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.

References in periodicals archive ?
A court administrator is in the process of finding a new buyer for the company.
Martyn Green, 23, a court administrator from the Teesside service, said: "We are hoping jobs won't be lost but we don't know to where or who will be taking over things.
ABOUT TWO DOZEN children of Supreme Court and Office of the State Court Administrator employees participated in this year's "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day" in Tallahassee.
Security was also tightened at the entire Palace of Justice where several trial courts are housed, said Court Administrator Midas Marquez.
Gerald Marroney, state court administrator, Office of the State Court, administrator, Division of Probation Services, Denver
Flanagan explained that a new court administrator position was created, and state law requires that the person be involved in decisions on court closures.
As per the terms of the agreement reached by Pinnacle and the plaintiffs' lawyers, Pinnacle has hired a court administrator to settle the claims and award damages to the tenants.
CElia CarrUtHErs, 54 JOB: Court administrator JOUrnEY: Bewdley, Worcs, to Birmingham taKE HOME PaY: pounds 18,000 annUal FarEs: pounds 1,200 sHE saYs: "Too much of my salary goes on getting to work.
State archives and courthouses around Kentucky have been deluged by court records after the state's top court administrator ordered them to retain all records forever.
Trial court administrator Michelle Cramton said the 15-day requirement does not automatically ensure a dismissal, and that judges can use their discretion.
The court administrator overseeing aircraft manufacturer Fairchild Dornier is planning to break up the company and sell its assets.