University of Denver

Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida Demonstration Pilot Project

In July 2016, the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) and Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) approved a Resolution endorsing 13 recommendations that are designed to transform the civil justice system in our state courts to meet the challenges of contemporary civil caseloads and the needs of those who come to the courts for resolution of their disputes. Following this endorsement, IAALS and NCSC launched a Civil Justice Initiative (CJI) Implementation Plan to support implementation of the recommendations—by developing tools, providing education and technical assistance, evaluating demonstration projects, and hosting regional summits for state action teams. The CJI Implementation Plan includes funding for three pilot projects whose results will be used to provide valuable lessons about how change can happen. NCSC continues to work with the demonstration sites to document the implementation process and then evaluate the reforms.

In 2016, The 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida (Miami-Dade County) was selected as a pilot demonstration site focused on Recommendation 7: that Courts should develop civil case management teams (CCMTs) consisting of a responsible judge supported by appropriately trained staff. The goal is to streamline civil case processing by delegating certain tasks to specially trained professional staff so that judges can focus their attention on making decisions that “require their unique authority, expertise and discretion.”

In April 2019, NCSC released its evaluation, Civil Justice Initiative, Evaluation of the Civil Justice Initiative Pilot Project (CJIPP), Implemented by the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court of Florida. The evaluation finds that cases assigned to CCMTs had higher closure rates and faster disposition time than cases operating under the standard case management process. However, CCMTs had increased hearings on average. The evaluation also suggested courts implementing the CCMT model should engage in advanced planning and a robust and fully-integrated technology platform to ensure a smooth transition from traditional case management to the CCMT model.

Other courts that have been selected to participate as demonstration sites are the Magistrate Court of Fulton County, Georgia, and the 22nd Judicial Court in McHenry County, Illinois.

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