ahead of where we are but a few years ago we had the <>. So, how was risk considered in the workloads assessment? Speaker: I-, I'm sorry. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chair. I think that these, I think the risk came after the workload assessment, so I'm not sure if-, I'm not sure exactly how AOC allocated that risk. I think I have to turn to AOC for that. Speaker: <> . . . Chauncey. The Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts. Until the budget cuts required us to eliminate people the workload formula had always been used as a tool for need. That is how many positions do you need? When the budget cut came, we needed some tool to determine where the elimination of positions would do the least damage. So using the workload formula in reverse was a new thing and in fact violated some promises and representations that had been made about how the workload formula would be used when they agreed to do the work studies to develop them. When the compelling cuts came and we began negotiating with the conferences and looking at how to address the cuts, it appeared that the workload formula was the best tool to determine where the position loses would have the least impact. Nobody wanted to lose positions; there's some skepticism about how accurate the workload formula is. It's a good tool for determining the relevant need, the relative needs, but whether it can determine your absolute need is an open question. So what the tool that we chose to use was the workload formulas for each group, so. In, before 2008 the General Assembly had given us 500 positions, new positions based on our needs using the workload formulas to some degree, but all of those added positions were lost and that's the explanation for that sudden drop in positions. When we did that, we identified where the cuts would have the least impact. Those that were over one-hundred percent on the workload formula all lost positions. I'm sure the Clerks can tell you about the impact of that. The workload formula showed they were over one-hundred percent; their perceptions were that they were not over one-hundred percent. So, after we eliminated close to 600 positions using the workload formulas, we recomputed. So the present workload formula charts show the revised numbers based on the positions, the new number of positions after subtracting out the ones that were lost. Speaker: Senator Randleman, does that answer you? Speaker: Yes. Speaker: Good. Okay, let's see. We had . . . Representative Harley, do you have a question? Speaker: Yes. Speaker: Go ahead. Speaker: ?? [3:23 -- Can't hear; someone is talking over her in the foreground]. Speaker: Yes, ma'am. I'm sorry. Thank you Mr. Chair. Yes, ma'am. Again. I'd have to go back to my salaries and benefits team to do that, but yes ma'am there is a way to break that down. Speaker: Did you have a follow-up? Is that . . . ? Okay, any other questions before we move on? Okay. <> See and done < Speaker: Thank you, Mr. Chair. So, this is . . . I'm using this map as a guidepost that we are returning to the district court districts from the county level positions. This is a breakdown of the current district judge workload. It shows the most need being in Gilford County by number and Cabbarus by ratio. This also shows the least need by number at 1.1. There is only one district that is more than one FDE over the workload formula over one hundred percent and that is district 9, 9B. Out of 41 district court districts there are 14 that have a need of at least one judge when rounded. And . . . district court staff workload, this shows need. There is, there is no, no district court district staff, district where staff has at least one FTE, one full FTE of need over the . . . [end transcript].

