ELKINS FAMILY LAW TASK FORCE: FINAL REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The California Elkins Family Law Task Force Report is out…here are the plan goals:
Relevant Strategic Plan Goals and Operational Plan Objectives
All of the Judicial Council’s strategic plan goals are addressed by the recommendations of the Elkins Family Law Task Force, as follows:
Goal I, Access, Fairness, and Diversity. This goal is addressed by recommendations to increase self-help services and the availability of legal representation, make family law rules of court more comprehensive, streamline family law forms and procedures, and improve litigant education. These recommendations also would help achieve Goal I’s operational objective 2a and 2b by helping trial courts achieve efficiency and fairness in family law proceedings and ensure access to justice for litigants.
Goal II, Independence and Accountability. The recommendations to develop and implement a family law research agenda, which would include workload studies and performance measures, would help the courts assess resource needs and improve operational decisionmaking concerning resource allocation.
Goal III, Modernization of Management and Administration. Implementing caseflow management would help courts modernize the administration of family law cases. Increasing the availability of electronic filing, telephonic appearances, and electronic access to the courts are innovative practices that also address this third goal. These recommendations support objective 5 of the operational plan, as they would promote the fair, consistent, and efficient processing of cases in family court.
Goal IV, Quality of Justice and Service to the Public. The recommendations concerning live testimony and providing settlement assistance to self-represented litigants would improve the quality of justice in family law cases. The recommendation that courts should give community presentations on available court services, especially to communities that may be underserved by the courts, supports the goal of service to the public.
Goal V, Education for Branchwide Professional Excellence. A number of recommendations to improve judicial branch education programs, including the development of curricula, would allow courts to more effectively address children’s needs. The education recommendations also support the underlying operational objective of providing judicial officers with relevant and accessible educational and professional development opportunities.
Goal VI, Branchwide Infrastructure for Service Excellence. The recommendations to improve court facilities and make them more responsive to the needs of family court users further the infrastructure goals.
To download the “Elkins Family Law Task Force: Final Report and Recommendations” by the Elkins Family Law Task Force, Hon. Laurie D. Zelon, Chair, please click here.
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