The New Chief Judge of the D.C. Superior Court has now shared with the public a plan that apparently won him hisjob - and we can understand why it did. H. Carl Moultrie I and three other Superior Court judges submitted written papers to D.C. Judicial Nomination Commission describing "how I shall proceed if I am designated chief judge." Judge Moultrie's winning entry - and now his agenda for the court - is an impressive, 29-page list of proposals to improve the management of the court. Moreover, it seems to be attracting deserved support from various corners of the local judicial community.
The plain addresses two subjects of principal concern to the nomination commission: administration of the court and the need for more citizen understanding of and involvement in the court's policies and procedures. To improve management, Judge Moultrie lists as one of his priorities the selection of a strong court executive to assist him in all administrative matters. In addition, the chief judge intends to delegate some authority, by appointing various trail judges to head the criminal, civil, family, probate and tax divisions of the court. That should result in greater accountability as the court's operations continue to be assessed.
The plain also includes suggestions for reducing some of the delays that have been occurring before a case can get to trail. Still another proposal calls for the judges to establish to set time for the start of court proceedings each day. May that please the court - for it certainly would eliminate much public criticism about the goings-on in Superior Court, and we don't think it's too much to ask of the judges. Judge Moultrie also intends to find out what else may be bothering citizens, through regular meetings and speeches in the community; and he would like his colleagues to participate in this effort, too. One of the main topics Judge Moultrie intends to talk about with citizens' groups and school officials is juvenile delinguency.
The plan also addresses some of the pet peeves of citizens. For examples, Judge Moultrie wants rules to "enchance the professionalism" that is necessary for good management, noting that "one of the criticisms lodged against the court has been that some of its staff has evidenced an indifferent and unprofessional manner in dealing with the public and the bar." Also proposed are fact sheets and a handbook to assist the public in using the new courthouse.How logical - and helpful. If Judge Moultrie completes this thoughtful agenda as quickly and as well as he has proposed, the respect for Superior Court cannot help being enchanced.