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Court management: the administrators and their judicial environment

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Court management: the administrators and their judicial environment
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Counties ( jstor )
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Thesis--University of Florida.
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Bibliography: leaves 299-315.
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Typescript.
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Vita.
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by Steven W. Hays.

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COURT MANAGEMENT: THE ADMINISTRATORS AND
THEIR JUDICIAL ENVIRONMENT


















By

Steven W. Hays


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY




UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1975














ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


I wish to express my sincere appreciation to Dr. Larry

Berkson and Dr. William Kelso. Any clarity and consistency

of usage in the text is largely the result of their efforts.

In addition, I would like to thank Dr. Ernest Bartley, Dr.

Manning Dauer, and Dr. Charles Frazier for their coopera-

tion in serving on my committee. They provided not only

assistance in their suggestions for this dissertation but

have furnished encouragements to me throughout my graduate

career at the University of Florida. I would also like

to thank the many court clerks, chief judges, court admin-

istrators, and other judicial personnel whose comments

comprise the most interesting and useful part of this work.

Finally, I would like to express my deep appreciation to

Anne Marie, my wife, who has provided assistance and

support not only in the present endeavor, but throughout

the long and difficult years of my graduate study. Any

deficiencies of this work are, of course, my sole responsi-

bility.














TABLE OF CONTENTS


Page
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ........ ................... ii

ABSTRACT ............ ...................... v

CHAPTER
I INTRODUCTION ........ ................ 1
The Problem ....... .............. 1
The Florida Court System .... ........ 5
The History of Court Reform ...... 11
Organization Theory .. .......... 19
Hypotheses and Theoretical
Frameworks ..... .............. 29
Methodology ..... .............. 32

II THE FLORIDA COURT STRUCTURE AND
PERSONNEL ......................... 39
A History of the System .. ........ 39
The Chief Judges .... ............ 45
The Court Clerks ........... 57
The Court Executive Assistants ..... 72
Administrative Process .. ......... 91
Summary ...... ................ 98

III THE MANAGEMENT DILEMMAS ... ........... 100
Lack of Judicial Management .. ...... 100
The Impact of Localism ... ......... 109
Fragmented Administrative Authority 134
Summary ...... ................ 145

IV REFORMING THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM .. ........ .147
Introduction ..... .............. 147
Redefining the Roles of Court Managers 149
Systemic Reforms .... ............ 180
Summary ...... ................ 201

V OBSTACLES TO REFORM ..... ............. 203
Resistance to Change .... .......... 203
The Legal Culture ... ........... 209
Resistance from Court Managers ...... .224
Macro-Political Influences .. ....... .240
Summary ...... ................ 248


iii









TABLE OF CONTENTS (Continued)


CHAPTER
VI


Page

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS .......... 251


APPENDICES
A THE QUESTIONNAIRES .. .......
B SELECTED SECTIONS OF ARTICLE V
C POSITION DESCRIPTIONS: COURT
ADMINISTRATORS ... .........
D COURT EXPENSES BY FUNDING SOURCE
E STATUTORY DUTIES OF CHIEF JUDGES


SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY ....... ................ 299


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ....... ................


. . . 259
. . . 279

. . . 289
. . . 295
. . . 297


316













Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the
Graduate Council of the University of Florida
in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy


COURT MANAGEMENT: THE ADMINISTRATORS AND
THEIR JUDICIAL ENVIRONMENT


By

Steven W. Hays

December, 1975


Chairman: Ernest R. Bartley
Major Department: Political Science


This work constitutes a qualitative analysis of

court reform in a state judicial system. It is a norma-

tive analysis which focuses on two major aspects of judicial

reform: (1) the reactions of court managers to the imposi-

tion of innovation into their environment; and (2) the

political and cognitive obstacles to reform.

The degree of acceptance of reform is viewed as being

related to five areas of organization research: (1) the

relationship between the "natural" and "artificial"

systems; (2) the level and complexity of technology employed

by court organizations; (3) the number and types of organi-

zational goals; (4) the nature of the court system's

environment; and (5) the nature of the values, roles, and

individual goals exhibited by organizational members.








The trial court in the State of Florida is the

primary organizKtional unit.f-analysis. A 1972 constitu-

tional revision reputedly transformed the Florida courts

into a consolidated system which has clearly defined

administrative and jurisdictional authority. The three

groups of court managers who are ultimately responsible

for implementing innovative administrative and procedural

practices are chief judges, court clerks, and court admini-

strators. The roles and attitudes of these individuals

are examined in order to determine whether the Florida

judicial system merits classification as a "reformed" or
"unified" entity. The research methods utilized include

seven months of participant observation, and interviews

and questionnaires administered to a large majority of the

court managers.

The most significant finding is that resistance from

the court managers has severely inhibited reform. Chief

judges have defaulted in their administrative responsi-

b-kilities. Instead of actively asserting their constitutional

management authority, the judges have perpetuated the

previous administrative system which diffused court manage-

ment authority. Consequently, court clerks have retained

their traditional preeminent control over many crucial

aspects of court management.

Court clerks are found to be decidedly unprofessional

and parochial in their approach to judicial responsibilities.

This fact has resulted in numerous management dilemmas,








including inconsistent procedures, forms and applications

of technology.

The most important factor contributing to the chief

judges' reluctance to administer is seen as being their

inability to control judicial personnel and budgets.

Various suggestions and proposals which conceivably would

solidify the judges' management position are noted. It

is suggested that the most expedient method to improve

court administration in Florida would be to institute

state assumption of all judicial fiscal and personnel

responsibilities. However, the data suggests that the

court managers' support of this proposal is minimal.


vii














CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION


The Problem

An interesting idiosyncrasy of the American system of

justice is that the courts within the states are almost com-

pletely independent of each other.1 In most states, the

court structure is fraught by a multiplicity of trial courts
"without coherence and centralized administrative manage-

ment."2 Each court within the system constitutes a distinct

administrative unit without centralized direction or super-

vision. Consequently, state justice is characterized by

an extreme form of fragmentation and local autonomy.3

This decentralized nature of the state trial courts has

been cited as the single most influential factor contribut-

ing to the administrative inefficiencies which plague



iSee, e.g., Herbert Jacob, Justice in America (Boston:
Little, Brown and Co., 1972), pp. 152-63; and Richard J.
Richardson and Kenneth N. Vines, The Politics of Federal
Courts (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1970), pp. 48-54.

2Report of the President's Commission on Law Enforce-
ment and the Administration of Justice (Washington, D.C.:
Government Printing Office, 1968), p. 14.

3For a brief history of the development of the frag-
mented court system in the United States, see Roscoe Pound,
"The Causes of Popular Dissatisfaction with the Administra-
tion of Justice," in Judicial Administration and the Admin-
istration of Justice, ed. Dorothy W. Nelson (St. Paul:
West Publishing Co., 1974), pp. 10-15.

1








American justice today.4 The lack of centralized direction

allows antiquated procedural, structural, and administrative

practices to persist and flourish. Utilizing such outdated

techniques, the courts have shown themselves to be unable to

meet the demands imposed by the "law explosion" of the twen-

tieth century. Although the administration of justice is

one of the most important public functions, the judicial

branch of government has recently been accused of being the

least efficient and the least economical governmental organ.5

The "slowness" of the law, its unequal application to the

rich and the poor, and its inability to meet the demands

placed upon it have caused such authors as Leonard Downie to

label the state trial courts the "stagnant backwater of the

country's legal profession."6

The concensus among both legal and academic scholars is

that the shortest route to court reform is through the elim-

ination of the administrative anarchy that exists.7 Conse-



4See, e.g., Jerome S. Berg, "Assumption of Administra-
tive Responsibility by the Judiciary," Suffolk University
Law Review 6 (Summer, 1972), 796-854; Warren E. Burger,
"Deferred Maintenance of Judicial Machinery," New York State
Bar Journal 43 (October, 1971), 383-90; Joseph D. Tydings,
"Improving Archaic Judicial Machinery," American Bar Associ-
ation Journal 57 (February, 1971), 154-57.

5Alfred F. Conard, "The Crisis of Justice," Washburn
Law Journal 11 (Fall, 1971), 1-9.

6Leonard Downie, Jr., Justice Denied (Baltimore:
Penguin Books Inc., 1972), p. 159.

7For a lucid discussion of the growing realization that
the courts cannot be managed until they are administratively
unified, see Ernest C. Friesen, Edward C. Gallas, and Nesta
M. Gallas, Managing the Courts (New York: Bobbs-Merrill
Co., 1971).








quently, within recent decades several states have insti-

tuted varying forms of centralized, "uniform" systems of

justice. 8 The underlying assumption of these reform move-

ments is that by unifying the courts under central admini-

strative supervision (usually by the highest court of the

state), continuity of procedures, management techniques, and

judicial decisions can be achieved. Continuity among these

factors is viewed as being critical to a democratic polity,

for irregularities in the structure and organization of judi-

cial systems are seen as threats to the quality of justice

which the courts dispense. Because the decision of a court

is dependent upon the process used to arrive at that deter-

mination, it is now generally assumed that "a court with im-

paired management produces an inferior brand of justice.'9

Despite the noble objectives of court reform, relative-

ly little progress has been achieved in centralizing and

standardizing court structures and procedures.10 This fact

is hardly surprising. The effects of two centuries of frag-

mentation and decentralization cannot be expected to rapidly

evaporate in response to a legislative dictate. There exists


8The states of Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida,
Hawaii and Nebraska have all recently unified their court
systems.
9David J. Saari, "Management and Courts: A Perplexing
Nexus," American University Law Review 20 (December, 1970-
March, 1971), 604.

10For an analysis of the current status of court ad-
ministration in the states, see Law Enforcement Assistance
Administration, National Survey of Court Organization
(Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973).








in every state a number of factors which affect the ability

of reformers to institute needed change. Unfortunately,

very little is known about many aspects of state court man-

agement which exercise a great deal of influence upon both

reform attempts, and the justice system as a whole.

The present endeavor essentially constitutes a case

study of the systemic reform of a large state court system.

The relative success of court reform movements until now

has been measured in terms of the quantity of progressive

statutes passed, the number of constitutions revised, and

the number of trained judicial administrators hired.11 Al-

though these factors are indeed noteworthy, they do not

reflect the entire truth. The best possible constitutional

revision of a court system is of little utility unless it

results in the intended substantive administrative changes.

Examination of the experiences in one state serves to illus-

trate the obstacles which confront reformers.

This study examines three variables which are most

critical in evaluating the potential success of reform

attempts: the individuals responsible for administering

the courts; the traditional management practices utilized

by these personnel; and the political and institutional

context in which their duties are carried out. It is an

organizational study which explores the relationship


llThis conclusion is unavoidable. An examination of
all the reform-oriented literature of past decades reveals
that qualitative analyses of court reform are almost entire-
ly absent.








between the traditional modes of operation and the espoused

desires of reformers. The examination can be broken down

into sub-areas of research questions which are explored in

some detail, including the following:

1. What impact has decentralization had
on the system of justice under study? How do
these factors affect the efficiency of the
court?

2. How do the roles, attitudes, and per-
ceptions of the court administrators influence
the acceptance of change? Which of these factors
are particularly relevant to court management?

3. What proposals can be offered to help
eliminate the traditional inefficiencies of the
courts? Which of these will also be useful in
overcoming obstacles to reform?

4. What political and cognitive realities
exist that may obviate reform attempts?


The Florida Court System

The data required to operationalize the present study

was primarily compiled on the twenty circuit courts and the

sixty-seven county clerk offices which together comprise

the bulk of the judicial administrative "machinery" in the

State of Florida. The four District Courts of Appeal were

not included in the analysis due to their comparatively

minor role in the total administrative composition of the

system. Each of Florida's sixty-seven counties also con-

tains a county court. The chief judge of each circuit court

is constitutionally responsible for the "administrative

supervision of the county courts in his jurisdiction."12



12Florida, Constitution, art. V, sec. 2 (d).








Consequently, the administration of the county courts was

examined only insofar as it related to the activities of

the personnel in the circuit court and county clerks of-

fices.

The court system of the State of Florida offers a

particularly fruitful opportunity to study the interactions

between court personnel and their environment. There is

substantial evidence that the Florida court system is one

of the most progressive and advanced judicial structures in

the nation. On March 14, 1972, the voters of Florida ap-

proved the revision of Article V of the State Constitution

which essentially resulted in the complete restructuring of

the statewide court system into what is widely assumed to

be a unified whole. Former Chief Justice B. K. Roberts

characterized the passage of Article V when he stated: "In

one sweeping move to modernization, uniformity and consoli-

dation, overwhelming voter approval was given to a new

court system which has already been heralded as one of the

most modern in the nation."13

The immediate effects of the adoption of Article V

somewhat resemble the most optimistic desires of judicial

reformers. The basic provisions of the amended Article

create a unified state court system which consists of the

Florida Supreme Court, four District Courts of Appeal,

twenty circuit courts, and sixty-seven county courts. The



13The Honorable B. K. Roberts, as quoted in Florida
Judicial System Statistical Report, compiled by The Office
of the State Courts Administrator (Tallahassee: Legislative
Reference Bureau, 1973), p. 1.









TABLE 1.1

FLORIDA COURT SYSTEM: PREVIOUS AND PRESENT


Level Previous Present

I
State-Wide Supreme Court, seven Justices, Supreme Court, seven Justices,
six year terms, elected. six year terms. No change in
structure.

II Four courts of three judges Number of districts and number of
District Courts each, six year terms, elected. judges to be determined by general
of Appeal law enacted by the legislature on
recommendation from the State
Supreme Court. Judges are elected
for six year terms. General law
may provide for special divisions.

III 20 judicial circuits, one Any number of judicial circuits
Circuit Court judge for each 50,000 people. as recommended by the Supreme Court
No specialization by judges and as determined by general law.
on particular cases. Circuit judges to be elected for
six year terms. General law may
provide for a system of special
divisions. The Circuit Courts have
appellate jurisdiction from lower
courts and original jurisdiction
over cases not falling to county
courts. Probate jurisdiction is
assigned to the circuit courts.








Table 1.1, cont'd.


Previous


A. County Court or County
judges in each of 67 counties.
Counties could also have
special courts such as civil
court of record, criminal
court of record, juvenile court.

B. Justice of Peace Courts,
Courts in counties not having
abolished them by law.

C. Municipal Courts as es-
tablished by law.


A county court with one or more
judges is established in each
county. Jurisdiction and possible
special divisions are established
by general law. Judges shall serve
for four year terms, be paid by the
state and while existing judges
even if not lawyers may be eligible
to run, thereafter, only lawyers
may serve except in counties with
less than 40,000 population. Juris-
diction supercedes magistrate courts.
Justices of peace were discontinued
when this article became effective,
and municipal courts will be abol-
ished by January 3, 1977.


Level


IV
County and
Local Courts


Present









Supreme Court and the District Courts of Appeal were rela-

tively unchanged in the new system, while the lower courts

were radically altered. All trial level jurisdiction was

vested in the circuit and county courts. Jurisdiction of

the two courts was defined uniformly throughout the state

with the circuit courts having general jurisdiction and the

lower courts limited jurisdiction.14 All Justices of the

Peace, county judges' courts, county courts, magistrates'

courts, civil, criminal and felony courts of record, small

claims' courts and juvenile courts were abolished and re-

placed by a two-tier court structure.15 This resulted in

a consolidated court which is uniform in jurisdiction, geo-

graphically divided, and which has clearly defined admin-

istrative and jurisdictional authority.

These radical alterations were not accomplished with-

out some degree of difficulty. The Florida Constitutional

Revision Commission, which was responsible for preparing a



14The Omnibus Implementation Act for Revised Article
V (Florida Statutes, Chapter 72-404) defines the juris-
dictions thusly; County Courts shall have original juris-
diction in all criminal misdemeanor cases, of all viola-
tions of municipal and county ordinances, and of all ac-
tions of law in which the matter in controversy does not
exceed the sum of $2,500 exclusive of costs (Florida
Statutes, Section 34.01 amended). Circuit Courts shall
have exclusive jurisdiction of all felonies and of all
misdemeanors arising out of the same circumstances as a
felony which is also charged; of all proceedings related
to probate, guardianship, incompetency, and equity; of
all juvenile proceedings except traffic cases, and of all
other civil cases involving amounts in excess of $2,500
(Florida Statutes, Section 26.012 amended).

15The process of consolidating municipal courts into
the two-tier structure will not be completed until 1977.









revised version of the Florida Constitution for action of

the 1967 Legislature, presented that body with a proposal

that was deemed unacceptable. The Legislature diligently

attempted to arrive at a settlement as to the content of

the Article, but too many conflicting ideas were presented.

