Court Administrator

Court Administrator in the United States

A nonjudicial official responsible for the management of a particular court or court system. Court Administrator (Judicial Personnel issue)s are used at both the federal and state levels to manage the day-to-day work of the courts. This includes such functions as budget preparation, recruitment and supervision of court personnel, and management of the court’s docket. The last function is especially important because it involves the movement of cases through the court. At the federal level, the chief justice of the United States formally heads the court system. Power over policy and management matters is vested in the Judicial Conference of the United States and the regional judicial councils. Day-to-day management of the federal courts falls to the Administrative Office of the United States, whose performance is overseen by the judicial conference. Management of state courts is somewhat more complex. At the state level, a state Court Administrator (Judicial Personnel issue) usually is located within the state supreme court. The state Court Administrator (Judicial Personnel issue) generally oversees the state judicial system and also engages in data collection and long-range planning. State court systems, however, tend to be decentralized and much of the management of courts occurs at the local level. Most large urban jurisdictions employ Court Administrator (Judicial Personnel issue)s to manage the operations of trial courts.

See Also

administrative office OF THE UNITED STATES COURTS, 40; Judicial Conference of the United States (Judicial Personnel issue).

Analysis and Relevance

The professional Court Administrator ( U.S.) is a central character in the efforts to improve or “reform” the courts. Judges have historically been responsible for court administration, but many judges lack the specialized management training to administer their courts well, especially in multi-judge urban jurisdictions. One response to the management problem was to designate a chief judge in a jurisdiction as the primary administrative officer. While some chief judges have demonstrated a capacity for managing their courts, this approach does not generally provide adequate administration. Most court clerks do not have the formal training necessary to manage a court satisfactorily. Use of professional administrators is the most creative and effective approach to court management. Indeed, specialized graduate programs in court administration have been established in several major universities throughout the country. At an operational level, however, Court Administrator ( U.S.)s can function only if the judges for whom they work delegate sufficient authority to allow them to actually apply their management skills. This is especially troublesome with respect to case scheduling. A new centralized case assignment process, for example, might increase dispositions but be perceived by the judges of the court as impinging on their judicial authority. Notwithstanding problems such as this, jurisdictions continue to use or turn to professional Court Administrator ( U.S.)s to manage courts.

Notes and References

  1. Definition of Court Administrator from the American Law Dictionary, 1991, California

Court Administrator: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Court Administrator. This part provides references, in relation to Court Administrator, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Court Administrator by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Court Administrator and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Court Administrator or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Court Administrator and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Court Administrator. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Court Administrator should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Court Administrator when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

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