I work with a formula. According you going to Superior Court, the Superior Court Judge workload was based on a report called the Judicial Workload Assessment from 2011. At the time we found the need for 11 Superior Court Judges. Key points from the quality adjustment, which is one of the essential measures that NCSC found during judicial workload assessments. Judges, one more time for administrative work, drafting/reviewing orders, they felt that pre-trial conferences led to deficiencies. Calendar practices in North Carolina do effect judicial time and the time study, as I said, did include the bench time similar to other states that did this type of assessment. Current Superior Judge workload finds a need of 102.7 or 103 Superior Court Judges. However, if you add in the districts that are slightly over tend to discounted, or the divisions that are slightly over tend to get discounted. So, the full need right now is 106.3, this has dropped a lot since 2011 when it was 112, so the number of judges predicted by the Superior Judge Workload need is following the number of dispositions going down, basically. Superior staff workload typically you're talking about a one to two ration of two judges to one staff. So, there were a lot of districts that needed 1 FT, and there are about 14 that needed 1 FT and 10 that had at least .5 over the workload formula. I can get you those numbers if you need them, or actually they're also available online. I put the workload formulas on the folder for this committee. Turning to proprietorial districts, current district attorney staff need, by number then by percentage, filtered needs people. This is measuring ADA's and victim, witness legal assistance only. So, not investigators, not the elected DA, not any other staff that work for district attorney offices. You'll not on the number over at the bottom that Mecklenburg is very high, that is because these are not state position, Mecklenburg has a lot of grant funded positions that are paid for by the local government, and so this shows a breakdown of state funded versus grant funded positions, and who of the ADA's and that grant funded 47 positions are in Mecklenburg, and are funded by the local government there. This is a chart of DA personnel to the present. This is only ADA's and victim, witness legal assistance going back to 2008. This is the corresponding compensation chart, and that's what I have on the workload. I do have a presentation on the administration of technology that I wasn't sure we'd be able to get to. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Okay, lets see first off if we have any questions on what we've gone over up to now. Okay, Representative Jackson. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I guess this is due to my ?? course. Senator Jackson could respond as well, what particular areas are those, that extra DA's in Mecklenburg County funded to do? I mean, are there special courts or things like of that nature? [SPEAKER CHANGE] I don't know the particulars. I know that, generally, I do know the locals have kicked in a lot so that they'll have a lot of ADA's there, but I don't know the specifics of what they do in Mecklenburg. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Mr. Chair? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Senator Jackson. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you. They tend to be entry level positions but they also have special positions for some special fields like DV, domestic violence. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Okay. Representative Jackson. [SPEAKER CHANGE] And, is the fact that they have so many DA's that the workload is that ?? in the workload formula's on the magistrates and the clerks shortage that they show? I mean, can we address one part of it and not the other two, and the state maybe needs to step in and address that? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Let me see who can answer that. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Okay, we'll have to kick that back to [?]

Speaker changes:john smith Speaker changes:john smith director of administrative office at the court Speaker changes:awkward ?? question he did not used to have locally funded or grand funded assistant except for domestic purposes prior prosecution combined federal state ?? step in or personnel of the needed we cant ?? grand funded assistant ?? entry level general prosecution until the budget cuts and is like any paying in the ship cut ?? it included some locally funded ?? that we have included control over funding or not ?? for the work load formula we made decision early on Speaker changes: that we would only use the assistant attorneys of state fund ?? so what they have is supplemental group of prosecutors that are not relevant to the work load formula obviously you got the work load formula and you got the number ?? somebody wants to compute it obviously we don't ?? county position Speaker changes: representative Jackson Speaker changes: ?? Speaker changes: unless you have any other question Representative salmon Speaker changes:?? Speaker changes: thank you Mr.Chair yes they re some municipalities funding at the denim I'm not sure which other gonna pay would you get it less Speaker changes: ?? Speaker changes: ?? Speaker changes: with respect to the locally funding positions Speaker changes: ?? i believe the city funds ?? what they do is necessary the city has the city and state around the county good bit amount in the ?? court house and general ?? so there are number of staffs that noted in the work load formula than the city does Speaker changes: can Representative ?? answer the question when the county supplements today in total of 100%, Speaker changes:thank you Mr.chair there will be ?? state employees ?? with money's passing and receiving to personal services , Speaker changes:??, Speaker changes:yes sir 100% funded, Speaker changes:there were further any questions

