Centers of Excellence
Every court is statutorily required to work with its county and district clerks to accurately report court activity to OCA every month. This information includes information regarding juvenile cases, appointments of legal counsel, appointments of guardians ad-litem, sentencing in capital cases, and others. This indicator is meant to spot check a court’s reporting processes and ensure accurate and timely reports.
The security of a courthouse is of paramount concern. Not only for judges and staff, but for court visitors and users. As such, courts are required to be aware of and proactive in the identification and reporting of security incidents to OCA and ensure that they are up to date with the decisions and outcomes of their county’s court security committees.
Fines and Fees
Those courts which issue fines and fees as part of criminal sentencing are responsible for ensuring that the defendant’s rights on ability to pay those fines are upheld, while also ensuring that justice is served, and the legal obligation met. This compliance group ensures that courts are active participants in communicating a defendant’s rights and enforcing their judgements.
In Texas, courts and counties alike are responsible for ensuring that indigent defendants are provided their legal right to counsel. This area ensures that courts are accurately tracking and reporting the appointment of counsel, ensuring expenditure reports are accurately reported, and that they are in line with their county’s indigent defense plan.
Guardianship Fraud and Abuse Prevention
For those courts who hold jurisdiction over guardian and probate matters, this area focuses on ensuring that courts keep an accurate and up to date list of all appointed guardians, guardians ad-litem, mediators, attorneys, and attorneys ad litem involved in probate matters. It also ensures that courts with probate dockets are aware of the Guardianship Abuse, Fraud, and Exploitation Deterrence Program and have engaged the Judicial Branch Certification Commission about being audited by the program.