Metro Trial Courts To Conduct Caseload Analysis

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

To achieve maximum efficiency in moving cases through the system, the state trial courts of Davidson County are analyzing caseloads among all of their criminal and civil courts.

Under the present traditional method, judges are specialists within an area of the law, and cases are assigned according to specialties, such as criminal or personal injury. Of Metro’s 18 trial courts, six serve as criminal courts and 12 serve as civil courts, hearing matters ranging from divorce and wills to business and government lawsuits. General sessions courts are not part of this review.

This system creates efficiencies through its specialization, but doesn’t address caseload increases that may occur in a particular specialty. The result can be delays within that specialty unless traditional assignments are altered. For example, Metro presently has a surplus of criminal and domestic cases.

An alternative under consideration is to cross train judges and staff, and to assign cases outside of the courts’ specialties, distributing these surplus cases to other courts where the caseload is less. The objective is to build flexibility and accomplish more with existing resources.

There are many challenges that must be considered, such as security, and the additional demand for resources by the agencies and offices involved in the judicial process.

“The judges understand and appreciate that many stakeholders must be considered before a court’s responsibility is shifted. We are seeking advice from these parties and consider such input as paramount to a successful transition,” said Presiding Judge Joe P. Binkley, Jr. “Caseloads will be regularly evaluated in the future. Given our present demands, we plan to adjust our resources to best serve the public.”

“Our goals are to keep cases moving through the court system as quickly as possible,” said Tim Townsend, Trial Court administrator. “We also will strive to maintain a balanced workload for all courts. While the total number of cases has remained remarkably stable over the past three years, we are finding that they do not always fall within the same areas.” 


Chattanooga Chamber Presents Business Calendar For March 28-31

TUES/28 Reality Check at Ivy Academy 9:45-11 a.m. Mile Straight Baptist Church: 8448 Springfield Rd. Reality Check teaches 9th graders budgeting and emphasizes the connection between education and income by having roleplay as heads of household with a set budget. To volunteer for this Chattanooga Chamber career readiness program, contact Cathy Humble at  423.763.4321 ... (click for more)

TN Supreme Court Holds That Indigent Prisoner's Case Was Properly Dismissed

The Tennessee Supreme Court has held that an indigent prisoner’s case was properly dismissed pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 41-21-812 when the prisoner had outstanding unpaid court costs from prior litigation.  Tennessee Code Annotated section 41-21-812 authorizes the rejection of certain new claims in court from an indigent inmate who has unpaid fees, taxes, ... (click for more)

Storm Costs EPB $2.5 Million; Smart Grid Helped Ease The Pain

Tuesday night's fierce storm cost EPB an estimated $2.5 million, President David Wade said Friday. He said the city utility will have to bear all the cost - unlike when it got federal aid after spending $18 million following tornadoes that raked the Chattanooga area in 2012. Mr. Wade said EPB's Smart Grid helped ease the pain, bringing back online about 27,000 affected customers ... (click for more)

1 Killed, 1 Injured In Brainerd Shooting

One person was killed and a second person injured in a shooting in Brainerd on Thursday night. The call was to 3301 Pinewood Ave. at 7:05 p.m. It was reported that a silver vehicle was seen leaving the scene. One of the persons shot, 23-year-old Antonio Baldwin, died during surgery. The injury to William Daniel, 21, is not life-threatening. Police said both of the ... (click for more)

Slaxxon Regret

Back in the seventies my three oldest brothers had a buddy named Steve Slack. “Slack” was a star soccer player at Baylor and he grew up on Lookout Mountain, which is where I grew up. He and Jimmy, Henry and Bill went to the University of Virginia where they were roommates in an old, beat up house that was painted pink. Naturally, the place became known as the “Pink Palace” but lest ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Scottsboro Boys

There is a good-sized train tunnel that runs under the northern tip of Lookout Mountain, right next to Cummings Highway. It was inside that tunnel on this very weekend 86 years ago, that the worst tragedy in the fabled history of the South was born. This was during the tight grip of the Depression and about two dozen hobos had jumped the train from the time it left Southern Railway's ... (click for more)