?? by the… is that the county or the state? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. That would be by the county. That would be by the local government. They would be giving money to AOC in terms of receipts designated for that employee, so it would not be appearing as a general fund personnel, essentially. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow-up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Certainly. Go ahead. [SPEAKER CHANGES] ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. I think the Superior Court judge is not involved in this. This wouldn’t be Superior Court judge. There might be some judicial staff, so the judge would… probably I think in Mecklenburg, the judge would delegate that authority to the Trial Court administrator who then receives that staff. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Graham, does that answer your question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Not really. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Do you want to try again, or do you want me to get somebody else to…? What suits you? [SPEAKER CHANGES] ?? I’m seeing the relationship between the Superior Court and the ?? come into being and who makes ?? who allocates the money, who does the ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] ?? sitting in the gallery. Can she speak to this? [SPEAKER CHANGES]Absolutely. ??, stand up and help yourself. [SPEAKER CHANGES] ?? District Attorney. Is the question the relationship between the Superior Court judges and the District Attorney? I’m not sure I understand. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The locally funded. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The locally funded. The Superior Court judges don’t have any responsibility to the District Attorney. This is DA’s office, so no judge will be presiding. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator… [SPEAKER CHANGES] ?? The first district to do this was Mecklenburg County, and that was started by Peter Gilchrist back when he was the District Attorney, and as I understand it, Mecklenburg County decided to address the underfunding of the court system, and therefore they wanted to make sure that Mecklenburg County had what they felt was an appropriate number, and that’s when that started. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Graham, does that…? Representative McNeill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does Mecklenburg County have any locally-funded clerks’ positions? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Judge Smith. [SPEAKER CHANGES] ?? Administrative Office of the Courts, yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Do you have a follow-up, Representative? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Do we know how many? [SPEAKER CHANGES] If we don’t, we will, so anyway… [SPEAKER CHANGES] Six. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Six. [SPEAKER CHANGES] any further questions? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I’m sorry, Representative Graham. I misunderstood your question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Could we hear from someone…? I know in some cases, the locally-funded positions arise not out of a concern by local government for the budget situation, but out of concern for a specific program, like a drug program or a domestic violence. I wonder if that’s true for any of these positions thatr you have added by local government, specifically ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I don’t know. Let’s see if we can get an answer. William, is that something…? You tell me. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think that is correct because that’s the origin of the new positions, is the… I think Senator Jackson testified they generally came in as domestic violence or specifically focused on a particular program when the first grant-funded positions came in, but I believe that their role has expanded as the need has expanded too. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Do you think we could talk about those treatment courts? [SPEAKER CHANGES] The drug treatment courts. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The drug treatment court and veterans’ court and that kind of thing? William’s going to cover the specialty courts. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Jackson, did you want to add to this?

any comments to this? Okay. Lets see, do we have any other . . . Okay, we'll carry on then. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGE] I will cover the specialty courts in the future. A lot, some of the smaller specialty courts they are covered by the elected DA will generally sit in on those courts or they'll send somebody, or he'll send his top ADA's down to cover that. [SPEAKER CHANGE] The second presentation in your packet is on administration and technology. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Because, we went through the AOC budget by program we ?? off administration before, and so we'll get into that a little bit. Its $42.2 million in the current year with 9% of the AOC budget. Almost $3 million of that is a negative reserve, or was at least as of December 31st, so that is money that has yet to be distributed around it. Again, it appears as a positive on my pie chart and yet it is a negative number. The other point I want to bring here is that technology services make up a very large part of AOC administration at 64%, between the technology services division and the infrastructure fund. The chart of AOC's organization, or chart for current year, from the previous pie chart the purely administrative functions make up 34 FTE and about $4.4 million in the general fund budget in the current year. That is before the negative reserve, so all the numbers have to take in account that $3 million will be taken from somewhere. This includes the AOC director, and senior deputy director, communications, budget management, legal services, and the organizational development who do most of the excellent analysis that we use on fiscal notes and on workload formulas. AOC court programs and AOC court