Judicial Committee Update

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Jimmy Flannigan
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:44 am

Judicial Committee Update

Post by Jimmy Flannigan » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:47 am


As Chair of the Council Judicial Committee I want to inform all of you on our progress towards reviewing and appointing our Municipal Court bench.

The City Charter dictates that all Judges are to be reviewed and appointed to the same four year term, beginning on January 1st 2018, with a 90 day extension allowed to complete this process. This means that all appointments MUST be made by April 1st, 2018.

Our research into how this process has occurred in the past, including how the City of Austin and other cities have conducted their Municipal Court appointment process, has shown there is no historical or national standard, necessitating a new process that can be used for this term and in the future.

In December, the Judicial Committee approved the following process for evaluating and appointing judges:

1. Passed Resolution 20171214-060 with the full council, establishing goals and guidelines for evaluation metrics for Municipal Court Judges.
2. Reviewed job position descriptions and created evaluation criteria based on approved Council goals and guidelines.
3. Municipal Court judicial positions were posted on the City of Austin job site in late December, closed on January 21, 2018. HRD has also done marketing and outreach to multiple Bar Associations and other legal organizations.
4. An independent Panel has been created that will both evaluate and make recommendations regarding current Municipal Court Judges and evaluate and make recommendations on new applicants should there be vacancies on the bench. The Panel will conduct their business over the next couple of weeks and report to the Council Judicial Committee at the February 8th meeting.
5. The Judicial Committee will review Panel recommendations and has the option of interviewing current Judges and/or judicial applicants.
6. The Judicial Committee will bring the slate of recommended appointees to the full City Council at the March 8 meeting for approval.

Thank you to my colleagues on the Council Judicial Committee, CM Casar, CM Garza, and CM Pool, for working through this on a very short timeline. If you have any questions, please feel free to address them through this post, or join us at the next Judicial Committee meeting on February 8th at 1pm.
Jimmy Flannigan
Council Member, District 6