Court Administration

In many jurisdictions, a local court administration office provides administrative and program support to the courts. This generally involves a variety of tasks, including budget preparation, facilities and equipment management, data processing, supplies and equipment purchases, statistical reporting, calendar management, case management, and personnel administration. Court administration may also develop and manage victim/witness programs, court reporters and recorders, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) programs, and even law libraries.

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Design and Image

The design and image of a court administration office should be similar to that of a general business office. The layout should be organized by function and promote efficiency and comfort.
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Space

Depending upon the size of the agency, not all components may be located in the same area of the facility. The court reporters may be located in one area, ADR staff in another, and administrative staff in a third. Generally, there should be a public entrance for attorneys and public citizens seeking information. There may also be a private entrance for judges and judicial staff. The administrator's private office should be generally consistent in size with that of the clerk's private office: approximately 250 to 325 square feet.
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Environment

Lighting, acoustics, and interior finishes should be appropriate to the setting. Natural lighting is desirable in the work area.
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Needs of Persons with Disabilities

All areas of the office should be accessible to persons with disabilities.
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Adjacency and Circulation

Court administration deals most frequently with the judges and the clerk of court. The office should have easy and direct access to both of these offices. However, the administrator's role is more private and far less public‑oriented than that of the clerk. It is generally recommended that the office be located higher in the facility, with convenient access to the judges and judicial staff through private circulation.
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Accessibility

The office should have both public and private entrances. The general public and attorneys should enter from the public circulation zone. Judges and judicial staff should enter from the private, or restricted zone. Court administration staff should have access to "staff only" areas through the use of a controlled access system. Where the court administration and clerk's duties are shared, their offices might be located close o each other.
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Security

The office should maintain standard courthouse security measures. The private corridor used by court administration staff and judicial personnel should have controlled access, either through card or key entry.
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Furnishings

Furnishings should be compatible with that of a business office.
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Technology

It should be assumed that every work station, or office, will require a computer workstation with video display monitor(s), a printer, and document scanner. Many workstations will require dual monitors. Other devices that may need to be accommodated include telephone, phone chargers, battery chargers, and computer tablets. Each workstation will require a minimum of two quadriplex electrical outlets and one dedicated computer power receptacle, two data jacks and one phone jack (3 CAT6 lines). Specialized workstations may require additional electrical outlets. Because of the heat generated by electrical equipment, steps should be taken to ensure that equipment is cooled. Plans should include room for considerable growth in electrical demand.


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The Courthouse
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Space Planning Standards



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