services, these are two separate programs oversees, basically specialty courts and specialty programs out in the field the total budget of $740 thousand in the current year. Court services is mostly about record keeping and judicial forms, 27 FTE and $2.4 million in the current year. AOC financial services and human resources. Financial services conduct financial services for the entire judicial branch that's payroll, collections, invoicing they are 29 FTE, $2.9 million in the current year. Human resources does a chart for the entire branch, so 27 FTE, $1.8 million. Purchasing services don't just . . . They do purchasing for the entire judicial branch and they also run the AOC print shop, the AOC warehouse and the online supply store, it is a huge operation. They administer the two infrastructure funds that were one single purchasing fund until the beginning of last year when it was split into two parts to show the technology and the non-technology expenditures is $2.5 million to run the purchasing services, and as you can see how the different purchasing funds work. Technology services, this is the big bite, they're responsible for the technology needs of the entire court system, they have 13 teams and this is how the FTE and that split up. Application and development basically does software with 83 FTE. Infrastructure and operations court, that's your help desk, that's the people that come out and fix your computers, like the guy that came and turned on our monitor earlier, it would be that type of role, 61 FTE for the entire judicial branch. Then, project management, these are the people doing the planning for the technology, that's 3 FTE, $15.9 million in the current year. Turning to some of the details here. There are two legacy systems that are the backbone of AOC technology, there's ACIS, which is the automated criminal

Speaker: fraction system. Most people in this room probably have some experience with ASIS. It is a green screen system. It is a mainframe system. There's also FMS, the financial management software, this is a legacy system that all of the bookkeepers in the court system use to maintain all of the money that flows through the court system. It is also ancient technology. Let's see. There we go. That is the clerk's main menu right there in ASIS. Speaker: ?? Speaker: When was this implimented? Speaker: I'm glad you asked that sir. Turning to the next page if we can, there we go. Oh, actually. There we go. First implimented in 1982 to track in fractions. Speaker: Do we have anybody who can . . . ?? Speaker: He didn't; he didn't create the program. Speaker: oh god. Speaker: Did you create the program? Speaker: I was born in 1982. Speaker: And their point is. Speaker: Well for you to be able to work on it you is awfully smart, but anyway. Speaker: Mr. Chair can I speak to it? Speaker: Absolutely, go ahead. Speaker: It is a true nightmare and as a prosecutor I had to spend hours on this thing every single day and you hit one wrong key and you get locked out of the whole thing. You gotta start over from the beginning and it is the very definition of bottleneck when it comes to efficiencies in the courthouse. And all criminal records run through that. Any time a prosecutor is trying to check up on anybody you have to use this program and it is just the worst. Speaker: Well, thank you so much Senator Jackson. That's a testament to the appropriate's chair. Speaker: When I started six years ago, I heard this was being worked on. In true government form, how much longer? How much money have we already invested in trying to fix this? Speaker: Judge Smith, are you . . . ? Now I'm starting to get a taste of what headaches you do have. Speaker: John Smith, Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts. I came six years ago as well and of course ever since I've been here it has been budget cuts rather than investments. I hired John Williams as my Senior Deputy Director with instructions to work on technology; try to get this. Then I hired Jeff Meresik. Both of them are here; if you'd like any detail I will turn it over to them. Speaker: I would like to know how much money we've already invested into a system that has not come through. Speaker: The maintenance . . . ? Speaker: I'm talking about research and development not maintenance. Speaker: We can provide details . . . Speaker I'm talking about research and development not maintenance. Speaker: We can provide details about what it's cost and what it's current maintenance is. The problem is that it costs more than the appropriated amount to maintain this system, with no cushion, to do much development. However, that being said, I think Jeff Merisik has come up with a number of plans that if put into place, that we are working on, the clerk's system is already a bit more advanced. The learning curve is high on these things, but it's much more graphical and it's much more of a type of interface that you'd expect out of the web but that's just limited to a very narrow part of the clerk's program. If you'd permit me, I'd like for Jeff to speak on this because it's been his primary goal to get us out of green screen technology and into web based graphic interfaces. If the chair would be willing to do that, I'd rather he speak rather than me try to summarize his words. Speaker: Okay, listen. William is gonna have something a little later on this, but let's just go ahead and while you're here and this is fresh on everybody's mind and what Senator Jackson has just mentioned let's see, if you don't mind, and give us a prediction of what's in store for us. Speaker: My name is Jeff Merisik I'm the [end transcription]