Subsequently, a new Article V was proposed by the legislature

and was placed on the ballot in the 1970 general election.16

This proposal was defeated by the citizens of the state.

That election had been preceded by a vigorous campaign

on the part of those both favoring and opposing the amend-

ment, and its defeat left Article V as the only section

of the 1885 Florida Constitution still in effect. Another

revision was then drafted by the Florida House and Senate

Judiciary Committees after hearings were held around the

state and preliminary drafts were circulated for comments

and suggestions.17 This last version was submitted as an

emergency matter to the voters on the March presidential

preference ballot. It was approved this time by a two-to-

one margin.18



16The article was voted down in 1967 and 1968. The
1969 session of the Legislature first placed the issue on
the ballot.

17See Manning J. Dauer, Proposed Amendment to the
Florida Constitution, University of Florida Civic Informa-
tion Series, No. 52 (Gainesville: Public Administration
Clearing Service, 1972), p. 1.

18The actual vote was 969,741 for, to 401,861 against
the revised article. Most commentators attribute the
radical change in public opinion to a successful voter
education program sponsored by the proponents of Article V.
Moreover, court delay had become so severe that the public
was becoming aware of judicial inefficiencies.









This history of the adoption of Article V serves to

illustrate the politically sensitive nature of court reform.

It also furnishes valuable insights into the problems and

conflicts that can be expected by reformers in other states.

The structure of Florida's court system prior to the adop-

tion of Article V greatly resembled the judicial structure

and administrative machinery that presently exists in many

areas of the United States. Consequently, the events

surrounding attempts to implement the article can be ex-

pected to reflect occurrences that may surface as other

states attempt to implement similar reforms. The predis-

positions and characteristics of the personnel intricately

involved in implementing reform in Florida are assumed to

be quite similar to those of their colleagues in other

states. Moreover, the traditional management procedures

and techniques which have yet to be replaced in Florida

are largely representative of practices throughout the nation.

The problems, inefficiencies, and conflicts present in

Florida's experience with reform thus have wide applicabil-

ity- and should enlighten future reformers as to the

obstacles they confront.


The History of Court Reform

Social scientists have historically been guilty of

what Jerome Frank aptly labeled "the upper court myth."19



19Jerome Frank, Courts on Trial: Myth and Reality in
American Justice (Princeton: Princeton University Press,
1949), pp. 222-24.








Lower trial courts have largely been ignored by the schol-

arly community because these institutions traditionally

have not been perceived as being politically significant.20

The few studies that had been conducted on the lower courts

within the past decades primarily analyzed these institu-

tions from the perspective of the United States Supreme

Court. However, a relatively recent trend that has emerged

in the literature indicates that scholars are broadening

their areas of inquiry to include the lower federal and

state judiciaries. The political importance of lower courts

is now recognized, and the study of such courts has become

a legitimate and popular endeavor.21 Recently, several

authors have analyzed the administration of local justice

in order to ascertain the effects of various procedural

practices on the quality of justice dispensed.22

Despite this increasing awareness of state courts by

political scientists, academicians have tended to devote



20Kenneth M. Dolbeare, Trial Courts in Urban Politics
(New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1967), pp. 1-5.

21See, e.g., James R. Klonski and Robert I. Mendelsohn,
The Politics of Local Justice (Boston: Little, Brown and
Co., 1970); John A. Robertson, ed., Rough Justice: Perspec-
tives on Lower Criminal Courts (Boston: Little, Brown
and Co., 1974); Kenneth Vines and Herbert Jacob, "The Role
of the Judiciary in American State Politics," in Judicial
Decision Making, ed. Glendon Schubert (London: The Free
Press of Glencoe, 1963), pp. 245-56; and Stephen Wasby,
"Public Law, Politics, and the Local Courts," Journal of
Public Law 16, No. 1 (1965), 105-30.

22See, e.g., Herbert Jacob, Debtors in Court (Chicago:
Rand McNally and Co., 1969); and David W. Neubauer, Criminal
Justice in Middle America (Morristown: General Learning
Press, 1974).









most of their attention to the study of substantive and

procedural case law. A virtual academic vacuum exists in

the specific area of court administration.23 The managerial

problems of judicial organizations at all levels have been

ignored. According to Ernest Friesen, "no person in

academic life is known as a specialist in court management."24

Public administrators have devoted themselves almost solely

to the agencies and offices of the executive and legislative

departments. This phenomenon may be attributed to the fact

that court systems, from an administrative position, are

extremely complex organizations that do not easily lend

themselves to traditional management procedures. The fol-

lowing reasons seem most pertinent in explaining this

conceptualization:

1. The key people in the courts are high
level professionals who are accustomed to work-
ing as individuals and are antagonistic toward
"management."

2. American society has traditionally
placed a high value on judicial independence,
and a variety of protective administrative
devices have been constructed to insure this
independence.

3. Many of the "dramatis personae" required
for successful judicial performance are not govern-
ment employees.



23For an excellent discussion of the paucity of
literature in the field of court administration, see
James A. Gazell, "State Trial Courts: An Odyssey into
Faltering Bureaucracies," San Diego Law Review 8 (March,
1971), 275-332.

24Friesen, supra note 7, p. 9.








4. The various participants in the liti-
gation process do not all have the same goal,
and responsibility and authority over goals are
not fixed by a finite administrative structure.25

Nevertheless, as the administrative problems in lower

courts have grown more acute, academic interest in court

management has increased. James A. Gazell states that

the courts' heightened degree of national visibility has

been partially responsible for this trend. The massive

arrests of civil rights and anti-war demonstrators in the

past decade so overburdened judicial machinery that the news

media was able to expose the grave shortcomings of trial

courts to public scrutiny.26 As a result, several Presi-

dential and Gubernatorial commissions were established to

investigate possible reforms for the systems.27 The defects

exposed by these commissions, and the proposals offered for

their solutions, have provided the impetus for increased



25Although these reasons have been cited often in the
literature, the most succinct discussion is offered by
Edward B. McConnell, "Organization of a State Court System:
The Role of a State Court Administrator," paper presented
to the National Conference on the Judiciary, Williamsburg,
Virginia, March 14, 1971.

26James A. Gazell, "Judicial Management at the State
Level: Its Neglect, Growth, and Principal Facets,"
California Western Law Review 7 (Spring, 1971), 355-82.

27See, e.g., The Report of the National Advisory
Commission on Civil Disorders (Washington, D.C.: Govern-
ment Publishing Office, 1968); The Report of the National
Conference of the Judiciary (Washington, D.C.: Government
Printing Office, 1971); and The Report of the President's
Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of
Justice (Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office,
1968).








academic attention to the bureaucratic limitations of the

American judicial system.28

Commentators from a number of fields are now address-

ing themselves to every conceivable administrative malady

facing the courts. Criticism of the judiciary from within

the legal profession has been legitimized by former Justice

Tom C. Clark29 and Chief Justice Warren Burger.30 The

professional literature is now replete with recommendations

for modernizing the judicial system at all levels.

However, several fundamental omissions exist in the

literature that has been generated by the sudden interest

in court management. Most authors dwell upon such general

operational aspects as judicial selection and tenure, the

procedural causes of delay, and judicial decision making.

Few studies of American courts acknowledge the existence

of any group of actors other than the judges.31 Conse-

quently, the total organizational context of judicial



28Although the issue of court reform has only become
popular recently, the recognition of basic systemic
maladies in the judicial structures has existed for some
time. See, e.g., Roscoe Pound, "The Causes of Popular
Dissatisfaction with the Administration of Justice,"
American Law Review 40 (1906), 729-50; and Arthur T.
Vanderbilt, The Challenge of Law Reform (Princeton:
Princeton University Press, 1955).

29Tom C. Clark, "Objectives for American Justice,"
Journal of Public Law 19, No. 2 (1970), 169-78.

30Warren E. Burger, "Bringing the Judicial Machinery
Up to the Demands Made On It," Pennsylvania Bar Association
Quarterly 42 (March, 1971), 262-67.

310nly two recent articles could be found which








activities has been largely ignored.32 In order to fully

comprehend the intricacies and exigencies of court reform,

judicial structure must be viewed in the total environ-

mental setting. The crucial elements of this environment

include quasi-judicial support structures,33 the formal

and informal interactions between these structures and

judicial personnel, and the external political variables

which dictate the nature of such interactions. These

aspects of court management constitute the least studied

(and consequently the least understood) facets of judicial

administration.

Although the importance of these factors has not

been totally recognized, a few authors have briefly noted

the potential influence that quasi-judicial officers may



mentioned the importance of non-judicial officers. Luvern
V. Ricke, "Unification, Funding, Discipline and Admini-
stration: Cornerstones for a New Judicial Article," Wash-
ington Law Review 48 (1973), 811-37; and Charles H. Sheldon,
"Structuring a Model of the Judicial Process," Georgetown
Law Review 58 (June, 1970), 1153-84.

32This trend appears to be reversing itself. Two
textbooks have recently appeared which deal pragmatically
with operational concerns of judicial management. See
Dorothy W. Nelson, ed., Judicial Administration and the
Administration of Justice (St. Paul: West Publishing Co.,
1974); and Ernest C. Friesen, Edward C. Gallas, and
Nesta M. Gallas, Managing the Courts (New York: Bobbs-
Merrill Co., 1971).

33The support structures, as defined in this study,
are staffed by such individuals as court clerks, deputy
clerks, and court executive assistants. These individuals
compose the primary administrative arm of most court
structures.








exert on judicial activity. For example, James A. Gazell

states that court clerks and court administrators, by

virtue of their strategic administrative position, may

become "staff competitors for judicial leadership" nomi-

nally exercised by chief judges.34 Because these personnel

possess "expertise," they may gain de factor control of

state judicial bureaucracies. Chief judges may be

experiencing what their counterparts in other bureaucra-

cies have encountered: a widening gulf between authority

and expertise.35 Court operations, and the directions

that reform movements take, may thus be primarily deter-

mined not by judges but by their- supportLpersonnel....

The ability of court clerks to resist the power of

judges has also been documented. For example, Jerome Berg

questions the rationality of placing primary administra-

tive control of the courts in the hands of independently

elected and appointed officers. He concludes that no

argument in favor of independent clerks outweighs "the

necessity of giving those who are responsible for the

efficient administration of the courts the requisite con-

trol of the entire organization.36 As independent

officers, clerks have historically presented judges with



34Gazell, supra note 26, p. 371.

35For an excellent discussion of this phenomenon as
it occurs in other organizations, see Victor A. Thompson,
Modern Organizations (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1961).

36Berg, supra note 4, p. 806.









a multitude of management problems involving office manage-

ment, procedural requirements and clerical techniques. Un-

fortunately, the last detailed analysis of this situation

was published in 1947.37

The fact that most state courts rely on locally-

oriented support structures has also been cited as one

of the primary reasons explaining the fragmentation and

decentralization of trial courts. The judiciary is linked

by these support structures to "local and partisan values

that encourage haphazard administration.'38 The consequence

of such a system has been a lack of central development and

orderly planning among court organizations. It has been

suggested that because local orientation leads to

irregularities in the organization and structure of trial

courts, the level and quality of justice available to the

citizens is affected.39

The level of political influence enjoyed by the

personnel who occupy quasi-judicial positions has also

been investigated. Richard Gable's account of court

reform in Los Angeles County indicates that administrative

personnel can marshall a rather large amount of political



37See Ralph R. Temple, "Court Officers, Their
Selection and Responsibilities," New York University Law
Quarterly Review 22 (Spring, 1947) 401-32.

38Richardson and Vines, supra note 1, p. 52.

39See Robert A. Carp, "The Scope and Function of
Intra-Circuit Judicial Communication: A Case Study of the
Eighth Circuit," Law and Society Review 6 (February, 1972),
405-26.








support to resist reforms which threaten their bureaucratic

position.40 In light of this fact, the suggestion that the

support personnel, as a collectivity, represent a formidable

power in state politics assumes added significance.

The literature thus reveals that certain aspects of

judicial organization exist which have not traditionally

been evaluated in terms of their impact on court administra-

tion. Although the administrative influence of support

structures has been assumed for some time, the consequences

and dimensions of this influence are poorly understood.

The necessity of comprehending all factors which might

affect the nature of judicial administration generally,

and court reform specifically, cannot be underestimated.

As reform movements accelerate throughout the nation, con-

sideration of these factors represents a particularly

timely issue.


Organization Theory

In the course of analyzing a state court system, the

present study assumes the validity of the concept of

organization as it relates to judicial structure. The

courts are characterized in terms of the theory of complex

organizations.41 An "organization" is viewed as an open



40Richard W. Gable, "Modernizing Court Administration:
The Case of the Los Angeles Superior Court," Public Admini-
stration Review 31 (March-April, 1971), 133-43.

41Ralph Stodgill identified eighteen different major
variations to the concept of organization. See his








system consisting of the interactions between the formal

organizational structure and the informal relationships

developed by organizational members.42 Moreover, it is

asserted that any system of justice entails the key

elements of complex organization: institutionalized

interaction of a large number of actors whose roles are

defined, who are required to follow explicit rules, and

who share common goals.43

Such a depiction of the judicial system is somewhat

iconoclastic. Rather than the highly rationalized, rule-

bound and bureaucratically structured system Max Weber

depicted, courts are typically highly decentralized and

extremely non-hierarchial systems of interaction in which

there are virtually no instruments to supervise practices

and secure compliance to the formal goals of the organi-

zation.44 Consequently, organizational theorists have

traditionally treated the courts as non-bureaucratic

entities. It was assumed by these individuals that the



"Dimensions of Organizational Theory," in Approaches to
Organizational Design, ed. James D. Thompson (Pittsburgh:
University of Pittsburgh Press, 1963), pp. 1-56.
42For an analysis of the distinction between these
two elements of organizations, see Alvin W. Gouldner,
"Organizational Analysis," in Sociology Today: Problems
and Prospects, ed. Robert K. Merton et al. (ew York: Basic
Books, 1959), pp. 400-28.

43For a classic discussion of the organizational
elements of court systems, see Malcolm M. Feeley, "Two
Models of the Criminal Justice System: An Organizational
Perspective," Law and Society Review 7 (Spring, 1973), 407-25.

44Ibid., p. 422.








judicial system was intentionally designed to avoid the

routinization endemic to complex organizations so that

adversarial proceedings would not assume the complexion

of bureaucratic "process." Although the merits of this

argument are obvious, few scholars now question the

validity of the conception of courts as organizations.

Viewing courts as simply another group of government

bureaucracies provides several advantages not found in

more traditional treatment of such institutions. An

organizational analysis expands the legitimate areas of

inquiry. Typical concerns of researchers examining govern-

ment agencies include: (1) the interrelationships between

the formal and informal systems; (2) the nature of the

values, roles, and individual goals exhibited by organi-

zational members; (3) the nature of the organization's

environment; (4) the level and complexity of the technology

employed to attain specific goals; and (5) the number and

types of organizational goals. Each of these factors is

pertinent to an analysis of court organization and the

effects of reform on that organization.

The formal system is commonly defined as the rational,

"legal" set of rules and structures which prescribe

behavior within an organization. Conversely, the informal

system is composed of the spontaneous, unplanned components

such as beliefs, values, prejudices, and unprescribed

social structures. Although behavior within organizations

is shaped by a variety of factors, the relationships








between these two systems are influential in determining

the nature of organizational activity.45 Courts, due to

their decentralized and relatively unformalized structures,

are especially susceptible to the influences of the inter-

actions between the systems. The introduction of

innovative reforms into the judicial structure is likely

to upset the delicate balance that has existed between

these systems for a century or more. The probability

exists that reforms, which by definion redefine the nature

of organizational interaction, will encounter opposition

from the informal system. Role conflict, "bruised pride,"

and other forms of friction-invoking situations can be

expected to arise. Each administrator's role conceptions,

attitudes, and individual goals will thus exert an influ-

ence upon the level of acceptance and success that reform

achieves.46

The fact that organizations are strongly influenced

by their environments is widely recognized. The link

between judicial systems and their environments is par-

ticularly profound. Due to the traditional conception of

courts as neutral governmental organs, the judiciary has

been hesitant to assume an advocacy role in obtaining

increased appropriations, personnel, space, and equip-



45See Anthony Downs, Inside Bureaucracy (Boston:
Little, Brown and Co., 1967).

46For a discussion of the effects of organizational
variables on compliance to formal goals, see Amitai Etzioni,
A Comparative Analysis of Complex Organizations (New York:
The Free Press, 1961).








ment.47 This practice has resulted in a bureaucracy which

is extremely dependent upon external political bodies.

