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The Florida State Courts Budget
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The Florida State Courts Budget

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This is Judge Belvin Perry's presentation on the state courts budget given at the November 2009 educational conference of the Florida Court Public Information Officers, Inc., in Clearwater, Florida.

This is Judge Belvin Perry's presentation on the state courts budget given at the November 2009 educational conference of the Florida Court Public Information Officers, Inc., in Clearwater, Florida.

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  • Florida at the bottom of the barrel.
  • “ As constitutional officers, Clerks have inherent authority to manage the performance of their constitutional and legislatively imposed duties…” “ The Clerk is a separate constitutional office with attributes of both the judicial and executive branches.” “ We believe Clerks cannot over emphasize the necessity of maintaining independence in our administrative and ministerial functions in order to protect the integrity of the court system.” “ The Clerk’s role in maintaining court records serves as a check and balance on the Court system.” Article V, section 3, creates the Supreme Court of Florida and provides under subsection 3(c) that the Supreme Court appoints a clerk to “perform such duties as the Court directs.” Similarly, Section 4 creates the District Courts of Appeal and directs each District Court to appoint a clerk to perform such duties as the Court directs. In contrast, there is no provision under Sections 5 and 6 of Article V for any court to appoint and direct the duties of the Clerk of the Circuit Court. The Clerk of the Circuit Court is separately authorized under section 16 of Article V. Section 2(d) of Article V, governing administration, practice and procedure of the judiciary states that a chief judge in each circuit shall be chosen and that the chief judge “shall be responsible for the administrative supervision of the circuit courts and the county courts in his circuit.” There is no reference in this section to the chief judge being responsible for the administrative supervision of the Clerk, although this clause would have been the logical place for such a provision.

The Florida State Courts Budget The Florida State Courts Budget Presentation Transcript

