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Annual Report on Trends in the State Courts, 2001 Edition

NCJ Number
Date Published
55 pages
This 2001 Annual Report on Trends in the State Courts focuses on court security, privacy issues in access to court records, court administration, competency of counsel, online divorce records, access and fairness, Federal-State relations, and multi-jurisdictional practice.
After assessing the situation in court security and identifying the problem, this report describes steps in developing and implementing an effective court security program. The report then indicates that the State courts are actively engaged in the debate about privacy and access to court records. As more of the records have become accessible electronically, the courts have faced the same privacy concerns that have arisen in other arenas. In discussing trends in court administration, the report addresses trends in jury composition and comprehension, nonprofit status options for courts, and court technology. An analysis of trends in the competency of counsel focuses on capital cases. Actions taken by the Conference of Chief Justices in this matter are described, along with recent congressional activity. Another section of this report reviews the likely impact of demographics on State courts. Privacy issues in making court divorce proceedings available online are also discussed. Ways in which various State courts and legislatures have dealt with this issue are summarized. A report on trends in court access and fairness addresses pro se/customer service trends in the courts, attention to non-apparent disabilities that bear upon court case processing, and court compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. A review of trends in Federal-State relations focuses on the shifting balance between national and State authority, U.S. Supreme Court movement to re-establish federalism balance, and recent and proposed legislation in the 107th Congress that regulates State procedure. The report concludes with an overview of trends in multi-jurisdictional practice.