Courts are also unique in that they do not possess a

viable clientele group through which to seek external

support. Other important elements of the environment

of judicial systems include: (1) the suppliers of the

organization, including the counties, state legislature,

and national organizations such as the Law Enforcement

Assistance Administration; (2) the support structures

which are not formally involved in the administration

of the court, including the states' attorney's office and

probation and parole commissions; (3) competitors of the

organization, which consist of other governmental agencies

competing for resources;. and (4) the active clientele of

the organization.

Many organizational theorists believe that the

technology employed by an organization is the single most

important factor affecting behavior within bureaucracies.

Although there is very little concensus as to what

"technology" actually means when referring to organi-

zations, the definition which has great utility here

is that developed by James Thompson. There are two

elements to his definition of the term: (1) the degree

of completeness of knowledge concerning cause and effect,



47See, e.g., Jim R. Carrigan, "Inherent Powers and
Finance," Trial 7 (November-December, 1971), 22-25; and
Owen Gallagher, "Reforming the District Court System in
Massachusetts," Suffolk University Law Review 6 (Summer,
1972) 843-54.








and (2) the degree to which consistent standards of

desiribility exist.48 Both aspects of the definition are

pertinent in examining the reaction of court personnel

to reform. If a large amount of consensus is present

concerning desirable standards and/or cause and effect

relationships, it can be assumed that externally imposed

innovations will be considered more legitimate.49 However,

a great deal of controversy surrounds the issue of tech-

nology as it relates to courts. The types and levels of

technology employed by different judicial organizations

vary greatly, and proponents of any one technological

method are confronted by resistance from a number of their

colleagues.50 It would thus appear that there is great

disparity between court administrators concerning the

issues of desirable standards and cause and effect. The

resulting dissention and skepticism over the technological

alterations imposed by reform can thus be expected to

influence the perceived legitimacy of the reform program.

If change is not perceived as being either legitimate or



48See James D. Thompson, Organizations in Action (New
York: McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1970).

49This reaction assumes, of course, that the imposed
innovation conforms to the notions and standards of
judicial personnel. If there is a pronounced lack of
consensus, no innovation would be universally acceptable.

50See, e.g., Robert L. Chartrand, "Systems Technology
and Judicial Administration," Judicature 52 (December,
1968) 194-98; and Ernest C. Friesen, "Constraints and
Conflicts in Court Administration," Public Administration
Review 31 (March-April, 1971), 121-24.








"useful," then resistance will surely follow.

The conceptualization of courts as organizations is

predicted on the assumption that judicial systems have

finite goals. However, a major obstacle confronting

students of court organizations is that there is a lack

of clarity concerning the nature of the formal goals of

the judicial bureaucracy.51 On an abstract level, court

administration is normally considered to be directed

toward the achievement of "justice." The preoccupation

of the courts with judicial process in an attempt to

guarantee fairness in adversary proceedings can be

viewed as an outgrowth of this goal. Consequently,

efficiency, the announced goal of reformers, is often

viewed by the legal community as being antithetical to

the formal organizational objective. Efficiency and

administration thus connote an abandonment of due process

considerations to financial and temporal exigencies.

The concern of legal theorists with this depiction

of the courts can be attributed to what Etzioni terms

the "goal model" of organizations. Under that model

the criteria for measuring the effectiveness of any or-

ganization is based upon the announced public goals of



51For example, Herbert Packer illustrates that
many goals can be operating simultaneously in a judi-
cial system. He identifies two major sets of antagon-
istic goals: the "due process" goals and the "crime
control" goals. See Herbert Packer, The Limits of the
Criminal Sanction (Stanford: Stanford University Press,
1968).








the administrative unit being studied.52 If the goal of

the bureaucracy is assumed to be justice, then the level

of organizational efficiency is determined by ascertain-

ing the degree to which justice is produced. However,

such a conceptualization is impractical because the con-

cept of justice has no clear relationship to empirical

evidence. Moreover, analysts following the goal model

tend to become preoccupied with formal structures and thus

ignore a number of crucial organizational variables.53

Measurement of the organizational efficiency of the court

systems through the use of the goal model thus becomes a

monumental, if not impossible, task.

As a result, this study utilizes a more open-ended,

multi-dimensional conceptualization of judicial goals.

Specifically, a "functional systems model" of organizational

activity is applied to the courts.54 This approach provides

two fundamental advantages over the goal model. First, a

realistic appraisal of the internal interactions of

judicial organizations is facilitated, thus enabling the



52Amitai Etzioni, "Two Approaches to Organization
Analysis: A Critique and a Suggestion," Administrative
Science Quarterly 5 (June, 1960), 257-58.

53The compliance and impact studies of specific court
decisions are especially guilty of overlooking internal
organizational variables. See, e.g., R. J, Medalie et al.,
"Custodial Police Interrogation in Our Nation's Capita:
The Attempt to Implement Miranda," Michigan Law Review 66
(1968), 1347-1422; and M. S. Wald et al., "Interrogations
in New Haven: The Impact of Miranda," Yale Law Journal
76 (July, 1967), 1521-1648.

54Etzioni, supra note 52, p. 259.








researcher to isolate specific problem areas. Second, the

courts are portrayed as being multi-functional units,55

therefore expanding the scope of the study to include non-

goal oriented activities such as service, maintenance,

and custodial operations.

The major difference between the two models is that

the idealistic perspective of a rational court structure

pursuing a single set of goals is replaced by a conception

of the courts as being composed of a large number of

individuals with different and often conflicting objectives.56

Each member of the court system possesses a unique set of

values, perceptions, and backgrounds. Thus, a perfect

coincidence of organizational goals with the informal goals

of judicial actors cannot be expected. A pronounced dis-

crepancy between these two types of goals (individual and

organizational goals) will eventually elicit conflicts

which will quite probably appear in an interpersonal or

institutional context. The presence of conflict often

denotes the existence of dysfunctional activities or atti-

tudes which affect the ability of the organization to



55Ibid., p. 260

56Besides Packer, who was cited earlier, there are
a number of other recent studies which recognize the
existence of goal conflict in the courts. See, e.g.,
Abraham Blumberg, Criminal Justice (Chicago: Quadrangle
Books, 1967); George Cole, ed., Criminal Justice: Law
and Politics (New York: Duxburg Press, 1972); and Jerome
Skolnick, Justice Without Trial: Law Enforcement in a
Democratic Society (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1966).








adjust to its environment.57 Consequently, unless mechan-

isms are developed to secure compliance to the formal

goals, internal dissention could conceivably inhibit the

attainment of organizational efficiency and institutional-

ized reform.

The importance of examining the non-goal oriented

aspects of judicial organizations is related to the

courts' systemic goal of justice. In the American judi-

cial system the process used to reach a specific decision

is as important as the nature of the decision itself.

Justice acquires meaning in a normative and legal context

only when operationalized in terms of procedure. Responsi-

bility for most of the procedural aspects of jurisprudence

have now arrogated to the support structures in response

to the increasing amount and complexity of litigation.

Therefore, if inefficiencies exist in the service and

maintenance organs of a court, the litigant's chances of

receiving a fair hearing are reduced. For example, Ernest

Friesen states:

If the court lacks the resources to perform
its functions, loses control over its pro-
cedures, or contributes to the inadequacy
of presentation, the individual will not
receive justice. The rationale that justice
will prevail in a majority of cases even if
some money is saved here or there, some
space is reduced, or some staff is displaced



57For a discussion of conflict and its relation to
the environment of organizations, see Paul R. Lawrence and
Jay W. Lorsch, Organization and Environment (Homewood:
Richard D. Irwin, Inc., 1969), pp. 203-95.








is indefensible.58

Consequently, the legal profession has begun to shed its

historic aversion to the concept of administrative effi-

ciency in the courts. Judicial reform movements are

primarily attempts to institute more effective and ef-

ficient administrative practices so that the quality of

justice will not decline.59


Hypotheses and Theoretical Frameworks

The major impetus for this undertaking arose from a

simple question: What aspects of court organization affect

the content and likelihood of success of reform: This

query is predicated on several subsidiary assumptions

concerning the judicial system. First, an analysis of

reform presupposes that alterations in the judicial system

are necessary. The legitimacy of the need for reform in

American courts has already been suggested. However, this

study departs somewhat from the norm by being cognitive

of the role that support structures play in the reform

process. It is assumed that the achievement of valid

reform depends upon the response of the entire organiza-

tion. The actions or inactions of any specific group of

individuals within the court system are seen as pertinent

considerations.



58Friesen et al., supra note 7, p. 19.

59It is ironic to note that if efficiency does become
the accepted "means to an end," the courts may soon repre-
sent the classic positive example of goal displacement.








It has been further hypothesized that conventional

organizational structures and techniques have resulted in

the development of behavior which is counterproductive to

court efficiency. The decentralized, fragmented nature of

the courts prior to reform allowed a variety of ineffective

procedures and relationships to arise. Many of these

factors are potentially deleterious to the implementation

of reform. For example, it was originally assumed that

decentralization enabled the lack of "professionalism" to

exist among certain pivotal court personnel.60 Due to the

fact that courts, perhaps more than any other type of

organization, must rely on professional norms to induce

adherence to formal goals, the absence of such standards

of behavior presents a particularly grave administrative

dilemma.61 Moreover, the extent to which the vested inter-

ests of these individuals are jeopardized by structural

alterations in the judicial system was assumed to be a key

variable in ascertaining the degree of informal acceptance

of innovation.



60For a discussion of the criteria by which occupa-
tions are classified as professions, see William J. Good,
"The Theoretical Limits of Professionalization," in Semi-
Professions and Their Organization, ed. Amitai Etzioni
(New York: The Free Press, 1969), pp. 266-314.

6lFor an analysis of the implications of relying on
professionalism as a primary control mechanism, see Eliot
Friedson and Buford Rhea, "Processes of Control in a
Company of Equals," Social Problems 11 (Fall, 1963),
119-31.








A final set of hypotheses stems from the depiction of

courts as governmental agencies. Due to the intricate

political interactions surrounding judicial systems, ex-

ternal variables are expected to exert a disordinate amount

of influence on the internal activities of individual courts.

Specifically, the ties between local political entities

and judicial personnel were perceived as being of funda-

mental importance. It is surmised that manifestations of

role conflict, or other forms of dysfunctional behavior,

would appear where the level of local influence on the

courts was extreme. Lastly, certain macro-political

institutions and interest groups are thought to exercise

some indeterminate control over the reform process.62

The theoretical framework utilized in this study is

drawn from the literature of public law and public admini-

stration. Additionally, many of the concepts used to

analyze court administration are borrowed from organi-

zational theory. The large number of variables and

hypotheses considered in the analysis complicates the

task of fitting all aspects into a consistent theoretical


62Although the comments above are helpful in focusing
the analysis, this research is essentially exploratory and
is therefore not directly concerned with the strict testing
of hypotheses. Consequently, the study is more inductive
than deductive. A number of conclusions and hypotheses
arose as a result of the research, and these are stated at
the end of each chapter. However, because many of the
hypotheses became apparent only after research was well
underway, it is not suggested that they were validated here.
The merits of utilizing both induction ad deduction in social
science research have been discussed widely. See Heinz
Eulau, Micro-Macro Political Analysis (Chicago: Aldine Pub-
lishing Co., 1969).








whole. However, the courts encompass such a wide range of

organizational management and policy questions that it is

believed that this omission is justified. Moreover, the

major issue areas of contemporary organizational theory

are integrated into the discussion. The resulting com-

prehensiveness of approach should compensate for any

theoretical inadequacies which may exist.


Methodology

The information used to compile this analysis of the

Florida court system was obtained from three primary

sources: (1) semi-structured personal interviews with

a number of judges, court executive assistants, and court

clerks in the state; (2) questionnaires distributed to

these individuals; and (3) various documents composed by

agencies and commissions concerned with court reform in

Florida. In addition, participant observation data was

used to supplement and verify several of the conclusions

reached.63

The three groups of individuals studied compose the

bulk of personnel responsible for court administration in

Florida.64 These groups include the court judges of the

twenty circuit courts, the seventeen court executive



63The advantage of using several methodological tech-
niques in gathering data and supporting propositions is
widely acknowledged. See, e.g., Eugene J. Webb et al.,
Unobtrusive Measures: Nonreactive Research in the Social
Sciences (Chicago: Rand McNally, 1966), pp. 1-28.

64Throughout this study, the term "court manager" is








assistants employed by the circuits,65 and the sixty-

seven county court clerks. The Chief Justice of the

Florida Supreme Court and the Office of State Courts Ad-

ministrator are also posts of considerable importance to

judicial management in the state. While the administrator

and his staff were personally interviewed, information

from the office of the Chief Justice was obtained pri-

marily from policy and position statements emanating

from the Supreme Court.

A total of twenty-eight in-depth interviews were con-

ducted during a seven-month period. Although representa-

tives from all three major groups of administrators were

interviewed, only data concerning the chief judges was

collected exclusively through this technique. It was

assumed that personal contact with these individuals would

enhance the quality of information received. In two cases

individual judges were interviewed over the telephone due

to scheduling difficulties.

The interviews followed the form outlined by Claire

Sellitz et al. in which questions were structured in

such a way as to allow respondents a degree of freedom



used generally to apply to all personnel responsible for
court administration in the state. Conversely, "court
executive assistant" or "court administrator" applies
specifically to the trained individuals who have been
employed to assist the judges in administering the courts.

65Three circuits do not utilize court executive
assistants. These are the Fifth, Sixth, and Twelfth
Circuits.








in their replies.66 Therefore, the instrument was flex-

ible enough both to allow concentration on particularly

useful topics or to abandon unprofitable lines of question-

ing. This proved to be extremely beneficial. Most of

the judges were highly opinionated and openly voiced their

sentiments about a multitude of pertinent issues. Or-

ganizational goals, budgeting dilemmas, constitutional

inadequacies, administrative inefficiencies, judicial

philosophy and a number of other topics were discussed

frankly. Among the other major issues explored in the

interviews were: (1) the background variables of respond-

ents, (2) attitudes concerning other personnel in the

judicial system, (3) conceptions of court reform and the

court system generally, and (4) administrative matters

relating to leadership, communication flow, organiza-

tional structure, and informal relationships. Of partic-

ular interest to the interviewer were the responses of

the three judges whose circuits do not employ court admin-

istrators. Comparisons were made between those circuits

which seemed to exhibit an active interest in reforming

judicial administration and those that appeared less

concerned.

Data concerning the court executive assistants and

court clerks was obtained through the use of question-

naires. Of a universe consisting of seventeen court



66See Claire Sellitz et al., Research Methods in
Social Relations (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston,
1959), pp. 235-76.








executive assistants and sixty-seven court clerks, 82.3%

(N = 14) and 86.6% (N = 58) responded respectively.67

This high return rate was rather unexpected inasmuch as

the research instrument was of a relatively lengthy

nature.68 Moreover, many of the court personnel who had

been contacted during the design of the questionnaire had

expressed chagrin and open hostility toward the increas-

ing amount of forms, questionnaires, and "red tape" which

accompanied the implementation of Article V. This fact

dictated the omission of several questions that were per-

ceived to be relevant but which would have increased the

size of the questionnaire to a prohibitive level.69

Research techniques developed by Herbert Jacob,70



67Defensiveness on the part of one circuit judge
resulted in the loss of five respondents who would ordi-
narily be expected to reply.

68The high return-rate may be attributed to the fact
that if a member of the sample failed to respond to both
questionnaire mail-outs, efforts were then made to inter-
view that individual personally. Moreover, the question-
naires included a "cover letter" which listed a large
number of state judicial personnel who have endorsed the
present study. Among these individuals are: The president
of the Florida Clerks's Association, and several circuit
judges and court administrators.

69Many researchers argue that a shortened question-
naire is less dangerous to the validity of a study than
is the reduced return-rate that can be expected when
lengthy questionnaires are utilized.

70See Herbert Jacob, "Black and White Perceptions
of Justice," Law and Society Review (August, 1970),
69-89.








Angus Campbell,71 John Robinson and others72 were incor-

porated into the questionnaire. A mixture of open-ended

and fixed alternative questions were employed.73 The

instrument was designed to gather data falling into three

major categories: (1) that dealing with personal charac-

teristics, background variables, and pre-entry training;

(2) that dealing with attitudes toward, and inter-personal

relationships with, other individuals within the judicial

system; (3) that concerning the administrative design and

operation of the court structures. The data provided

insights into administrative problem areas, attitudes

toward reform, the level of professionalism present in the

circuits and a variety of other issues. Variables such

as the size of the respondent's county, his level of

education and pre-entry training, and his conceptions of

official duties were held constant in order to identify

possible relationships.74 Finally, attitudes concerning

roles, functions, and duties are juxtaposed against the

legally defined position descriptions.



71See Angus Campbell, Measures of Political Attitudes
(AnnArbor: Survey Research Center Press, 1968).