Let me get you a microphone, because I'm sure everybody wants to hear you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much. Again, my name is Jeff Marecic, chief information officer for the administrative office for the courts. In a few slides, Mr. Childs will demonstrate some of the technology that is replacing ACIS, so ACIS, as we all know, is, is a very old system, and we've been in the process of replacing it over the last eight or so years. The systems that are replacing it are called CCIS CC for the clerk's component, and CCIS DA for the district attorney's component, and we're beginning to launch yet another system to replace public offenders component of it as well. All of them are newer technology. All of them are built with graphical user interfaces as judge smith has pointed out. One of the issues I, I don't have at the top of my head how much we've invested so far in replacing ACIS. However, I do know that one of the challenges that we've had is that most of our technology budget, 85 or more percent of it has, is allocated to maintaining the current systems, the networks that we have, the systems that we have, the PCs that we have in the field. As a matter of fact, we have approximately 25,000 components, computers, PCs, routers, telephones, all those sorts of things in field. And that takes up a substantial portion of our budget, so in the 14 months now that I've been chief information officer for the courts, we have moved toward a strategy of integrating the technologies that we have, meaning we are selectively replacing components of ACIS so we can remove the green screens. Many, some of the clerks in the room can talk about the recent release that we did last year. We called it, we dubbed it CCIS release 5.5, which added a lot of new functionality to CCIS CC. It also allows us to collect a lot more information. It allows us to navigate using a better user interface, and it allows us to provide a lot more rapport. Coming in next couple months, within the next two months or so, three perhaps, we will be replacing another component of it that is our public access terminals in our courthouses, so we'll have a better way for the public to search and retrieve information. So the, the strategy that we're using now is to identify through our, our governance process, our planning process, the, the processes within the court system that are slowing us down. That are inefficient, that are hampered by some of this new technology and doing targeted replacements of those. We, we projected last year or so that if we were to drop everything and begin to replace ACIS, just focused on that, that would probably be a project that was in the $15 million range, five or six years, which at the time we didn't think feasible. So our approach now is to use technology that we have, integrate it, replace important components of it as we move along. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Now, let's see if we have any questions for Jeff. Jeff, before, before you get down. Okay. Senator McInnis. Okay, Representative Faircloth. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'm not whether ?? we saw earlier in the DA offices. If we had, in the next six months, we could replace the antiquated systems ?? what we need, would that have an effect on the personnel need of the DA offices? In other words, in case of an antiquated system ?? before staff? [SPEAKER CHANGES] My, my thought on that is yes. It is, it is having that, and

There are a number of ways that we're beginning to approach technology at the courts now. Instead of saying - and we're changing the way we think about using technology. So instead of saying, "Let's replace Asus," we're asking the question, "What's causing lines in a courthouse? What's causing the inefficiency?" and then aligning our systems to fix those problems. For example, we're currently doing some analysis on a project that is designed to reduce lines in a courthouse due to traffic citations. So we have a lot of folks coming to the traffic - coming to the courthouse to dispose of their traffic citations. And many of those are dismissible offenses, compliance-related offenses, that, once a proof of compliance has been had, it can be handled electronically. And we're currently looking at ways of adding that type of functionality into our systems so that people can do that either online or from their homes. So once we do that, the lines begin to go down, and then the VAs are positively affected for - positively affected. And so we have a number of projects just like that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Do you want to ask any other questions along those lines? Okay. [SPEAKER CHANGES] ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'm getting to you, okay? Representative Stevens. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Are you aware that Forsythe County's on their implement of assistance with that? And what does it take to - what does it cost them? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I don't know. I don't know offhand. It was very minimal cost. And that's actually the model that we'll be using. We - we'll be using - we'll be taking the Forsythe model and make it an enterprise-level solution so that we could pull that to 100 counties. It's one thing to do it on a one-county basis. My job is to make sure that we can do it on a 100-county basis. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Stevens, did you want to explain the Forsythe County kind of overview of what we - or are you familiar with that? [SPEAKER CHANGES] ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I didn't believe it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] On our ?? Commission meeting. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The Forsythe County model is essentially - sorry, William Childs, fiscal research. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I think it was your chair, sorry. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The Forsythe County model, to my recollection, and Representative Stevens can tell me if I'm wrong, is a online system that was set up by the court using the court's own funds outside of the system, where she had agreement with the D.A. to - so that waivable offenses could be entered online. The D.A. would have staff to review the waivable offenses and waive them if they were indeed necessary. So there is - I believe it is a fairly inexpensive system because she set it up as an online database. But I think that Mr. ?? is correct in that expanding that is going to take a little bit of thought because there are so many different issues involved with getting different courts and different D.A.s involved in that system. So [SPEAKER CHANGES] We just tell them the big county ?? that ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sign with the big county? Yes ma'am. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We've got several of the questions. Look at - we'll start with Representative Boles. I think I saw you first. You had a question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] My question's in the ?? I know that North Carolina's a unique state, but surely we're not the only ones that had the problem ?? And our wait is very systematic here ?? in our own or what other state ??. These states develop their own ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chair, Representative Boles, Jeff ??, Chief of Commission Officer, AOC. There are a lot of different models out there. There are vendors that provide case management systems. There are vendors that provide e-filing systems, and there are vendors that create custom-developed code as well. And I think it's, if we were to survey all the states and all the various court systems, there's a even mix of all those type of solutions. We're unique in

...somewhat unique in the sense that uh we are a unified system with a hundred counties and our goal is to provide systems that will be effective in the largest counties, the Wakes, the Mecklenburgs, those, as well as the smallest counties and everything in between. As you can imagine, when you have such diverse populations and resources pools, there’s a lot of different skill sets involved. So our uniqueness or our, one of our challenges is that we develop systems that could be used in any one of them, and there’s also variations sometimes in some of the processes. Therefore, our strategy has been up until now to build our own systems because we could take care of the various, local variations that we have, so we try to keep that to a minimum, but nevertheless we recognize that it exists. A lot of the off the shelf vendor-provided processes implement not only the technology, but also a lot of the process that goes along with it, which are very good for single jurisdictions or even several jurisdictions, but we have many different ones. And so our approach so far has been to have a mixture of off the shelf capabilities, but we do a lot of custom development on our own. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Boles, you have the followup. Okay, just one second. I’ve got Representative McNeill and then William wants to make a comment and I’ll come back to you, Representative ??, okay? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I just wanted to say, and maybe this is a shameless plug, but I’ve got a bill that’s almost finished that I’ll be filing hopefully this week that will deal with the online compliance ?? taking about today that I think ?? has done, and I think also Hugh Hanover has just started it, if that’s not correct. And I believe that the number I heard was $120 a month, but if the clerk wants to speak to that, maybe you’ll allow her to speak to that. She has, I think, just just started doing that and Hugh Hanover also. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay, if you would, give us your name for the record, etc. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Jane Kennedy, ooh, Jane Kennedy, Superior Court of Hanover County. I have, I am very close to starting that, give credit to Susan Frye, who’s the Clerk of Court in Forsyth County. He started it and it’s a compliance dismissal online to clarify what it is. She has a gentleman who works for her who is assistant clerk in her county by the name of Bert Barber, who spearheaded this. And what it is is she pays $12 a month, $120, I believe, a year, and she has a website that the public can go to. The compliance dismissals are by statute something that the DA would have to dismiss. Your no, no operators license, no registration, your inspections, those kind of matters, so when somebody, when John Q Public gets stopped and he or she gets charged with these matters, then they can go to a website, to a link the officer gives them a copy of the ticket and copy of the website, says you can go to this once you get it fixed. They take a picture of the compliance that they’ve done, the inspection, the registration. They send it in to a DA, to a person in the district attorney’s office, and that link, that request goes to that person’s district attorney’s office. The district attorney gets that link and that picture and they either approve or it or deny it. They send it to another email that is in the clerk’s office that says that it’s been approved and it’s been dismissed. And the clerk prints it out, puts it into the shut, keys in the dismissal and the public never has to come to the courthouse. And it’s dismissed. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very, thank you very much for coming and testifying. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Absolutely, thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] 
Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I just want, I want to followup by saying I hope you’ll support the bill once I file it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well, it’s certainly, I don’t see anybody not supporting that bill, but anyway, let’s see what Senator Jackson says. [SPEAKER CHANGES] If we passed that bill it would have saved me several hours every week. Multiply that across the entire state, that’s a huge cost savings. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well that’s pleasing to hear. Let’s see, let’s get the rest of our questions in. Representative Dobson, you have a question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I just want to make a comment that we’re here talking about the third branch of government. People that go to the courthouse...

