University of Denver

Blog Posts by Mark Staines

Task Force Releases “Bench Card," Additional Resources for Judges on Fines and Fees

Brittany Kauffman
Mark Staines
Debtor’s prisons have been illegal in the United States for nearly 200 years, and in 1983 the United State Supreme Court’s ruling in Bearden v. Georgia again made it clear that judges cannot send people to jail simply because they do not have the means to pay court fines. Despite this seemingly clear ruling, many...

Alaskan Judges Now Assess Well-Being of Family Pets in Divorce Proceedings

Mark Staines
In every state across the nation, judges in family court regularly deal with challenging custody issues as families proceed through the divorce process. And, recent amendments to Alaska’s divorce laws have added another important custody consideration: pets. Effective January, 17, 2017, the revised divorce statutes...

Budget Cuts Continue to Threaten State Judicial Systems Across the Nation

Mark Staines
New Mexico Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Daniels had grim news for state legislators at his annual State of the Judiciary speech last month: the state’s judicial system may no longer be able to provide New Mexicans with adequate access to their Constitutional rights due to a crippling financial crisis. Chief...

One Year In: Judges Examine the Impact of Changes to the Rules of Civil Procedure

Mark Staines
It has been just over a year since substantial changes were made to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, aimed at reducing the high costs and long delays faced by civil court litigants. And, this effort has not been limited to the federal courts. Many state-level changes have also been implemented across the country...

Public Opinion of the Judicial Branch is Trending Upwards, New Survey Finds

Mark Staines
At a point when public mistrust of the government seems to be at an all-time high, a recent survey conducted by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) shows that public opinion of at least one branch of government is trending in the right direction. This past November, the NCSC conducted a nationwide telephone...