72See John P. Robinson, Robert Athanasiou, and Kendra
B. Head, Measures of Occupational Attitudes (Ann Arbor:
Survey Research Center Press, 1969).

73See Sellitz et al., supra note 66, pp. 255-56.

74For a discussion of the fallibility of causal rela-
tionships, see Alan C. Isaak, Scope and Methods of Political
Science (Homewood: The Dorsey Press, 1969), pp. 94-98.








Crosstabulations are also utilized to determine the

relationships between a number of variables. This proved

to be particularly fruitful because the responses of

all the administrators within most circuits were obtained.

Thus, if a particular individual's replies revealed any

unusual or unexpected relationships, those pieces of data

could generally be verified by crosstabulating them with

the responses of the administrator's colleagues. Moreover,

information relating to the perceived roles and duties

of each administrator could be evaluated more effectively

by examining how the other personnel in the system viewed

him.

Information supplied by the staff of the Joint Select

Committee on Judicial Personnel proved to be exceptionally

useful. The researcher had originally intended to dis-

tribute questionnaires to a sample of the four thousand

deputy clerks in the state. However, repeated efforts to

contact these personnel were frustrated by the court clerks.75

Consequently, information relating to training methods,

technological complexity and internal office management

was lacking. Much of the missing data was supplied by

the Committee, as well as a sizeable amount of information

relating to the political and managerial intricacies of

the Florida judicial system. Among the items furnished



75The exact circumstances surrounding the reaction of
the clerks to attempts to interview their subordinates will
be explained and analyzed in Chapters II and III.








by the Committee were statistical surveys concerning the

organizational size and structure of many local court

systems. Moreover, the staff's access to Legislative and

Supreme Court policy proposals enabled a more comprehensive

analysis of the macro-political environment of the judicial

system than would otherwise have been possible.

During the course of this investigation, ample oppor-

tunity was available to observe the various administrators

in their "natural" environment. The knowledge and insights

gained through these observations have been incorporated

throughout this study. Although the validity of con-

clusions reached during an observation is difficult to

test empirically, the value of such a research technique

has not been questioned. Observation assists the researcher

in developing more substantive questions, as well as pro-

viding him with a deeper understanding of the temper of

the organization. However, any conclusions contained in

the present analysis which are based entirely upon such

observations are clearly noted as such.















CHAPTER II

THE FLORIDA COURT STRUCTURE

AND PERSONNEL



A History of the System

Before the implementation of Article V the Florida

judicial system lacked centralized administrative direction

and a locus of responsibility. This deficiency resulted in

a fragmented and unmanageable structure. Each court form-

ulated its own administrative rules and procedures. Indivi-

dual administrators and judges determined the personnel

requirements of their particular courts. No one person was

responsible for collecting statistics to determine the

financial and judicial requirements of the various court

systems. Moreover, no single individual had the authority

to transfer a judge from one jurisdiction to another, to

establish uniform procedures, or to pursue any activity

requiring the coordination of the various elements of the

system.

This anarchistic situation was aggravated by the

tendency to create specialized courts to meet the exigencies

of a rapidly changing society. The response to the judicial

backlogs and overloads brought about by increasing amounts

of automobile, civil and juvenile litigation was to simply

create new courts to administer these neoteric areas of the

39







law.1 This approach was dictated, in part, because legisla-

tive alteration of the judicial system is much simpler to

accomplish than is constitutional revision. Moreover, it

was generally assumed that legislatively created special

courts would be in existence only temporarily.2 However,

experiences with government organs nationwide indicate that

once a bureaucracy is established, it tends to be self-

perpetuating.

Political considerations also explain the popularity

of creating special courts. Legislators discovered that

such courts constituted an adequate vehicle for dispensing

political patronage. While the legislators were able to

create political offices for their party supporters, the

constituents of each district viewed the special courts as

justified legislative responses to local judicial require-

ments. Moreover, despite the abundant political advantages

offered by this "solution" to court reform, the state

legislature was not obligated to appropriate funds to

establish the special courts. Since the individual counties

financed the court system almost entirely, legislators

would seldom object to the creation of the new courts in

districts other than their own.3


lFor a discussion of the tendency of states to create
large numbers of special courts, see Roscoe Pound, Organi-
zation of Courts (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1940).
2See Phillip Smith and Neil H. Graham, "Reorganization
of the Court Structure," Alabama Law Review 10 (Spring,
1958), 139-53.
3See, e.g., Harry 0. Lawson, "Overview of Court Admini-
stration: A Commentary," paper presented to the Institute of
Court Management, American University, Washington, D.C.,
July 8, 1974, 12-16.








Consequently, special courts became judicial appendages

in every county in Florida. Each of these courts became a

separate entity which created new sets of vested interests.

The county clerks and judges exercised concurrent control

of the courts situated in their locales. Judges and clerks

became heavily involved in the administrative operation of

their courts, including the areas of budgeting, personnel

management, and procedural requirements. The amount of

appropriations allocated to each court often depended upon

the political relationship between the court administrators

and governing bodies. Moreover, because the clerical

functions were the responsibility of the independently-elected

clerks, and not directly under the control of the courts,

altercations between the-court administrators themselves

were not uncommon. The situation that existed was some-

what analogous to a judicial feudal system in which each

court represented a separate feifdom where responsibility

and control was divided between two major factions.

The negative consequences of this decentralized system

of justice were myriad. The plethora of local, specialized

judicial structures resulted in a tremendous number of

overlapping jurisdictions. Potential litigants were

confronted by a profusion of courts which conceivably had

jurisdiction over their cases. Because the courts were

dependent upon local political bodies for financial support,

great disparities in levels of funding existed. Courts

located in wealthy communities, or in areas where the








court's relationship to local political authority was

especially salutory, could generally provide a better

level of services to their clients than courts located in

less advantageous environments. Due to the lack of

organized personnel systems, judicial employees were often

hired on a patronage basis and were thus dependent upon

the judge or clerk for tenure. The court administrators

dictated the terms of employment, thus resulting in gross

disparities between counties in salaries, fringe benefits,

and qualifications of personnel. Moreover, attorneys

practicing in courts located in different areas were often

confronted by dissimilar procedural requirements and legal

forms.

However, perhaps the most serious consequence of the

fragmented court system resulted from the internal admini-

strative split between the court clerks and judges. Because

the clerks' offices have traditionally been the primary

administrative arm of the courts, an alienated clerkwas in

an ideal position to subvert the operations of the judiciary.

The clerk's strategic role as administrator over clerical

procedures, space and equipment in the counties was

supplemented by his dual role as chief budgetary officer.

Consequently, the judges were often required to maintain

positive working relationships with the clerks in order to

insure continued financial and operational supports.4



4For a discussion of the relationship between judges
and elected clerks, see Ernest C. Friesen, Edward C. Gallas,
and Nesta M. Gallas, Managing the Courts (New York: Bobbs-
Merrill Co., 1971), pp. 16-17.








This phenomenon further complicated the status of court

administration in the state, for responsibility and account-

ability could never be firmly established as long as the

judicial organizations were serving two masters.

The systemic and structural disorganization that

existed in Florida's courts provided the impetus for the

reform movement which culminated in the passage of Article

V of the Florida Constitution. As has been previously

stated, Article V restructured the Florida court system

into a consolidated structure with fixed administrative

responsibility. With the exception of municipal courts,

all special courts were abolished and uniformity in juris-

diction was instituted (Diagram 2.1). The judicial power

of the state was vested in four levels of courts, and the

policy making authority for the administrative supervision

of the judicial branch was delegated to the Supreme Court.5

Moreover, the chief judges of the twenty circuit courts

were given administrative responsibility for all the courts

located in their districts. Consequently, the judiciary in

Florida appears to have been granted not only the sole

adjudicatory authority, but also the responsibility for

maintaining itself through its administrative authority.

A literal reading of Article V thus depicts a judicial

system which rivals any in the nation for its progressiveness,

uniformity, and manageability.



5Florida, Constitution, art. V, sec. 2 (a).
















FLORIDA SUPREME COURT
7 JUSTICES





DISTRICT COURTS OF APPEALS

5 JUDGES EACH


ist district 2nd district 3rd district 4th district
Tallahassee Lakeland Miami W Palm Beach






CIRCUIT COURTS
263 JUDGES IN 20 CIRCUITS




1 :1 El Ll 11 l 1L





~COUNTY COURTS
164 JUDGES IN 67 COUNTIES






Diagram 2.1
STATE OF FLORIDA COURT ORGANIZATION








However, the court reformers soon realized that

efficient administration of a court system could not be

achieved by structural improvements alone. The impact of

traditional modes of operation lingered, and tended to

inhibit the adoption of a viable system of court adminis-

tration to accommodate the new structure. Determination of

the success of the reforms stipulated in Article V thus

depends upon a consideration of the court organizations

and personnel which have been vested with responsibility

for adapting the traditional managerial practices to the

renovated structure.


The Chief Judges

The circuit courts are Florida's trial courts of

general jurisdiction and have exclusive original jurisdic-

tion in all actions of law not cognizable by county courts.

The state is divided into twenty judicial circuits, follow-

ing county lines. Five of Florida's sixty-seven counties

encompass an entire judicial circuit, while the remaining

fifteen circuits encompass between two and seven counties

(Diagram 2.2).The number of circuit judges authorized for

each circuit varies from two to over seventy.6

Circuit court judges are elected circuit-wide for

six-year terms in non-partisan elections.7 Vacancies are


6Judges are assigned roughly according to the population
of the circuits. The largest circuit contains approximately
1,400,000 people, while the smallest has only 56,000.
7The salaries of the circuit court judges are uniform
throughout the state. The present salary is $36,000 annually.








































I -I

Br,-,XD OF
I COUU7 I
ICO,24IISSTONTERS
i I
I_. _j


-s,. 7
-I


BOAVD OF
COUNTY


-~~1


I OADOF I I I
COGUIY O I BOAOI OF
I COMMISSION. I
O IR C~'OaISSICNERS
hI I
.. .. L .. ...


Diagram 2.2
ADfM.IISTRATIVE PROCESS OF A
TYPICA-L JUDICIAL CIROJIT


F=Y:
Personnel
Budget L-
PAchin. Policy .








filled by the Governor from recommendations submitted by

non-partisan Judicial Nominating Commissions found in each

circuit. The requirements for holding office are quite

modest. A judge must devote his energies solely to judicial

duties and is eligible for office if he resides in the

territorial jurisdiction of his circuit. Moreover, the

prospective judge must be an elector of the state and must

have been a member of the bar of Florida for a minimum of

five years. No judge can serve after reaching the age of

seventy years except to complete a term of office.8

The chief judge of each circuit is chosen from among

the judges in his jurisdiction for a term of two years.9

Under the Florida Rules of Procedure established by the

Supreme Court, and as cited in Article V, the chief judge

of each circuit is established as the chief administrative

official for all courts within his jurisdiction. Thus, he

is responsible for the supervision of all judicial and

non-judicial activities which occur in any of the courts

within his respective circuit.

The unitary court system instituted by Article V is

heirarchially structured to give the Chief Justice of the

Florida Supreme Court final administrative authority over

the actions of his subordinates. Thus, the chief judges



8Florida, Constitution, art. V, sec. 8.

9Although the term of the chief judge is limited to
two years, they are permitted to serve consecutive terms.
Consequently, it is not uncommon to find chief judges who
have held their positions for several years.







of the twenty circuits have the responsibility to recommend

to the Chief Justice any substantive proposal designed to

expedite court administration. Any procedural, organiza-

tional, budgetary, or personnel requirements which affect

the judicial system as a whole are submitted to the Chief

Justice for review. The Chief Justice must then evaluate

the competing requests in terms of the judicial budget in

order to assure the most equitable distribution of scarce

resources.

However, most judicial management considerations which

confront the chief judges are not of a nature which requires

action by the Chief Justice. Internal budget preparation,

resource allocation, rotation of judges, calendaring,

assignment of space, personnel management and administration,

and judicial coordination are all functions which are the

direct responsibility of the chief judges. All court

personnel within the circuits are administratively subservient

to their respective chief judges in these matters. Conse-

quently, the chief judge has constitutionally-derived total

administrative authority over mos-t.spec.ts of court mana cement

in his circuit. Any management question arising from a

county court, clerk's office, or any other judicial or

quasi-judicial agency is directly within the purview of

the chief judge. Thus, these individuals have the authority

to undertake practically any action they deem necessary to

expedite judicial business.

Consequently, the circuit court chief judges constitute

key variables in examining the present judicial system in








Florida. The primary responsibility for implementing

Article V has been deposited squarely in their hands. Any

administrative uniformity which results from the re-organiza-

tion of the state's judicial system will be derived largely

from the efforts of the chief judges. Their attempts to

surmount the obstacles spawned by generations of decentral-

ization and traditionalism will dictate the level of success

that the reform movement achieves. Conversely, the dis-

inclination of the chief judges to utilize their strategic

administrative positions to unify and coordinate the judicial

system would constitute a capitulation to the forces of

tradition.

The chief judges were interviewed in order to examine

the roles and functions they have assumed in the revamped

judicial structure. As a group, the judges constitute a

relatively homogeneous body. The typical chief judge is a

Caucasian, Protestant male who has been a permanent resident

of Florida. Of the sixteen judges interviewed, only one

had not graduated from a law school within the state. Not

surprisingly, a tremendous coincidence of political and

administrative backgrounds is evident. Only two judges

(12.5%) indicated that they had received any type of

formalized administrative training. All the judges had been

employed in private legal practice before ascending the bench.

Moreover, the entire sample listed their political party

preference as Democratic (Table 2.1).

The uniformity in the background variables of the

judges implies that a corresponding continuity in attitudes









Table 2.1
BACKGROUND VARIABLES: CHIEF JUDGES


VARIABLES NUMBER PERCENTAGE


AGE 31-40 YEARS 2 12.50
41-50 YEARS 6 37.50
51-60 YEARS 7 43.75
OVER 60 YEARS 1 6.25

SEX FEMALE 0 0.00
MALE 16 100.00

RACE CAUCASIAN 16 100.00
OTHER 0 0.00

RELIGION CATHOLIC 3 18.75
JEWISH 2 12.50
PROTESTANT 11 68.75

LENGTH OF 11-20 YEARS 1 6.25
FLORIDA OVER 20 YEARS 15 93.75
RESIDENCE

ADMINISTRATIVE YES 4 25.00
EXPERIENCE NO 12 75.00


POLITICAL REPUBLICAN 0 0.00
PARTY DEMOCRAT 16 100.00
PREFERENCE INDEPENDENT 0 0.00

LENGTH OF 6-10 YEARS 5 31.25
TENURE IN 11-15 YEARS 7 43.75
OFFICE 16-20 YEARS 2 12.50
OVER 20 YEARS 2 12.50

IDEOLOGY CONSERVATIVE 8 50.00
LIBERAL 5 31.25
MODERATE 3 18.75








toward judicial roles and functions might exist.10 The chief

judges had apparently undergone very similar socialization

processes. They attended the same academic institutions,

obtained nearly identical pre-entry experience, and were

raised in very analogous social environments. Moreover, each

of them had been on the bench for many years preceding the

implementation of Article V. Consequently, all of the chief

judges were well acquainted with the traditional modes of

operation that had dominated Florida's judicial system before

re-organization. The resulting carry-over of anachronistic

management policies are especially germaine to this analysis.

The most obvious initial conclusion ascertained concern-

ing the roles of the chief judges in the judicial system is

that they have, for a variety of reasons, defaulted in their

administrative responsibilities. Instead of assuming the

burden for the managerial direction of their circuits, most

chief judges have perpetuated the previous system which

diffused court management authority. They tend to view their

roles as the final arbiters of disputes that arise within

the judicial system. Although this sentiment is variously

worded,11 the attitude appears to be almost universal.

Consequently, few judges have actively become involved in



10See, John Hogarth, "Background Characteristics of
Magistrates," in Rough Justice: Perspectives on Lower
Criminal Courts, ed. John A. Robertson (Boston: Little
Brown and Co., 1974), pp. 175-191.
liThe most commonly used statements voiced by the
chief judges to express this sentiment were: "I am here to
put out fires," "I am the final word," and "Everyone looks
to me to resolve problems."








the actual implementation of reform-oriented policies. As

one judge stated, "My business is the law. My business is

not to concern myself with budgeting, calendaring, or

personnel. I make the rules and orders of law." As a

result of this orientation, responsibility for the daily

administrative operation of the court system has been at

least partially abdicated.

It was assumed by the authors of Article V that

vesting centralized responsibility in the chief judges

would enhance inter-circuit coordination.12 Unfortunately,

the majority of chief judges have not assumed the duties

which are prerequisites to the attainment of such a goal.

