Monthly Archives: April 2014

Court System Changes: Realignment

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Last October’s post about court system changes discussed structural changes, such as combining different tiers of state trial courts into a single tier, transferring jurisdiction over some types of cases from one type of court to another, or placing multiple courts under a single administration. These changes are driven by a need for efficiency, both to decrease costs during times of tight budgets and to insure fairness in access to justice.

In July 2010, we discussed how municipal courts in New Jersey, driven primarily by budget concerns, are using shared services and consolidation agreements to combine several local courts … Read More

Search for Your Unclaimed Cash

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Today, April 25, 2014, I heard an advertisement on the radio for the State of Washington’s “Claim Your Cash” website. The radio advertisement encourages people to check the State’s unclaimed property website for money that is being held by the State. Generally, unclaimed property is money that is forwarded to the State by organizations that held funds which had not been claimed by the rightful owner within a three year period. Unclaimed property consists of bank accounts, insurance proceeds, utility deposits and uncashed checks.

In Washington State, the funds are held by the State until claimed by the rightful owner. … Read More

Juvenile Status Offenses-Incarceration or Intercession?

In our last post, we examined the confidentiality of juvenile records and the various state procedures available to seal or expunge them.  As noted, the public does not have access to these records once sealed,  but law enforcement and court personnel do retain unfettered access.  If the juvenile record includes acts considered felonious if committed by an adult, that record will likely remain unsealed.   But what of acts deemed illegal only because of the offender’s status as a juvenile?  How are these “status offenses” defined legally?

Status offenses are acts that would not be considered illegal if committed by an … Read More