  • Trial Court Budget Commission & State Courts Revenue Trust Fund The Honorable Belvin Perry, Jr. Chair - TCBC
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  • TRIAL COURT BUDGET COMMISSION
    • Recommended by Article V Steering Committee
    • Created by Supreme Court in 2000 (see Rule 2.230, Florida Rules of Judicial Administration)
    • Develop and oversee trial court budget in a manner which ensures equity and fairness in state funding among the 20 judicial circuits
    • Twenty-One Members (14 Trial Court Judges & 7 Trial Court Administrators)
    • Currently, at least one representative from each circuit
    • Chair/President of Circuit & County Conferences serve as Ex Officio Nonvoting Members
  • Chief Justice Wells’ Quotes
    • “ The TCBC is intended to provide a mechanism and a process through which trial court administrative officers can actively participate in the development of trial court plans and budgets . . . .”
    • “ Most importantly, however, it is our expectation that TCBC members will strive to serve the interest of justice and make decisions that promote equity and fairness in the allocation of State Courts System resources.”
    • In re Amendments to Florida Rules of Judicial Administration , 774 So. 2d 625, 626 (Fla. 2000)
  • Chief Justice Wells’ Quotes
    • “ The TCBC will offer a forum that gives trial court judges and court administrators a strong voice in the development of budgetary policies but also enables them to reach consensus on funding interests and priorities for the branch so that they can support a unified legislative budget proposal. … [T]he TCBC is created to provide a means by which the courts can ‘speak with one voice.’”
    • In re Amendments to Florida Rules of Judicial Administration ,
    • 774 So. 2d 625, 626 (Fla. 2000)
  • TCBC Governance Structure
    • Rule 2.230(a), Florida Rules of Judicial Administration:
    • The purpose of this rule is to establish a Trial Court Budget Commission that will have the responsibility for developing and overseeing the administration of trial court budgets in a manner which ensures equity and fairness in state funding among the 20 judicial circuits.
  • TCBC Governance Structure
    • Rule 2.230(e), Florida Rules of Judicial Administration:
    • The TCBC will be composed of 21 voting members appointed by the chief justice who will represent the interests of the trial courts generally rather than the individual interests of a particular circuit or division.
  • TCBC Sub Committees
    • Executive Committee
    • Advises the TCBC Chair on policy matters between full commission meetings and has the authority to make decisions for the commission when time constraints prevent full commission participation.
  • TCBC Sub Committees
    • Budget Management Committee
    • This committee is charged with monitoring operating budgets within the trial courts and recommending policies to manage operating budgets within the trial courts.
  • TCBC Sub Committees
    • Funding Methodology Committee
    • This committee is charged with recommending the basis for state funding for the elements of the trial courts as well as other funding matters, such as allocations to circuits, budget reductions, etc.
  • TCBC Sub Committees
    • Personnel Committee
    • This committee makes recommendations on personnel issues affecting trial court employees.
  • Relationship between OSCA & TCBC
    • OSCA serves as a HUB of information for
    • the TCBC
      • Manages information that is monitored by the TCBC
      • Provides data and materials used in presentation to the legislature and others groups
  • TCBC Principles
    • Clear definition of each element and identification of the related costs that must be funded by the state
    • A system-wide approach to establish equitable funding
    • Uniformity balanced with flexibility
    • Accountability
  • TCBC Responsibilities
    • Establish budgeting & funding policies and procedures for trial courts
    • Make recommendations to the supreme court on the trial court component of the annual judicial branch budget request
    • Advocate for the trial court component of the annual judicial branch budget request and associated statutory changes
    • Make recommendations to the supreme court on funding allocation formulas and budget implementation
    • Monitor trial court expenditure trends and revenue collections to identify unanticipated budget problems and to ensure efficient use of resources
    • Recommend statutory and rules changes related to trial court budgets
    • Rule 2.230, Florida Rules of Judicial Administration
  • TCBC: Comprehensive Approach
    • Input from Commission on Trial Court Performance and Accountability
    • Review of Cost Inventories
    • Input from Chief Judges, Trial Court Administrators, Conference of Circuit Court Judges, Supreme Court Committees and TCBC Members
    • Development of Objectives and Work Plan
  • Trial Court Budget Process TCBC establishes budget policies for the development of budget requests Trial courts submit budget requests to the TCBC TCBC reviews the requests and develops budget recommendations
  • Trial Court Budget Process Supreme Court or Chief Justice either approves budget recommendations as a whole or refers specific matters back to the TCBC for further study or alternative recommendations Legislature considers budget requests and makes lump sum appropriations for the trial courts TCBC allocates appropriations to the trial courts
  • State-Funded Court Elements
    • Judges
    • Court reporting & transcription services necessary for constitutional requirements
    • Facilities for the DCA’s and Supreme Court
    • Court foreign language & sign language interpreters & translators essential to comply with constitutional requirements
  • State-Funded Court Elements
    • Expert witnesses appointed by the court pursuant to express grant of statutory authority
    • JA’s, law clerks, resource materials
    • General magistrates, special magistrates, and hearing officers
    • Court administration
    • Case management
  • State-Funded Court Elements
    • Mediation and arbitration
    • Basic legal materials
    • Judicial Qualifications Commission
    • Offices of appellate clerks and marshals and appellate law libraries
  • Florida’s Budget : Fiscal Year 2009-2010 $66,536,360,098 Criminal Justice and Corrections $4,755,407,365 Natural Resources, Environment, Growth Mgmt, Transportation $9,293,484,731 General Government $4,719,952,559 State Court System $451,311,113 Education Enhancement & Lottery Trust Fund $1,423,867,883 Human Services $26,043,356,456 Education (All Other Funds) $19,848,979,991
  • California Washington Kentucky Massachusetts North Dakota Oklahoma Mississippi Arizona 2003-04 Percentage of State Budgets Spent on the Judicial Branch Florida .6%
  • 2003-04 Percentage of State Budgets Spent on the Judicial Branch California Washington Kentucky Massachusetts North Dakota Oklahoma Mississippi Arizona Washington – 4.0% Kentucky – 3.0% California – 2.5% Massachusetts – 2.3% North Dakota - 2.0% Arizona – 1.7% Mississippi – 1.2% Oklahoma – 1% Florida .6%
    • In FY 2003/04, the average judicial branch appropriation in other states was 1.8% of the total state budget.