Coordination depends upon the development of unified

budgetary, personnel, and general management systems under

the rubric of a centralized authority. However, most

management functions, including budgeting, space and equip-

ment supervision, and personnel, have remained in the hands

of those individuals who have traditionally performed such

tasks. Although the chief judges exercise titular control

over these activities, little active participation or

policy-making is evidenced.

This phenomenon may be partially attributed to the

lingering influences of the management practices that

existed before re-organization. Judges have been historically



12Staff Report of the Joint Select Committee on
Judicial Personnel, presented to the Joint Select Committee
on Judicial Personnel of the Florida Legislature, Talla-
hassee, Florida, January 13, 1975.








obligated to perform the role of a politician as well as

that of an officer of the court. Consequently, many chief

judges still approach their jobs from a political posture.

The utilization of bureaucratic practices to attain organi-

zational goals appears to be antithetical to the judges'

standards of "fair play." Thus, the use of constitutionally-

derived administrative power to accomplish objectives is

not considered to be an especially viable method of con-

fronting problems. Instead, judges tend to deal with

administrative maladies on a personalistic level. Examples

of such behavior are numerous. Most of the judges stated

that, before they make a decision influencing the activities

of other administrative personnel in the system, they first

consult all the interested parties and determine which

course of action is most acceptable. In evaluating the

characteristics most beneficial to a good judge, a much

greater emphasis was placed on interpersonal skills than

on managerial or administrative capabilities.13 Furthermore,

seven judges (43.8%) implied that the title "chief admin-

istrator," as it relates to the chief judge, is simply a

pseudonym for their role as chief political officer of

the court.

Despite the pervasive degree of uniformity present

among the backgrounds and attitudes of the chief judges,



13This fact is hardly surprising in light of the
chief judges' backgrounds. The anti-administration nature
of legal training, as well as the effects of a lack of
such training, will be discussed in the following chapters.









several notable exceptions are apparent. The judges of

the larger circuits appear to be far more reform-oriented

than their colleagues in the more rural areas. In the

two largest circuits the chief judges have discontinued

personally hearing cases in order to devote full attention

to administrative matters. Consequently, these judges

have been relatively successful in instituting innovative

managerial procedures. For example, the judge of the

largest circuit has coordinated the budgetary process

between the court and all quasi-judicial agencies to such

an extent that no personnel or capital expenditures may

be made without his personal approval. Moreover, the chief

judge of another highly urbanized circuit has adopted what

he terms a "managerial system." The elements of this system

include: "a centralized equipment and supplies dispersal

office, coordinated personnel and budgeting functions, and

uniform management direction aimed at isolating and

confronting problem areas."

As opposed to the chief judges of the larger circuits,

several of the judges from rural areas appear to adhere

more closely to the traditional management practices. These

individuals are particularly verbose concerning the

impracticality of "managing" the courts. Because most of

the personnel in the hierarchy are independently elected

officials, several of the rural judges question the wisdom

and legitimacy of "ordering them around." Consequently,

the generally accepted management technique in these

judges' circuits has been to follow a "crisis management"








approach. When a problem arises the chief judge will

exercise his authority to alleviate the situation, but few

judges indicated an interest in actively pursuing reform.

Moreover, the chief judges who displayed the greatest

degree of skepticism regarding Article V were primarily

from rural circuits. A typical comment from these individuals

usually included phrases such as the following, "Article V

is an administrative boondoggle!" The chief judges who

voiced a sentiment such as the one above often implied that

the imposition of an administrative system into the judicial

organization "makes most judges think that someone doesn't

think they're doing a good job or what's right." Moreover,

these judges universally opposed both the concept and the

application of the Case Disposition Reporting System (CDR).14

They feel that the CDR system is inaccurate and that it

represents an organizational control which does not conform

to the nature of judicial tasks. By measuring the number

of cases disposed by each judge annually, the judges fear

that the CDR ignores the concept of "quality" as it

related to litigation.15


14Section V of Chapter 72-406 of the Florida Statutes
requires that: "The Supreme Court shall develop a uniform
case reporting system including a uniform means of reporting
categories of cases, time required in the disposition of
cases, and manner of disposition of cases." Primary
responsibility for collecting and analyzing the resulting
data has been placed in the Office of the State Courts
Administrator. The CDR system became operational January 2,
1973.
15A number of judges have been shown by the CDR to
dispose of far fewer cases than their colleagues. The
normal retort of such individuals is that justice cannot







Despite the negative attitudes toward Article V evident

among several of the rural judges, a majority of the chief

judges in the state appear to view the measure quite favorably.

Most of the judges were pleased with the effects of unifica-

tion. By eradicating the utter fragmentation that existed

before re-organization, Article V is seen as having insti-

tuted a "streamlined" court system. Among the benefits

mentioned by various chief judges were: "It makes it

easier for attorneys to work across government boundaries;"

"It will enable us to create more uniformity in budgeting

priorities;" and "Less friction now exists because the vary-

ing jurisdictions have been consolidated."

However, despite the advantages that have already

been derived from Article V, most of the judges acknowledge

that they have not accomplished many of the goals that are

within their power to pursue. The reasons cited by most

judges in explaining this failure to fully exercise their

administrative authority primarily revolve around political

issues. The establishment of a unified court system (which

includes centralized control of personnel, budgeting, space

and equipment) depends upon the acquiesence of a large

number of local officials who have traditionally performed

critical roles in judicial activities. Although the chief

judges certainly possess the requisite power to impose their



be quantified. They contend that the nature of cases they
dispose of (for example, involved civil actions or maritime
suits) require a much longer period of study than do simple
criminal actions.








wills upon such individuals, the anticipated political

ramifications of such actions have inhibited them from

invoking their authority. Consequently, it is necessary

to examine the political personages whose roles overlap

that of the chief judges and therefore restrict the

latitude of judicial administrative behavior.


The Court Clerks

Prior to the revision of Article V, Clerks of the

Circuit Courts served as the ministerial officers for the

circuit courts located within their counties. Moreover,

these individuals also served in the capacities of county

recorder, county finance officer, county treasurer, county

auditor, county comptroller, and secretary/accountant for

the county commission. Under the decentralized court

systems of the past era, clerks were independent function-

aries who were beyond most administrative supervision. The

only guidance they received was from legislative provisions

and limitations.16

The clerk's office constituted the primary administra-

tive arm of the circuit court. As constitutionally elected

officials, they have traditionally exercised a great deal

of discretion in the organization and operation of their

offices. Freedom from judicial and executive control

enabled these individuaJls to utilize whatever business


16This phenomenon was present throughout the United
States. See, Roscoe Pound, "Organization of Courts,"
in Judicial Administration and the Administration of
Justice, ed. Dorothy W. Nelson (St. Paul: West Publishing
Co., 1974), pp. 34-35.








methods they deemed appropriate. The situation that

developed as a result of their independence has been

described thusly:

The clerks use the business procedures they
find when they take office or with which they
are generally familiar from other sources.
Little attempt is made to determine whether the
services are necessary or adequate, whether the
functions are properly allocated, or whether
they conflict with or overlap those of other
offices. Means of organization, structure,
procedures, coordination of divisions, central-
ization or decentralization of units are all
either ignored or handled on a makeshift basis.
In the same judicial system there is usually no
requirement for uniformity in the offices of
clerks of the several courts. To a large extent
modern business devices, such as card indexes,
flat filing, photostating, microfilming, and
other mechanical equipment are unknown.17

Nevertheless, the judges were compelled to counte-

nance such incompetencies because the clerks represented a

formidable local political power by virtue of their large

number of executive and administrative duties. Moreover,

since the courts depended upon the county for appropria-

tions to finance judicial activities, the judges, for

obvious reasons, were hesitant to demand more professional

behavior from the clerks. Consequently, most judges

responded to this situation by developing political compe-

tence in their dealings with these local officials.

Surprisingly, the constitutional role of the clerks

in the judicial process has been greatly expanded by

Article V. Instead of simply retaining responsibility for


17Ralph R. Temple, "Court Offices: Their Selection
and Responsibilities," New York University Law Quarterly
Review 22 (Spring, 1947) 406.








the administrative functions of the circuit court, Article V

also assigned to the clerks responsibility for performing

all the clerical functions of the courts which have been

-consolidated into the two-tier system. Moreover, while

their judicial role was increasing tremendously, the clerks

have not been divested of their county-based functions.18

The court clerks in Florida campaign on a county-wide

partisan ballot for four-year terms. The only requirements

for holding office are that the individual must be an elector

of the state and must devote his full attention to the duties

of the post.19



18Although clerks in most counties retain their tra-
ditional EI-tular- roles in the budqetary process counties
whichhave adopted charter governments or which have employed
court manhaers do, not grant th clrer su-h etensive rs
over budgeting.

19According to Florida Statutes Annotated, Chapter
145.051, the clerks' salaries are determined according to
the population of their respective counties:
Each clerk of the circuit court shall receive as
salary the amount indicated, based on the popula-
tion of his county. In addition, a compensation
shall be made for population increments over the
minimum for each population group, which shall be
determined by multiplying the population in excess
of the minimum for the grouping times the group rate.

POP. GROUP COUNTY POP. RANGE BASE SALARY GROUP RATE

MINIMUM MAXIMUM


I -0- 9,999 $14,000 $0.300
II 10,000 49,999 17,000 0.075
III 50,000 99,999 20,000 0.060
IV 100,000 199,999 23,000 0.025
V 200,000 399,999 25,500 0.015
VI 400,000 999,999 28,500 0.005
VII 1,000,000 31,500 0.000







The present organization of the clerks' offices

generally follows that which existed prior to the revision

of Article V. In sixty-four counties the court functions

are currently grouped with the county fiscal and recording

functions. Although Section 16 of Article V made it possible

to sever the non-judicial activities from the clerks' offices,

only three counties have done so.20 Consequently, two

distinct organizational models of the clerks' offices exist

(Diagrams 2.3 and 2.4). Moreover, the failure to separate

the two sets of duties and responsibilities has enabled a

large majority of the clerks to retain a prominent role

in the administrative operation of the judicial system.

This has resulted in an oximoronic situation. While the

chief judges have been granted titular administrative

authority over the entire .rcut _judicia- system, the

structural alterations-required to consolidate this power

have not been instituted. The court clerks-continue to

occupy positions from which they can potentially challenge

the authority of the chief judges. The extent to which

the clerks exercise their prerogatives, and thus inhibit

the coordinating functions of the chief judges, must be



20Section 16 of Article V states:
There shall in each county be a clerk of the
circuit court who shall be selected pursuant to
the provisions of the Article VII section 1. Not-
withstanding any other provisions of the constitu-
tion, the duties of the clerk of the circuit court
may be divided by special or general law between
two officers, one serving as clerk of court and
one serving as ex officio clerk of the board of
county commissioners, auditor, recorder, and cus-
todian of all county funds.
The counties which have implemented such a model are Broward,
Orange and Escambia.




























I D sion I Dsin lvon D nDivsion Div ion Asvision Dvision





Deport mnt

'Our" o, 1 ntn dexing
C riin rn' Di i Lo n D i is o





Internal Cs
Auditin AccOunhrn



Dia cram 2.3
TRADITOMAL OY QAI ZATIO-.LL !vODrL
CLERK OF r122 CIRCUIT COURT






CLERK OF TME CIRCUIT COUiRI CLERK OP COURT -

t- I
IACCUUNf ING COURT RECORDS

COUNTiY COURP CIRCUIT COURT




-I c .,',, I MS; !

CIVIL CRINlrZAL I JULl ILL RBE & DC)ESqTIC
L IMEAL I{FALT f

OT,!:%= CUKTPOTLrER CoUNTYli COM'PTrOLLER











ACCO-'IN2.4 IG COORDINATOR
Diagrn 2.4'IWO FFICU ORGN IFIXL MUDN








analyzed in terms of such variables as their perceived

roles and duties as judicial actors.

The court clerks constitute a group which is almost as

homogenous as that of the chief judges (Table 2.2). In fact,

the enormous degree of uniformity present in the socio-

economic characteristics of the clerks is somewhat astonish-

ing. In the entire sample of fifty-seven respondents there

is not a single non-Caucasian. Moreover, fifty-five (96.5%)

of the clerks are males, and fifty-two (91.2%) are Protes-

tants. As expected, most clerks have been life-long resi-

dents of the state. Moreover, the majority of the clerks

are over the age of fifty, have agrarian backgrounds, and

now occupy the only public office which they have ever sought.

Florida has traditionally been a "one party state."

As in most Southern states, the Democratic party has domin-

ated since Reconstruction. The responses of the clerks

indicate that this domination by the Democrats is not in

serious jeopardy. Almost ninety per cent of the respondents

are Democrats. Moreover, as might be expected from the

background data, forty-eight (84.2%) stated that they adhere

to a conservative political philosophy. Consequently, it

has been stated that, "the social and/or economic 'liberal'

is a rarity among contemporary Florida office-holders."21

The consequences of this apparent uniformity in political

and ideological characteristics were aptly reviewed in an



2lWilliam C. Harvard, "Notes on a Theory of State
Constitutional Change: The Florida Experience," The Journal
of Politics 21 (February, 1959), 85.








Table 2.2
BACKGROUND VARIABLES: COURT CLERKS


VARIABLES NUMBER PERCENTAGE


AGE LESS THAN 31 YEARS 1 1.8
31-40 YEARS 8 14.0
41-50 YEARS 13 22.8
51-60 YEARS 24 42.1
OVER 60 YEARS 11 19.3

SEX FEMALE 2 3.5
MALE 55 96.5

RACE CAUCASIAN 57 100.0
OTHER 0 0.0

RELIGION CATHOLIC 3 5.3
JEWISH 0 0.0
PROTESTANT 52 91.2
OTHER 2 3.5

LENGTH OF 6-10 YEARS 1 1.8
FLORIDA 11-20 YEARS 2 3.5
RESIDENCE OVER 20 YEARS 54 94.7

EXTENT SOME HIGH SCHOOL 1 1.8
OF HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA 20 35.0
EDUCATION 2 YEARS OF COLLEGE 15 26.3
4 YEAR COLLEGE DEGREE 9 15.8
SOME GRADUATE WORK 7 12.3
MASTER'S DEGREE 5 8.8

LENGTH OF 1-5 YEARS 15 26.3
TENURE IN 6-10 YEARS 9 15.8
OFFICE OVER 10 YEARS 33 57.9

POLITICAL REPUBLICAN 8 14.0
PARTY DEMOCRAT 48 84.2
PREFERENCE INDEPENDENT 1 1.8


IDEOLOGY CONSERVATIVE 50 87.7
LIBERAL 4 7.0
MODERATE 2 3.5
UNRECORDED 1 1.8









essay by William C. Harvard:

In the absence of party or factional organization
which might exercise some degree of control over
the selection of candidates and their stand on
issues. Florida's political relations are highly
personalized. Office politics predominate over
issues, with the result that policy is worked out
interpersonally among the office-holders after the
election. Extreme localism is a marked character-
istic of most political campaigns (even the support
of statewide candidates for office such as governor
tends to cluster heavily around the candidates'
home areas). And the alignment of office-holders
on issues appears to shift from issue to issue and
to offer few patterns that would lend themselves to
the usual classification of political groupings
according to the degre 2of advocacy of governmentally-
induced social change.

Thus, the predominance of personalistic and/or political

interrelationships that are characteristic of the chief

judges reappears in the activities of the clerks. Moreover,

these factors indicate that the majority of court clerks

have a decidedly localistic orientation. When asked to

specify their most important duty, 47% of the clerks

specifically stated that such functions as "serving the local

electorate" and "assisting the county commission" take

precedence over any other. Many other clerks expressed

concern with Article V because they fear that centraliza-

tion will deny local citizens a "responsive" judiciary.

However, it is unreasonable to expect the clerks to dis-

play any other types of attitudes. Although the clerks

by constitution must respond to both the county and the

court as distinct policy making entities, their predominant

identification as county officers is virtually guaranteed

because the county provides most of their operating



22Ibid.








revenues. Moreover, the clerks are elected by county and

consequently depend upon a satisfied electorate to insure

their continued tenure.

The localistic orientation of the court clerks

culminates in a number of potentially negative consequences

for the court system. Sixty-five per cent of the clerks

noted that they neither presently use, nor intend to use,

any type of technological innovation to expedite their

court-related duties. The rationale of most of these

clerks is that such management aids are expensive and are

therefore not in the best interests of their constituents.

Moreover, the fact that clerks often coalesce with the

county commissions to defeat increased budgetary appropria-

tions for the court system was a recurring complaint of

many chief judges. The extent to which administrative

efficiency is relegated to a role secondary to that of

political expediency thus becomes a function of the clerks'

conceptions of their roles as judicial officers.

