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Who Runs Your Local Court?

February 14th, 2009 · No Comments

As with any business or organization, someone needs to be in charge to make sure things run smoothly. Someone needs to pay the bills, hire personnel, create business plans, and simply ensure a smooth operation. Well, we know that a judge controls the legal aspect of the court room, but who is actually responsible for making a court system run smoothly? It is the Administrative Office.

In many states, this office is  called the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). Depending on the size of a state, there could be several divisions in the AOC, each assigned with specific tasks designed to help the court system run smoothly. This can range from technology departments to finance departments to departments responsible for continuing education of the court personnel.

Interestingly, the AOC is  the agency that often has a large say in how a court chooses to provide access to court records and other documents. For example, to create an online court records system, this requires hiring a company to create/manage the hardware, software, database, etc. The AOC and its varying departments are responsible for budgeting, policy making, and more. All of these are key parts to creating and implementing an efficient court records system.

Furthermore an AOC could be in charge of regulating certain court programs. For example, some courts have specialized divisions such as Drug Courts or Juvenile Courts. Often, these types of courts use other resolution methods besides jail. These methods can include counseling, drug treatment programs, and more. An AOC can play an integral part in the operation of such programs.

It is important to keep in mind that the responsibilities of the AOC will vary by state. Also, the courts that are supported by an AOC can vary as well. Some AOCs will support  trial and appellate court system while other AOCs will only support the trial court system of that state.  Also, not every state has a department called an “AOC.”  However, even if there is not a specifically named AOC division of the court, there is generally some sort of administration responsible for the court running smoothly.

It can be a good idea to keep an eye on what your local AOC (or court adminstration) is doing, as they are often responsible for any expansion plans or improvements to your access to records. Court adminstration departments, such as the AOCs, often have websites and provide regular updates on the goings ons and projects. To find access to AOC and court websites in your state, visit CourtReference.com.

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