Court Administrator

Court Administrator

An officer of the judicial system who performs administrative and clerical duties essential to the proper operation of the business of a court, such as tracking trial dates, keeping records, entering judgments, and issuing process.

A go-between for judges, attorneys, and clients, the court administrator essentially runs the court's business. The behind-the-scenes work of this position ranges from scheduling trial dates to handling all official correspondence. Courts produce volumes of paper; the administrator's office processes them, accepting lawsuit filings, authenticating court documents, and issuing writs and summonses. Formerly known as the clerk, the post has evolved since the mid-1980s as technology has streamlined some elements of the justice system.

State and county administrators do essentially the same job. Unlike those in past decades, nearly all administrators today are appointed by judges. Judicial appointment has helped take politics out of this powerful position, and by the mid-1990s, only the state of Montana still preserved an elected post for its court administrator. State administrators operate under statutory authority that entitles them to execute court affairs and provides an annual staff budget. County-level administrators are generally chosen by committee, with funding for their offices commonly generated by court fees.

Contemporary trends in court management have reshaped this traditional office. Technology has led the change: where once courts relied entirely on paper records, computer databases are fast becoming the norm. For example, using computer software to track trial dates has begun to replace the ancient practice of relying on the court docket. Beyond allowing for greater flexibility, this new method also turns the tables on lawyers who have customarily controlled the pace of cases. A related trend in the mid-1990s, introduced by Minnesota, is toward uniformity: the state's General Rules of Practice place all jurisdictions under the same uniform rules, aiming to save time in scheduling as well as ensuring that local attorneys have no advantage over out-of-state attorneys.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
During the budget hearing, SC Court Administrator Midas Marquez, who presented the Judiciary's budget, said that its proposed budget for 2020 was actually P55.66 billion but the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) only allocated P38.71 billion.
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Court administrator Otieno Sakayo said they have put in place a mediation team.
Bersamin has directed Court Administrator Jose Midas P.
Bersamin instructed the Office of the Court Administrator to conduct an immediate inspection of all courthouses affected by the earthquake, the Supreme Court Public Information Office said in an advisory late Monday night.
In his directive to the Office of the Court Administrator, Bersamin stressed that he has ordered a "purge" against "misfits and scalawags" in the judiciary nationwide, starting with his hometown, Abra.
Williams, court administrator of the Trial Court, laying out her concerns and asking what can be done to improve the functionality of MassCourts.
Court administrator Y Rin was unable to confirm the date yesterday.
Sarah Duncombe, 32, a magistrates' court administrator, was said to have tied husband Simon to their bed and blindfolded him.
The court administrator overseeing aircraft manufacturer Fairchild Dornier is planning to break up the company and sell its assets.