The personal values any individual holds obviously

will influence the occupational orientation and policies

advocated by that person.23 As both a county and judicial

officer, the typical court clerk is subject to a great

deal of role c6flict between his two competing occupational



23For an interesting discussion of a theory of
personal attitudes as they relate to policy questions, see
James Q. Wilson and Edward C. Banfield, "Public Regardingness
as a Value Premise," in State and Urban Politics, eds. Rich-
ard I. Hofferbert and Ira Sharkansky (Boston: Little, Brown
and Co., 1971), pp. 108-49.








positions. According to Thomas Henderson, "The heads of

all bureaucratic agencies must resolve conflicts between

their roles as bureaucratic administrators and as major

policy advisors."24 As many authors have noted, occupants

of such offices resolve this conflict by either becoming

more involved with the local political structure, or by

viewing themselves as professionals and thus devoting

themselves to objective standards of performance at the

expense of local support.25 As has been stated, most

clerks seem to identify with local power structures. Their

concern with limiting expenditures and pleasing their

electorates and county commissions is documented.

However, the data reveals that most clerks also

perceive themselves to be crucial administrative officers

of the court. Among the responses which reflect this

attitude are the following: "I'm the main wheel;" "I'm

the hub around which the entire court structure revolves;"

and "The clerk's office is the information and mechanical

center of the judicial system." In fact, 63% (adjusted

frequency) of the clerks specifically envision their role

in the court system as being "vital" or "crucial."26


24Thomas A. Henderson, "The Relative Effects of
Community Complexity and of Sheriffs upon the Professional-
ism of Sheriff Departments," American Journal of Political
Science 19 (February, 1975), 113.
25Ibid.

26This response is given added significance because the
question was open-ended and did not solicit any particular
response. Thus, the individuals who suggested that they
are "vital" were volunteering the information.








Moreover, the remaining clerks (37%) indicated that their

roles involve major substantive areas of administration

such as budgeting or personnel.

Thus, the clerks appear to be especially plagued by

role conflict. On the one hand, they generally ascribe to

a parochial orientation, yet on the other hand, they consider

themselves to be critical administrative officers of the

court. Since the judges, by their own admission, have

failed to exercise requisite control over the activities

of clerks, the resolution of this dichotomous role

perception depends ultimately upon the degree of profession-

alism present among the clerks. To the extent that the

clerks display the characteristics of professionalism, the

impact of the localistic orientation can be expected to

be buffered. Thus, professional standards of objectivity

represent the only effective control on the behavior of

clerks as it relates to court administration.

The variables used as indicators of the emphasis given

to professionalism by the clerks include: educational

achievement, extent of training and experience in admini-

stration, attendance at training programs, and recruitment

and training requirements of court employees. At first

glance these indicators appear to show that the clerks

are a relatively professional group. The study revealed

that the clerks as a whole are moderately well educated.

Sixty-one per cent report that they have at least a

high school education, or some college training (Table 2.2).

Moreover, 37% have obtained college degrees or beyond.








Additionally, 35.4% of the clerks indicated that they have

received some type of administrative training or experience.

Finally, fifty-one clerks (89.5%) have attended Court

Management Training Seminars which are conducted periodically

by the State Clerk's Association.

However, closer scrutiny of the responses indicates

that the initial impressions of the clerks' degree of

professionalism were not particularly justified. A

majority of the administrative training and experience

received by the clerks has not been court oriented. Only

five clerks responded that they had received any court-

related training and experience prior to assuming office.

The remainder of the clerks realized their pre-entry

administrative training primarily in private business

enterprises. Moreover, although almost all court clerks

regularly attend the Court Management Seminars, the

nature of instruction received at these gatherings is

rarely pertinent to court administration.27 Rather, the

seminars constitute social and political convocations where

the clerks discuss mutual problems and political strategies.

The number of clerks who have attended the Institute

for Court Management is especially significant. The

Institute is the only major professionally-oriented



27The writer attended a Court Management Seminar
held at Naples, Florida in October, 1974. The conclusions
reached during that observation have since been verified
by a number of court clerks who openly acknowledge the
"enmEU--in n irientation of such meetings.








training program for court managers in the nation.28

Surprisingly, only three court clerks (5.3%) have attended

any of the clinics offered by the Institute.

Perhaps the most revealing indicator of the clerks'

professional orientations appear in the personnel

practices employed in their organizations. The vast

majority of clerks' offices do not require the deputy

clerk to undergo any type of formalized training. In

fact, only one clerk has instituted an instructional

program for recently employed deputies. Consequently,

employees of the remaining court clerks must rely

upon being "broken in" by the personnel they are replac-

ing. 29

Analysis of the indicators thus reveals that the

court clerks as a group, do not merit classification as

"professionals." Without the restraint of professional

standards, or close supervision by the chief judges, the

clerks are ostensibly free of organization controls.



28The Institute for Court Management was established
in 1971 under the guidance of Ernest Friesen and with the
support of the American Bar Association, Institute of
Judicial Administration, American Judicature Society and
American Academy of Political Administration. The goals of
the ICM are twofold: (1) to provide qualified executive
officers to administer multi-judge courts, and (2) to
develop qualified personnel for agencies and institutions
that support judicial system operation and court adminis-
tration.

291t should be noted that most discussions of the
elements of professionalism include among the characteristics
that the professional group must be self-policing. The
clerks, conversely, have no standards of conduct or
performance to guide either their own actions or those
of their employees.








This fact is exceedingly noteworthy because the clerks'

offices employ by far the largest number of judicial per-

sonnel and expend seventy per cent of the entire court

system budget annually. They thus occupy a position from

which their inaction, or their actions working in contra-

distinction to those of the chief judges, can subvert the

operation of the entire judicial system.

The position of the clerks in the judicial system is

further complicated by their defensiveness. During the

course of this study, efforts were made to interview a

number of deputy clerks throughout the state. However, of

the thirty clerks' offices initially visited, only five

permitted their assistants to either be interviewed or

to complete questionnaires.30 The explanations offered

by the clerks for their refusals typically included the

statement, "They can't tell you anything that I can't."

A large number of clerks also were very concerned that

their own responses to the questionnaires would remain

innominate. Although a multitude of explanations could

be offered for this defensiveness, the most pertinent

rationale appears to be linked to the creation of the

Office of the State Courts Administrators. A recurring

complaint of the court clerks is that the Supreme Court,

through the Administrator's Office, is attempting to

wrest the clerks' control of the administrative functions

from them. As one clerk stated, "Anyone coming around


30This was a totally unexpected reaction. Because the
researcher had the prior approval of the Clerks Association
and various other state judicial personnel, no resistance
was foreseen.







here lately makes us edgy." Thus the clerks apparently

fear anyone who may be collecting information which may

be used as "ammunition" against them.

Although a majority of the clerks appear to be

rather parochial, unprofessional, and defensive, this

phenomenon is by no means universal. As with the judges,

the clerks from urban areas are more professional than

their rural colleagues. Moreover, the more highly educated

clerks also appear to be much more progressive than the

norm.31 An interesting finding is that the individuals

in these two groupings have developed management styles

very different from the other clerks. There is a high

correlation between education and delegation of judicial

authority. The more highly educated clerks, on the whole,

have internally divested themselves of court functions and

have appointed "judicial assistants" to assume those

duties. However, this group of clerks is clearly in the

minority. Most court clerks continue to exercise a

degree of influence and control over court administration

which rivals that of their predecessors of past decades.


The Court Executive Assistants

Developments in court administration have progressed

at a rapid rate during the past twenty-five years. One

of the most innovative approaches to the solution of



31However, as a general rule the more highly educated
clerks represented urban counties. Thus it cannot be
determined which variable directly exerts the greatest
influence on progressivism.







judicial problems has been the creation of a professional

group of trained court executives to assist judges in their

administrative duties. The theory behind this movement is

that an "expert," schooled in judicial procedures and in

current management techniques, will bring to the court

system modern administrative methods and the competence to

institute these practices in a systematic manner. Although

the individuals who occupy these positions have been

referred to by a number of titles, the most common is
"court executive assistant" or simply "court administrator."

Since 1950, the growth of the court administrator

profession has been dramatic.32 The National Survey of

Court Organizations (1973) states that full-time court

administrators are employed by two-thirds of the appellate
c o u r t i n h e n t i o n 3 3
courts in the nation. 3 Moreover, the federal government

has recently provided for the hiring of such personnel

to assist District Court judges.34 However, because the

position is normally regarded as a state-level concern,



320nly a few court administrators were employed before
1950. The administrative office of the United States Courts
was created in 1939. In 1947, the New Jersey Judicial
article created the position of Administrative Director of
the Courts. Finally, in 1948, the Conference of Commissioners
of Uniform State Laws recognized the need and approved amodel
act to provide for an administrator in all state courts.
33Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, National
Survey of Court Organization (Washington, D.C.: Government
Printing Office, 1973), p. 8.
34Statute 952 of the 91st Congress provides for District
Court Executives in United States District Courts with six
or more judges, and for United States circuit court execu-
tives.








very few trial level administrators are currently employed.

For example, in the one hundred largest standard metropolitan

statistical areas "there are approximately seventy having no

court executive in one or more of the counties."35 In fact,

only fifteen per cent of the trial courts of general juris-

diction employed professional administrators by 1973.36 The

explanation for the hesitancy of many trial level judges to

utilize the services of court executives is that the duties

assigned to such personnel have traditionally been the pro-

vince of the court clerks. Consequently, the services offered

by the administrators are often regarded as unnecessary.

A large number of authorities in the literature on

court administration discuss in great detail what the hypo-

thesized functions and roles of trial level court executives

should be.37 However, the most widely accepted delineation

of these duties and responsibilities expected of such per-

sonnel appears in the Standards Relating to Court Organiza-

tion promulgated by the American Bar Association Commis-

sion on Standards o f Judicial Administration:



35David J. Saari, "Modern Court Management: Trends
in the Role of the Court Executive," Law Enforcement Assist-
ance Administration (Washington, D. C.: Government Printing
Office, 1970), p. 11.
36Supra note 33, p. 8.

37See, e.g., Fannie J. Klein, "The Position of the
Trial Court Administrator in the States," Judicature 50
(April, 1967), 278-80; Arnold M. Malech, "A Glass House:
Court Administration from the Inside," Judicature 50
(March, 1967), 249-51; and Bernadine Meyer, "Court Ad-
ministration: The Newest Profession," Duquesne Law Review
10 (inter, 1971), 220-35.








14.1 Court Administrative Offices.
(b) Administrative Officers for individual
court units.
(i) Subordinate court executives. The
administrative office of each individual
unit of the court system should have an
executive. The executive should be ap-
pointed by the presiding judge of the
court in which he serves, with the advice
and approval of the judges of that court
and should serve at the pleasure of the
presiding judge. The executive should
have such deputies, assistants, and staff
as may be necessary.
(ii) Responsibilities. Under the author-
ity of the judges of the courts and the
supervision of the presiding judge, the
administrative office of each court unit
should be responsible for:
(a) Management of the court's calendar.
(b) Administration of all its staff
services, including the functions tradi-
tionally performed by the clerks of
court, courtroom clerks and bailiffs,
court reporters, law clerks and secretar-
ies, probation officers, court-affiliated
caseworkers, professionals such as doctors
and psychologists retained by the court
to perform diagnostic or consultative func-
tions, and all other comparable officials.
(c) Personnel, financial, and records
administration, subject to the standards
of the central administrative office.
(d) Secretariat for meetings of the
judges of the court that it serves.
(e) Liason with local government, bar,
news media, and general public.38

The ABA Standards also designate that an "Executive

Director," or a state-wide court administrator, should be

appointed by the highest appeals court of every state to

create and implement uniform administrative procedures.

Each local administrator is to be responsible for super-

vising the implementation of the standardized personnel,

budgeting, information, and records-management systems


38American Bar Association Commission on Standards of
Judicial Administration, Standards Relating to Court Admin-
istration, (New York: Insttute of Judicial Administration,
1973) p. 76







designed by the centralized director.39 Consequently,

presently accepted definitions of the court administrator

duties are devised to centralize, coordinate, and

standardize the entire administrative operation of the

judicial system. It is thus tautological to note that

the acceptance of a viable professional corps of judicial

executives by a state is predicated on removing the

administrative functions from the traditional managers.

Since the executive's duties include the supervision of

the entire support staff of the court, there can be no

allowance for the existence of competing management

authority other than that of the chief judge.

Understandably, although the number of court adminis-

trators employed throughout the nation has recently been

increasing, the general concept has not enjoyed an

abundance of success. Administrators in most courts are

not accorded the duties and responsibilities which are

required to achieve their intended goals. Most judges

have been reluctant to delegate authority to these

personnel. As one judge has stated, "The idea of a

court administrator was conjured up as an assault on

judicial independence and an attempt to demean the status

of the judge to that of a glorified civil servant. "40



39Thus, the individual trial level court executives
are to be supervised by a state-level administrator who is
responsible to the highest appellate court of the state.
40Meyer, supra note 37, p. 233.








Consequently, most professional managers have been given

control over little more than statistics-gathering functions.

Moreover, the vested interests of court clerks, and other

personnel who have historically been involved in court

management, have served to inhibit and delay the acceptance

of the profession.

In Florida, there is a state-wide court administrator

directly under the supervision of the Chief Justice of

the Supreme Court. The Office of the State Courts Adminis-

trator was created by Supreme Court Rule in July, 1972 to
"assist the Chief Justice in his capacity as the chief

administrative officer of the state judicial system."41

Since that time, seventeen trial court administrators have

been employed by the circuit courts. The organization of

the administrative system established between these

administrators closely parallels that outlined in the

ABA Standards. The central administrator's office is

charged with the responsibility of creating uniform standards

of administration to be applied throughout the state; the

circuit administrators are ostensibly responsible for

implementing and supervising these management procedures

within their respective circuits. 42


41The Office of the State Courts Administrator,
Florida Judicial System Statistical Report (Tallahassee,
Legislative Reference Bureau, 1973), p. 6. It is
interesting to note that the position of court executive
has yet to be legitimized by either constitutional
revision or statutory provision, although the court
administrators in the state have lobbied for this goal
since 1972.
42For a complete position description of the court
executives, see Appendix C.








Court executives are appointed. The state-wide

administrator was appointed by the Chief Justice of the

Florida Supreme Court, with the concurrence of the other

members of that judicial body. The state administrative

office is located in the Supreme Court building and

presently employs a staff of approximately fifteen individ-

uals, both professional and clerical. Conversely, most

circuit administrators are limited to only one assistant,

their secretary. However, a few of the court executives

situated in larger circuits have as many as nine adminis-

trative assistants.

Compared to most court clerks, the professional court

administrators are eminently qualified to manage judicial

systems. Ten administrators (71.4%) hold college degrees.

Moreover, eight (57.2%) have either obtained graduate

degrees or are currently working toward an advanced diploma

(Table 2.3). Of the fourteen executives who responded to

the questionnaire, ten (71.4%) were employed in court-related

administrative positions before being appointed to their

present offices. Most of these administrators had been

prosecutors, juvenile court administrators, deputy clerks

qf circuit courts, or law enforcement supervisors. More-

over, twelve (85.8%) have undergone some type of court-

related administrative training since assuming their

present positions. Nine (64.3%) have attended one or

more of the training sessions offered by the Institute

of Court Management.









Table 2.3
BACKGROUND VARIABLES: COURT ADMINISTRATORS


VARIABLES NUMBER PERCENTAGE

PGE 31-40 YEARS 2 14.3
41-50 YEARS 6 42.9
51-60 YEARS 5 35.7
OVER 60 YEARS 1 7.1

SEX FEMALE 0 0.0
MALE 14 100.0

RACE CAUCASIAN 14 100.0
OTHER 0 0.0

RELIGION CATHOLIC 1 7.1
JEWISH 1 7.1
PROTESTANT 10 71.4
UNRECORDED 2 14.3

ENGTH 1-5 YEARS 2 14.3
OF 6-10 YEARS 2 14.3
FLORIDA 11-20 YEARS 1 7.1
RESIDENCE OVER 20 YEARS 9 64.3

EXTENT SOME HIGH SCHOOL 1 7.1
OF HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA 1 7.1
EDUCATION 2 YEARS OF COLLEGE 2 14.3
4 YEAR COLLEGE DEGREE 2 14.3
SOME GRADUATE WORK 4 28.6
MASTER'S DEGREE 2 14.3
LAW DEGREE 2 14.3

ATTENDANCE YES 10 71.4
AT ICM NO 4 28.6
SEMINARS

POLITICAL REPUBLICAN 1 7.1
PARTY DEMOCRAT 9 64.3
PREFERENCE INDEPENDENT 2 14.3
UNRECORDED 2 14.3

IDEOLOGY CONSERVATIVE 5 35.7
LIBERAL 4 28.6
MODERATE 2 14.3
UNRECORDED 3 21.4








As expected, the court executives are a rather homo-

geneous group. All are Caucasian males who have resided

in Florida for most of their adult lives. Moreover, most

are Protestants who have few ethnic ties and whose back-

' rounds-are primarily middle class. Surprisingly, only

five administrators (35.7%) adhere to a conservative social

and political philosophy, although only one stated that he

is a Republican. With one exception, all administrators

receive an annual salary of over $20,000.43

Background characteristics of the court executives

indicate that they are less parochial and less conservative

than their colleagues, the court clerks. As a group they

are better educated and have received a much greater level

of court-related experience and training. Partially due

to these pre-entry experiences, the administrators are

expected to have developed comparatively greater professional

orientations toward their responsibilities. Moreover, since

they are appointed officials, their allegiance to the

judicial system should be assured. The court administrators

are not required to please an interested electorate in

order to retain their positions, as are the clerks. Conse-

quently, these personnel represent a major cosmopolitan

force in the judicial structure and are expected to be a

crucial force attempting to overcome the traditional frag-

mentation which has restrained reform movements in the

past.