[?? Inaudible 0:00 – 0:34] [speaker Changes] Thank you Representative [??] Let’s see, William , do you have a comment, then we will go back to Geoff. [speaker Changes] yes sir. I just to want to mention, Mr . Moricik was talking about other unified systems, unified court systems out there. There are about 25 other states that have unified systems. But there is a lot of variation in what they mean by that. And very few have the systems that is quite like ours where they have put together in quite the same way especially with regards to the court’s office. The other point I want to make was that in the south, Alabama, Virginia, North Carolina in the United states with unified system. So I just want to provide a little bit of outside context to the question about how [??] [Speaker Changes] Okay, Geoff, Just one minute . Senator Randleman, do you have [Speaker Changes] [??] [Speaker Changes] Let me finish here, then we will get you in. And unfortunately, we are going to reside the committee. And so we are going to have to shut it down in a couple of minutes. We don’t try to between these questions and it has been very encouraging to hear about things that have been brought forward . Representative Evelyn, we appreciate what you have been doing and all the comments with the people. And so we have got , it looks like we are moving in a wonderful direction. So, Geoff, we are going to take your questions and got one another from Senator Randleman and then we are done with our job. [Speaker Changes] Thank you Mr Chair. Geoff Moricik CIO AFC. I just wanted to follow up just a little bit on the online complaints issue in that sense as I have described, it is a very good system. The defendant logs on to the system with a citation and enters their information online. Takes a picture of their complaint document and emails it in. The difference between doing it that way and the way we contemplate doing it for the enterprise is since all of that information is already on the systems, so antiquated as this may be. We have the citation number and all the information about the offence is there already. So our version of this would allow us to, would allow the person to edit their citation number bring up all the information about the offence without even typing anything else and then with an agreement with DNV for example, do a record check to say, Hey your driving license is valid, your registration are valid, without passing or taking pictures of documents, we would know that and then we would send that information to DAV’s office. So, one of the things for doing it for the Huntington counties that’s the type of thing that we will be able to add to it. [Speaker Changes]Thank you Geoff. Thank you Very much. We have, one of the questions Senator Randleman has and then we are going to allow William, if you would kind of everybody what we are looking at tomorrow and how this is going to be a stop. Let’s keep this in surely coming. Senator. [Speaker Changes] [?? Inaudible- 4:26] [Speaker Changes] Transmit [??] in courts. We eliminated court’s position. Obviously technology is fairly practiced. We didn't allow them and did some internal budgetary cuts moving other funds around. [Speaker Changes] Senator Randleman , is that. Okay . William, if you would just give us what’s your engagement tomorrow and then we are going to adjourn.

Thank you, Mr. Chair. We can pick back up here with technology tomorrow. I also plan to go through a presentation on how the court system is financed, including court costs and where they go. That's what I have in mind for tomorrow. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay. If no questions, we're adjourned.