    Florida ranked 6 th from the bottom
  • State Courts System Budget: FY 2009-2010 $451,311,113 OSCA $20,454,190 DCA $39,738,681 Trial Courts $381,150,551 JQC $926,195 Supreme Court $9,041,496
  • Trust Fund Revenue Sources
    • Revenue Source Amount
    Circuit Civil Cases - $180 Probate Cases - $115 Family Cases - $80 Foreclosure/Real Property – $180/$685/$1,685 Counter Claim for Circuit Civil Action - $100/$605/$1605 $5 Traffic Assessment Adjudication Withheld Fine $25 Speeding Fine 18% of Civil Penalty Total Collections June-September, 2009 $14,244,176 $2,701,635 $3,352,187 $114,995,918 $278,438 $3,765,431 $1,492,287 $2,508,490 $2,236,631 $145,575,191
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  • Actual Revenues from the past 3 months are indicating about 79% of revenue is coming in from mortgage foreclosures.
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  • What can we expect in the next legislative session?
    • Possible Reductions
  • Budget Reductions from FY 07-08 to 09-10 General Revenue & State Courts Revenue Trust Fund FY 07-08 FY 09-10 Total Reduction % of Reduction 445,529,974 398,249,758 (47,280,216) (10.61%)
  • FTE Reductions from FY 07-08 to 09-10 General Revenue & State Courts Revenue Trust Fund FY 07-08 FY 09-10 Total Reduction % of Reduction 4,403.50 4,113.00 (290.50) (24.67%)
  • State Courts System Impact of Target Reductions FY 2010-2011 Source for FY 09-10 Appropriation is the FY 09-10 General Appropriations Act. Trust Target of $28,877,278 was pro rated out to each trust fund except Federal Grants Trust Fund. General Revenue State Courts Revenue Trust Fund Court Education Trust Fund Mediation Arbitration Trust Fund Grants & Donations Trust Fund Operating Trust Fund Total FY 09-10 Appropriation 134,590,311 263,188,168 3,312,742 12,675,209 174,493 9,996,039 423,936,962 TARGET in Dollars 13,290,305 26,266,618 330,617 1,265,007 17,415 997,621 42,167,583 28,877,278
  • What can we expect in the next legislative session?
    • Possible Reductions
    • Will the Clerks try to undo legislation that put them under the appropriations process?
    • Who will control the E-filing portal?
  • E-Portal Development
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  • Thank you for your interest in receiving a proposal from the Florida Association of Court Clerks for development of an e-filing Portal. We have reviewed your request for information closely and believe that it is not compliant with the requirements placed with the Clerks of Court by the Florida Legislature as stated in Chapter 2009-61, Laws of Florida.
  • In response to this legislation, and in our capacity as custodians of the records, the Clerks of Court are moving forward with completion of the Clerks’ ePortal. The Clerks’ ePortal is operational and will be available for the acceptance of electronic case filings well in advance of the March 1, 2010 reporting date as specified in Chapter 2009-61, Laws of Florida.
  • The Clerks believe that the best approach to electronic filing is to move forward with the Clerks’ ePortal. We will continue to keep you informed regarding the Clerks’ compliance with the electronic filing requirements of the Legislature, and ask that you provide the Clerks with the necessary information regarding the data you wish to have captured and reported to you.
  • Court & Clerk Relations
  • F.S. 28.44
    • (1) No function of the clerk of court being performed in support of the trial courts by the individual clerks of court on July 1, 2004, may be discontinued or substantially modified on a unilateral basis except pursuant to this section. A clerk of court may discontinue performing a function in support of the trial court only if:
    • (a) The chief judge of the circuit has consented in writing to the discontinuance or substantial modification of the function performed in support of the trial court; or
    • (b) The clerk of court has given written notice of the intention to substantially modify or discontinue a function performed in support of the trial court at least 1 year before the effective date of the discontinuance or substantial modification of the function.
    • (2) “Substantial modification” of a function performed in support of the trial court means a modification which has the effect of reducing the level of services provided to the trial court.
  • F.S. 40.001
    • The chief judge of each judicial circuit is vested with overall authority and responsibility for the management, operation, and oversight of the jury system within his or her circuit. However, in accordance with this chapter and chapter 905, the clerk of the circuit court has specific responsibilities regarding the processing of jurors, including, but not limited to, qualifications, summons, selection lists, reporting, and compensation of jurors. The clerk of the circuit court may contract with the chief judge for the court's assistance in the provision of services to process jurors. The chief judge may also designate to the clerk of the circuit court additional duties consistent with established uniform standards of jury management practices that the Supreme Court may adopt by rule or issue through administrative order.
  • Will relations between the Court and Clerks improve? ?
  • What is Next for Court System Funding?
    • Fill in the gap of revenue loss due to drop in foreclosures
    • Swap out fine revenue
    • Move judges to general revenue
    • Restore the 2% salary cut last session
    • Fully fund our court system based on a needs assessment (understanding the economic system that exists in Florida)
  • OPPAGA Study Results
  • What can PIO’s do?
    • Promote the role of the courts and the independence of the third branch of government.
    • Educate the public in understanding the judicial process, how the courts operate and how other agencies (ie. State Attorney, Public Defender and Clerk of the Court) work within the process.
  • What can PIO’s do? F.S. 43.26 (1) The chief judge of each judicial circuit, Who shall be a circuit judge, shall exercise administrative supervision over all the trial courts within the judicial circuit and over the judges and other officers of such courts.
  • What can PIO’s do? F.S. 43.26 (2) The chief judge of the circuit shall have the power: (c) To supervise dockets and calendars. (e) To do everything necessary to promote the prompt and efficient administration of justice in the courts over which he or she is chief judge. (g) To manage, operate and oversee the jury system as provided in s. 40.001.
  • What can PIO’s do? F.S. 43.26 (6) The chief judge of each circuit is charged by s.2(d), Art. V of the Florida Constitution and this section with the authority to promote the prompt and efficient administration of justice in the courts over which he or she is chief judge. The clerks of court provide court-related functions which are essential to the orderly operation of the judicial branch. The chief judge of each circuit, after consultation with the clerk of court, shall determine the priority of services provided by the clerk of court to the trial court. The clerk of court shall manage the performance of such services in a method or manner that is consistent with statute, rule, or administrative order.
  • QUESTIONS?