43The salaries of these court executives vary from
$18,000 to $26,000 annually.







Nonetheless, early in the investigation, it became

apparent that the court administrators in Florida do not

represent a viable instrument of court reform. They have

been generally unsuccessful in consolidating their posi-

tions and initiating the uniform administrative standards

advocated by the Office of the State Courts Administrator.

The explanation for this failure on the part of the circuit

court administrators to achieve the intended goals of the

authors of Article V is linked to their perceived roles

and duties, as well as to the reception given them by

the traditional court managers.

When asked to specify their most important duty,

only two administrators (14.3%) mentioned functional

aspects of court administration such as budget preparation

or case flow management. Conversely, five administrators

stated that "assisting the judge" is their most significant

function. Moreover, the remaining administrators listed

abstract concepts such as "communication" and "coordina-

tion." The court executives' perceptions of their roles

are even more revealing. Nine administrators (69.3%)

view themselves as "the judges' right hand man." Assist-

ing the chief judge in coordinating the elements of the

judicial system thus appears to be the primary role

perception of these personnel. Accordingly, most court

administrators noted that their role in the judicial

system is quite passive. As one individual stated, "The

judges assign us very few tasks. Don't rock the boat,

so to speak, is the most fundamental rule."








The problems that the court administrators regard as

most serious are useful in explicating their passive role

orientation. When asked to delineate their primary

occupational dilemmas, the following responses were given

most often: "Procuring the cooperation of various county

commissions and other county officers;" "Handling the

personalities and biases of numerous judges;" "Strong

objections to change;" "Misunderstandings between agencies

as to the role function, and effect of court administrators;"

and "Obtaining the acceptance of the court administrator

concept by judges and clerks." These statements indicate

that the court administrators are opposed on several fronts.

Many judges, clerks, and local political bodies either do

not comprehend the purpose of their profession, or simply

object to the court administrator concept as it is presently

defined. Whatever the reason, the court administrators

recognize that they have few "friends" in the local political

and judicial systems. Consequently, most appear to have

opted for a passive role which reduces the likelihood that

they will further alienate any specific group. One

administrator summarized his feelings thusly: "In order

to make any advances in court administration we have to

remain low key and simply try to obtain authority through

competence. "44

In order to determine the actual impact of court


44The phrase "authority through competence" has been
used by Ernest Friesen and numerous other authors to describe
the court administrator's reliance upon expertise to gain
acceptance and "authority" within the judicial system.








administrators on the judicial system, the attitudes of the

court clerks and judges are examined. Court administrators

represent what might be termed the "embodiment of reform."

They have been associated with, and a part of, every major

judicial reform movement of the past decade. Consequently,

the attitudes of clerks and judges toward the administrators

are viewed as possible indicators of the predispositions

those individuals hold toward reform in general.

A utilitarian indicator of the chief judges' conception

of the court administrators is the techniques they utilize

in selecting individuals to occupy the positions. Several

judges openly admit that they hired specific administrators

on the basis of personal acquaintances and friendship. For

example, two administrators were undergraduate classmates

of the chief judges who eventually appointed them. Moreover,

another chief judge was reputed by his successor to have

appointed a "crony" ex-County Judge who had been defeated

in the previous election. The most blatant instance of

such amicism occurred in one circuit where the judges

experienced a serious altercation in attempting to decide

between two candidates for the position: one had been

a childhood friend of the current chief judge; the second

is the son-in-law of another judge. In all but three

instances the court administrators who were eventually

hired had been known to the chief judges personally before

their appointments.45


45Three court executives were employed through formal-
ized personnel procedures in which they submitted resumes
and were selected from among other candidates.







The rationales offered by the chief judges to explain

this phenomenon are based on their perceptions of the

qualities a court administrator should possess. The

judges repeatedly stated that, in their opinion, the court

administrator must be a person who has great interpersonal

skills and who is familiar with the personnel within the

judicial circuit. Moreover, a "general working knowledge"

of judicial systems is also regarded as an important

prerequisite to employment.46 Consequently, most chief

judges selected personal acquaintances whose knowledge of

the individual circuits was recognized. Although no judge

would admit that the selection of such an individual is

a convenient method of assuring control, the implication is

obvious.

A second useful indicator of the chief judges' attitude

toward the court administrators, and toward their own roles

in the reform process, is provided by examining the specific

duties and responsibilities which they have delegated to

their administrators. The trend among most chief judges is

to delegate "whatever administrative minutia the judge

doesn't have time to do." Consequently, court administrators

commonly prepare the calendar, manage courtroom space and

equipment, supervise the court personnel within the

immediate office, and "make recommendations to the chief

judges." Moreover, every chief judge has given his



46Surprisingly, only two chief judges are advocates of
employing court executives who are attorneys. Notably,
both of these judges' present administrators are lawyers.








administrator total responsibility for the Case Disposition

Reporting System. Few judges have asked their administrator

to assume authority over clerical personnel, records manage-

ment, or the total circuit budget, the traditional domain

of the court clerks.

An interesting finding of the research is that many

chief judges appear to view their court administrators

as personal valets provided at state expense. In fact, one

instance was discovered in which a convalescing judge

utilizes the services of his court administrator to

chauffer him to judicial conferences and other court func-

tions. One judge, while extolling the virtues of the

court administrator concept, explained how his own adminis-

trator was quite useful in "arranging the investitures,

getting the robes, and fixing up the offices" of newly-

elected judges.

This phenomenon is the primary reason why the three

judges who do not utilize court administrators object to

the concept. They all stated that because the crucial

court personnel are elected, "How can we expect an appointed

administrator to tell a sheriff, clerk or judge what to do?"

With no legitimate authority over such personnel, the

administrator is viewed as performing the functions of
"a glorified secretary." Moreover, two of these judges

have misgivings about the State Courts Administrator.47



47General displeasure with the central court adminis-
trator is expressed by several judges. Most mentioned his
lack of personal acumen, and not his "politics," as the
reason for their negative opinions.








They fear that he is developing a strong power base in

Tallahassee from which he may "take over if the wrong

man is made Chief Justice." Consequently, these three

individuals have vehemently resisted the placement of court

executives in their circuits, although the "pressure" from

Tallahassee has been severe.

Although most chief judges have failed to effectively

utilize their administrators, the liability for this

phenomenon cannot be entirely assigned to the judges.

As one chief judge stated, "When I tried to separate the

clerks' offices in this circuit and give the judicial

functions to the administrator, the clerks screamed."

This comment reflects a reality which all the chief judges

have been compelled to confront. Many clerks regard the

creation of the court administrator's position in the

circuits as a intense threat to their role in the adminis-

trative process. Consequently, the court clerks have

represented a tremendous obstacle not only to the court

administrators, but to the chief judges who have attempted

to re-organize their circuits.48

The extent to which court clerks object to court

administrators is readily apparent. Forty-nine per cent

of the clerks do not believe that court administrators

perform a useful function. Adjectives such as "useless,"



48For example, the writer was invited to a meeting
of approximately thirty court clerks in which political
strategies designed to resist re-organization were dis-
cussed.








"worthless," and "incompetent" were often used to describe

the court executive. Among some of the more forceful (and

humorous) comments were the following: "He simply collects

his checks;" "I haven't been able to find out anything he

does;" "He doesn't know nothing [sic] about the courts;"

"I know of little that he does that we [the clerks] do not

or cannot do, and at less expense to the taxpayer;" "The

clerks and sheriffs can do this [the administrator's

duties], especially in small or medium size counties;" "He

does nothing a good secretary can't do." Despite these

negative sentiments, twenty-nine (50.0% adjusted frequency)

of the clerks did state that the administrator performs

some type of useful function. However, sixteen of those

respondents remarked that the data collection activities

of the court administrator are what they perceive to be

the most beneficial "useful function."49 The remaining

comments indicate that many clerks are perfectly content

with the status quo, that is, with the court administrator

as he is currently utilized. For example, eight respondents

mentioned the court executive's duties as a "go between"

and "assistant" to the chief judge as being worthwhile.

Not surprisingly, when the court clerks were asked to

state whether the court administrator's office should be

strengthened, weakened, abolished, or left untouched,

the responses closely paralleled their perceptions of the


49It is interesting to note that there is no statis-
tically significant correlation between county size and/or
the educational level of the clerks and their attitudes
toward the court administrators.









administrator's functions. Fourteen (25%) feel that

the office should be left intact.50 Twenty-nine (51.8%)

would like to see the position abolished, while only two

(3.6%) desire to have the office weakened. Finally,

eleven (19.6%) feel that the administrator should be

given more authority and responsibility.51

As might be expected, the clerks' attitudes toward

the court administrators have affected the working

relationship between the two groups. Many clerks circum-

vent the court administrator and take any problem or

information they may have directly to the chief judge.

Fifty-three per cent (N = 30) of the clerks indicate

that they do not provide the administrator with infor-

mation relevant to the efficient operation of the court.

Conversely, 76% (N = 43) of the clerks state that they

regularly deliver such communications to the chief judge.

Moreover, 80% (N = 46) of the clerks report that they

conduct business with the administrator fewer than five

times a month.52

Although the clerks generally ignore the administrators,

very little overt friction appears to occur between these



500ne court clerk did not respond to this question.
Consequently, the percentages are adjusted frequencies.

51The eleven clerks who advocate more powerful roles
for the court executives are primarily from more populous
counties.

52Fourteen court clerks (24.5%) report that they
never communicate with the court executive








individuals. Only six clerks (12% adjusted frequency) admit

that there is any real friction between their offices and

those of the administrators. The typical response is: "Why

should there be any friction; I never see him." The clerks

who did signify that friction exists tend to have personal-

tiy and/or personal conflicts with the administrators. The

clerks were asked to rate the administrators according to

such judgemental criteria as "bad or good," "weak or strong,"

and "competent or incompetent." The six clerks whose re-

sponses deviated most from the normally positive replies of

their colleagues are the same individuals who report fric-

tion in their relationship with the administrator. Although

one can only conjecture as to the cause of this personal

strife, the administrators' responses to the same questions

provide some insight. As one administrator said, "There

is a great deal of friction between us because my secretary

was an unsuccessful opponent of the clerk in the last elec-

tion for the office he now holds." Moreover, the five other

administrators who signify that friction exists relate it

to such factors as: "role definition;" "my office represents

a threat;" and "resentment when the judge takes my side of

an issue."

Thus, the clerks' attitudes toward the administrators

are generally negative. Those clerks who do not openly op-

pose the administrators in their circuit simply disregard

him. The administrators represent a threat to the role

perceptions and organizational positions of the clerks. Con-

sequently, the administrators, and the reforms they advocate,

are resisted.







Because the imposition of radically innovative adminis-

trative procedures such as centralized budgeting and personnel

systems depend upon the cooperation of all court managers,,

the incidence of conflict and non-synergetic activity in

the system suggests that reform will be delayed. Moreover,

this situation is aggravated by the strategic political

position of the clerks. Their access to the chief judge

is assured as long as they retain control over much of the

judicial support system. This system obviously compels

the judge to avoid antagonizing the clerk. The extent

to which the clerks value their positive relationships

with the chief judges is dramatically illustrated in the

data. Only two clerks indicate that their affiliation with

the chief judge is anything less than satisfactory. In fact,

thirty-three clerks (57.9%) state that their relationship

with the chief judge is "excellent," and thirteen (22.8%)

rate theirs as "very good."53 Moreover, there appears to

exist a reciprocal attitude on the part of the judges.

Only three of the judges who were interviewed made any

disparaging remarks concerning the clerks personally,

or about their performance as quasi-judicial officers.

Consequently, the typical administrator must compete for

duties and responsibilities with an official who is generally

quite friendly with his immediate supervisor.

The extent to which these relationships affect the

court administrator are significant. A moderate correlation


53The remaining clerks rate their relationships with
the chief judges as "good."








exists between the degree of animosity a clerk holds for

an administrator by the chief judge. Three of the admini-

strators located in circuits where clerks have admitted

that friction exists between the two offices perceive their

primary function as "assistant to the chief judge." Conver-

sations with those judges reveal that the only major duties

assigned to the administrators are "communication with Talla-

hassee" and "statistical surveys and studies." Both of

these statements are simply euphemisms for the Case Disposi-

tion Reporting System. Moreover, the two administrators

who proved to be the most successful in obtaining responsi-

bilities were both quite complimentary about their respective

clerks. It is symbolic that these two individuals are both

attorneys and are employed by chief judges who are enthusiastic

supporters of Article V.54


Administrative Process

Although Article V places ultimate administrative

responsibility for the Florida court system in the Chief

Justice, authority and responsibility for quotidian

management is situated at the local level. In creating

and designating administrative officers for the circuit

court subsystems, Article V grants to chief judges, court

clerks, and court administrators a great deal of discretionary



54An interesting aspect of the data is that the court
executives located in geographically large circuits are
most plagued by friction and have been assigned fewer duties
than their colleagues. Because these circuits are the most
rural, it might be deducted that there is no real need for
an administrator in circuits with low case loads.








power. Thus, local judicial officials play a significant

role in helping to formulate statewide administrative

policies. Moreover, these individuals are given wide

latitude in the execution of such policies in order to

adapt them to the unique requirements of each subsystem.

The administrative process of the Florida judicial

system must therefore be analyzed in terms of the inter-

actions between local and state officials. The most

fundamental aspect of this relationship is that most

administrative policy is formulated at the local level

and then is submitted to the Chief Justice for final review

and approval. However, the administrative process is much

more complex than the simple heirarchial description

indicates. In order to fully grasp the intricacy of the

process, it is necessary to examine each of the three

major components individually: the budget, personnel,

and administrative processes.

The Supreme Court and the four District Courts of

Appeal are all fully funded by the state government.

Consequently, the budgetary process of these courts

appears to be quite uncomplicated. The chief judges of

the appellate courts submit their budgetary requests to

the Chief Justice, who then decides final monetary

priorities. However, Chapter 216 of the Florida Statutes

requires the judiciary to submit its budget to the

governor for review, modification, and incorporation into

the overall state budget. The Department of Administra-
















I FLORIDA LtDEPA=TMEN
I~~SP -aISATP orI
I I ~~aEMINISTIATION I

I I






DISTRICT COURTS CIRCUIT COURTS DmmJsSIONS










KL:: CIRCUIT.....
iPcrSonniel

Budge~t
Adann. Policy
Diagram 2. 5
FLORIDA :T.CC CURT SYS,=T
AMINISTIPA:TIVE PRESS




Full Text
CHAPTER V
OBSTACLES TO REFORM
Resistance to Change
A common theme permeating most court reform literature
is that efforts to change judicial systems are battles
against tradition.^ Wherever alteration of court organi
zation or procedure has been advocated, an amazing variety
of social, political, and institutional influences have
arisen to combat reformers. The resulting altercations
between proponents of change and exponents of the status
quo are useful in exemplifying the controversial nature of
court reform. Within the past decade a majority of all
court modernization proposals have been defeated by state
legislatures, constitutional revision commissions, or
voters. Thus, in 1965, a proposed constitutional amend
ment to provide for appointment of Justices of the Peace
was defeated in Delaware; in 1966, the California Legisla-
ISee, e.g., Thomas R. Behan, "Court Reform: First
Bold Steps," American Bar Association Journal 58 (January,
1972), 57-59; Richard IW. Gable, "Modernizing Court Admini
stration: The Case of the Los Angeles Superior Court,"
Public Administration Review 31 (March-April, 1971) 133-43;
and Arnold M. Malech, "A Glass House: Court Administration
from the Inside," Judicature 50 (March, 1967), 249-51.
^United States Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental
Relations, Report on State-Local Relations in the Criminal
Justice System (Washington, D.C.: Government Printinq Office,
1971), pp. 194-95.
203


146
tive direction from a group of managers who possess
similar conceptions of organizational goals and who have
the capacity to channel organizational resources toward
these objectives. The subsequent chapter examines various
methods that may conceivably be utilized to transform the
judicial branch of government into a viable modernizing
force.


