Pierce County District Court has been awarded a $50,000 grant by the State Justice Institute to help plan for the closure of the Hosmer branch court and the transfer and consolidation of those functions to the County-City Building.
County Executive Pat McCarthy has been working with stakeholders to move District Court out of the building on Hosmer Street in Tacoma to save money on operating and capital costs.
District Court applied for the grant to help provide technical assistance and planning for the closure and consolidation. This project will relocate two full-service courtrooms, one hearing room, three mediation rooms as well as extensive clerk operations into soon-to-be-retrofitted space in the County-City Building. In addition, the project will integrate operations for eight judges and 97 staff into this single site. The challenge is to:
· Review and rework core court processes and infrastructure.
· Redesign and install a new management structure.
· Review and plan new calendaring approaches.
· Prepare and implement for the transition to the new work environment.
The target for completing the project is spring 2011.
“The goal of the transition planning effort is to take advantage of this move to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of court services,” said District Court Presiding Judge Maggie Ross.
The State Justice Institute, based in Alexandria, Va., was established by federal law in 1984 to award grants to improve the quality of justice in state courts and facilitate better coordination between state and federal courts. The nonprofit corporation is governed by a Board of Directors appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. More information is available at www.sji.gov.
The court applied for the grant in partnership with Dr. John Martin, a Boulder, Colo.-based policy and management planning consultant who has work with courts across the country for more than 35 years.