95
Department of Administration also assumes a preeminent role
in this domain. The clerks of the circuit courts must
obtain approval of both the county commissions and the state
Department of Administration in order to employ additional
personnel. Moreover, the Supreme Court and the other
appellate courts are equally dependent upon the Department
of Administration. They too must submit all personnel
requests to the agency. Consequently, the judiciary of
the state of Florida is placed in the statutory role of a
humble state agency.The judicial branch must seek the
approval of both the executive and legislative branches
of government for financial and personnel supports. Moreover,
the court clerks and county commissions must also be receptive
to judicial needs in order to assure a proper level of
financing. The complexity of these budgetary and personnel
processes reflect the degree to which the Chief Justice is
limited in his authority. The county commissions, legislature,
and governor are all intricately involved in interpreting
policy and setting priorities for the judicial branch. Con
sequently, it is extremely difficult to fix accountability
for the operation of the court system, because direct lines
of authority and responsibility do not exist. The implica
tions and consequences of this fragmented process are
discussed in the following chapter.
57Chapter 110 of the Florida Statutes specifically
defines the judiciary as a "state agency" or a unit of
the executive branch for personnel matters.


CHAPTER VI
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
The major aim of the present study has been to analyze
qualitatively the effects of reform on a large state court
system. In particular, three groups of court managers
were investigated in order to determine their impact on
both reform implementation, and court administration in
general. Chief judges and court clerks have been termed
"traditional" managers. Their reactions to the changes
imposed by reform were considered to be critical to the
analysis because their cooperation is a crucial variable
in determining whether or not Article V will be an effective
"modernizing" mechanism. Court executive assistants are
primarily a by-product of the reform movement that spawned
Article V, and thus their importance to the analysis lies
mainly in the traditional court managers' reactions to
them. Two other dimensions of court administration were
also investigated: the management practices prevalent
among these personnel, and the political and institutional
context in which the managers' duties are performed.
The trial court system of Florida vas the major or
ganizational unit of analysis. This system includes
sixty-seven county clerks offices and twenty circuit courts.
251


310
McCafferty, James A. "The Need For Criminal Court Statistics.
Judicature 55 (November, 1971): 149-54.
McGowan, Carl. "Toward Better Court Organization." American
Bar Association Journal 59 (November, 1973) : 1267-70.
McLaughlin, Walter H. "Of Men and Buildings Crisis in
Judicial Administration." Massachusetts Law Quarterly
55 (Fall, 1970): 331-34.
Main, Jeremy. "Only Radical Reform Can Save the Courts."
Fortune 82 (August, 1970): 110-54.
Malech, Arnold M. "A Glass House: Court Administration
from the Inside." Judicature 50 (March, 1967):
249-51.
Medalie, R. J., Zeitz, Leonard, and Alexander, Paul.
"Custodial Police Interrogation in Our Nation's
Capital: The Attempt to Implement Miranda" Michigan
Law Review 66 (1968): 1347-1422.
Medina, Harold R. "Judges as Leaders in Improving the
Administration of Justice." Judicature 36 (June,
1952): 6-12.
Meyer, Bernadine. "Court Administration: The Newest
Profession." Duquesne Law Review 10 (Winter, 1971):
220-35.
Navarro, J., and Taylor, J. "An Application of Systems
Analysis to Aid in the Efficient Administration of
Justice." Judicature 47 (October, 1967): 52-68.
Nejelski, Paul. "Computer Simulation: An Aid to Court
Study." Judicature 55 (June-July, 1971): 17-20.
Oglesby, Dwayne, and Gallas, Geoffrey S. "Court Admini
stration A New Profession." American Business Law
Journal 10 (Spring, 1972) : 1-15.
Pound, Roscoe. "The Causes of Popular Dissatisfaction with
the Administration of Justice." American Law Review
40 (1906): 729-50.
President's Commission on Law Enforcement and the Admini
stration of Justice. "Report." Judicature 50
(March, 1967): 239-43.
Reed, John H. "Operational Research and the Courts."
Judicature 56 (August-September, 1972): 67-71.


120
the sixty day trial requirement.
37
Process Dilemmas
The second major management dilemma which may be
directly attributed to local influence in the judicial
s^stemis the lack of uniformity in forms and procedures
utilized among the counties. The clerks' dominant control
over court administration has allowed them "to more or
less write their own rules"38 in these areas. Although
a large proportion of judicial legal forms and procedures
are specifically delineated by statute and Supreme Court
Rules, the court clerks' application of these state guide-
. *5 Q
lines has been termed "lackadaisical." ^ Moreover, in the
areas where state law is vague or non-existent regarding
forms and procedures, the court clerks have created their
own individualized practices. A recent study conducted
under the auspices of the Office of State Courts Administrator
revealed a large number of startling facts in this regard:
Clerks presently utilize over sixteen
thousand different versions of like forms.
Forms are created with insufficient con
sideration given to their design, utility,
or cost. In most instances, forms are
placed into use without considering all the
needs or requirements of the using office
3^ln several circuits chief judges have been compelled
to transfer civil court judges into the criminal divisions
in order to keep dockets current.
TO .
Position Paper of the Florida Supreme Court,
presented to the Joint Select Committee on Judicial
Personnel of the Florida Legislature, Tallahassee, Florida,
November 1, 1973, 16.
39Ibid.


57
wills upon such individuals, the anticipated political
ramifications of such actions have inhibited them from
invoking their authority. Consequently, it is necessary
to examine the political personages whose roles overlap
that of the chief judges and therefore restrict the
latitude of judicial administrative behavior.
The Court Clerks
Prior to the revision of Article V, Clerks of the
Circuit Courts served as the ministerial officers for the
circuit courts located within their counties. Moreover,
these individuals also served in the capacities of county
recorder, county finance officer, county treasurer, county
auditor, county comptroller, and secretary/accountant for
the county commission. Under the decentralized court
systems of the past era, clerks were independent function
aries who were beyond most administrative supervision. The
only guidance they received was from legislative provisions
and limitations.16
The clerk's office constituted the primary administra
tive arm of the circuit court. As constitutionally elected
officials, they have traditionally exercised a great deal
of discretion in the organization and operation of their
offices. Freedom from judicial and executive control
enabled these individuals to ntilj^e whatever business
1^This phenomenon was present throughout the United
States. See, Roscoe Pound, "Organization of Courts,"
in Judicial Administration and the Administration of
Justice, ed. Dorothy W. Nelson (St. Paul: West Publishing
Co., 1974), pp. 34-35.


16
activities has been largely ignored.22 In order to fully
comprehend the intricacies and exigencies of court reform,
judicial structure must be viewed in the total environ
mental setting. The crucial elements of this environment
include quasi-judicial support structures, J the formal
and informal interactions between these structures and
judicial personnel, and the external political variables
which dictate the nature of such interactions. These
aspects of court management constitute the least studied
(and consequently the least understood) facets of judicial
administration.
Although the importance of these factors has not
been totally recognized, a few authors have briefly noted
the potential influence that quasi-judicial officers may
mentioned the importance of non-judicial officers. Luvern
V. Ricke, "Unification, Funding, Discipline and Admini
stration: Cornerstones for a New Judicial Article," Wash
ington Law Review 48 (1973), 811-37; and Charles H. Sheldon,
"Structuring a Model of the Judicial Process," Georgetown
Law Review 58 (June, 1970), 1153-84.
32This trend appears to be reversing itself. Two
textbooks have recently appeared which deal pragmatically
with operational concerns of judicial management. See
Dorothy W. Nelson, ed., Judicial Administration and the
Administration of Justice (St. Paul: West Publishing Co.,
1974); and Ernest C. Friesen, Edward C. Gallas, and
Nesta M. Gallas, Managing the Courts (New York: Bobbs-
Merrill Co., 1971).
33The support structures, as defined in this study,
are staffed by such individuals as court clerks, deputy
clerks, and court executive assistants. These individuals
compose the primary administrative arm of most court
structures.


83
administrators on the judicial system, the attitudes of the
court clerks and judges are examined. Court administrators
represent what might be termed the "embodiment of reform."
They have been associated with, and a part of, every major
judicial reform movement of the past decade. Consequently,
the attitudes of clerks and judges toward the administrators
are viewed as possible indicators of the predispositions
those individuals hold toward reform in general.
A utilitarian indicator of the chief judges' conception
of the court administrators is the techniques they utilize
in selecting individuals to occupy the positions. Several
judges openly admit that they hired specific administrators
on the basis of personal acquaintances and friendship. For
example, two administrators were undergraduate classmates
of the chief judges who eventually appointed them. Moreover,
another chief judge was reputed by his successor to have
appointed a "crony" ex-County Judge who had been defeated
in the previous election. The most blatant instance of
such amicism occurred in one circuit where the judges
experienced a serious altercation in attempting to decide
between two candidates for the position: one had been
a childhood friend of the current chief judge; the second
is the son-in-law of another judge. In all but three
instances the court administrators who were eventually
hired had been known to the chief judges personally before
their appointments.^5
45Three court executives were employed through formal
ized personnel procedures in which they submitted resumes
and were selected from among other candidates.


193
necessity for employees;^*8 requiring payments to court
secretaries, clerks, and administrators;89 and authorizing
payments for defending indigents.7 0 The judiciary in these
states have apparently adopted an interpretation of the
inherent and separation of powers doctrines espoused by
Jim R. Carrigan:
The separation of powers doctrine, properly
understood, imposed on the judicial branch
nor merely a negative duty not to interfere
with the executive or legislative branches,
but a positive responsibility to perform its
own job efficiently. This positive aspect of
separation of powers imposes on courts affirm
ative obligations to assert and fully exercise
their powers, to operate efficiently by modern
standards, and to fend off legislative or
executive attempts to encroach upon judicial
prerogatives. From that responsibility arises
an inherent power of courts to require that
they be reasonably financed.71
The inherent power doctrine has seldom appeared in
Florida case law. The most lucid definition of the doctrine
that has emanated from the Florida Supreme Court arose from
a 1952 action. In that year the Florida Bar Association
requested the court to take charge of money paid to the
Board of Law Examiners and to employ an administrative officer.
The Association contended that such action could be taken
88See, e.g., Noble County Council v. Indiana, 125
N.E. 2d 709 (1955).
6^See, e.g., Millholen v. Riley, 293 p. 69 (1930).
^See, e.g., Weiner v. Fulton County, 148 S.E. 2d
143 (1966).
71jim R. Carrigan, "Inherent Powers and Finance,"
Trial 7 (November-December, 1971), 22.


I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Ernest R.Bartley, Chairman
Professor of Politic/l Science
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Manning J. Da
Professor o,f litical Science
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Larry^erkson
Assistant Professor of
Political Science
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
- fG Q
2L-t
Kelso
Assistant Professor
Political Science
of


164
Because they control such a large proportion of the court's
support functions and operating revenues, court clerks
occupy a strategic power position from which judicial
commands can be effectively resisted. Moreover, the
elective nature of their office furnishes the clerks with
a localistic orientation which often proves to be counter
productive to judicial efficiency.^ Bureaucratic organi
zations cannot be expected to function adequately when
many of their most powerful members are independently-
elected officials whose primary allegiance and responsi
bility is to their own electorate. Consistent and uniform
administration thus cannot be realized until court clerks
become responsive to judicial authority.The achievement
of this goal is predicated upon two major reforms: (1)
split each court clerk's office pursuant to Article V,
Section 16 of the Florida Constitution; and (2) eliminate
the present system of selecting clerks by popular election.
Splitting the office
Court clerks have traditionally been granted a variety
of duties which encompass two branches of government, execu-
O /T
tive and judicial. As county recorder, county finance
34see pp. 65-70 infra.
o cr
--The desirability of granting the judiciary control
over court clerks has long been recognized. See, e.g.,
Roscoe Pound, Organization of Courts (Boston: Little, Brown
and Co., 1940), 275-94.
^Although this division of responsibility appears to
be a violation of the separation of powers doctrine, no


40
law.-*- This approach was dictated, in part, because legisla
tive alteration of the judicial system is much simpler to
accomplish than is constitutional revision. Moreover, it
was generally assumed that legislatively created special
courts would be in existence only temporarily.2 However,
experiences with government organs nationwide indicate that
once a bureaucracy is established, it tends to be self-
perpetuating .
Political considerations also explain the popularity
of creating special courts. Legislators discovered that
such courts constituted an adequate vehicle for dispensing
political patronage. While the legislators were able to
create political offices for their party supporters, the
constituents of each district viewed the special courts as
justified legislative responses to local judicial require
ments. Moreover, despite the abundant political advantages
offered by this "solution" to court reform, the state
legislature was not obligated to appropriate funds to
establish the special courts. Since the individual counties
financed the court system almost entirely, legislators
would seldom object to the creation of the new courts in
districts other than their own.-*
iFor a discussion of the tendency of states to create
large numbers of special courts, see Roscoe Pound, Organi-
zation of Courts (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1940) .
2see Phillip Smith and Neil H. Graham, "Reorganization
of the Court Structure," Alabama Law Review 10 (Spring,
1958), 139-53.
jSee, e.g., Harry 0. Lawson, "Overview of Court Admini
stration: A Commentary," paper presented to the Institute of
Court Management, American University, Washington, D.C.,
July 8, 1974, 12-16.


Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the
Graduate Council of the University of Florida
in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
COURT MANAGEMENT: THE ADMINISTRATORS AND
THEIR JUDICIAL ENVIRONMENT
By
Steven W. Hays
December, 1975
Chairman: Ernest R. Bartley
Major Department: Political Science
This work constitutes a qualitative analysis of
court reform in a state judicial system. It is a norma
tive analysis which focuses on two major aspects of judicial
reform: (1) the reactions of court managers to the imposi-
l
tion of innovation into their environment; and (2) the
political and cognitive obstacles to reform.
The degree of acceptance of reform is viewed as being
related to five areas of organization research: (1) the
relationship between the "natural" and "artificial"
systems; (2) the level and complexity of technology employed
by court organizations; (3) the number and types of organi
zational goals; (4) the nature of the court system's
environment; and (5) the nature of the values, roles, and
individual goals exhibited by organizational members.
v


17
exert on judicial activity. For example, James A. Gazell
states that court clerks and court administrators, by
virtue of their strategic administrative position, may
become "staff competitors for judicial leadership" nomi
nally exercised by chief judges.34 Because these personnel
possess "expertise," they may gain de facto control of '
state judicial bureaucracies. Chief judges may be
experiencing what their counterparts in other bureaucra
cies have encountered: a widening gulf between authority
and expertise.35 Court operations, and the directions
that reform movements take, may thus be primarily deter
mined not by judges but by their "support personnel."
The ability of court clerks to resist the power of
judges has also been documented. For example, Jerome Berg
questions the rationality of placing primary administra
tive control of the courts in the hands of independently
elected and appointed officers. He concludes that no
argument in favor of independent clerks outweighs "the
necessity of giving those who are responsible for the
efficient administration of the courts the requisite con
trol of the entire organization.36 As independent
officers, clerks have historically presented judges with
34Gazell, supra note 26, p. 371.
35por an excellent discussion of this phenomenon as
it occurs in other organizations, see Victor A. Thompson,
Modern Organizations (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1961).
36Berg, supra note 4, p. 806.


From the list of choices at the right, specify how many
times a month you discuss business on the telephone
with . (72-73)
72.
the Circuit Court Clerk
1.
None
4. 11-15
2.
1-5
5. 16-20
73.
the Chief Judge
3.
6-10
6. Over 20
74.
Does the Chief Judge have his
office
in the
same building as yours?
1. Yes
2.
No
75.
If the Chief Judge does not
have his
office in
the same building as yours,
how far
away from
you is his office?
1. Not Applicable
4.
6-10
Miles
2. Within 1 Mile
5.
11-30
Miles
3. 1-5 Miles
6.
Over
30 Miles
76. Are most of your duties performed "automatically,"
or do they have to await authorization or super
vision by the Chief Judge?
1. Automatic 2. Await Supervision
77. How do you perceive your role within the context
of the over-all court structure? (Please
Elaborate)
78.Using the choices listed below, how would you
describe the performance of the Circuit Court
Clerk in his court-related functions?
1.
Excellent
5.
Fair
2.
Very Good
6 .
Poor
3.
Good
7.
Very Poor
4.
Average
79.Does any friction exist between your office and
the Clerk's office?
1. Yes 2. No
Please Elaborate.


201
be rewarded except in terms of how the individual responds
to the duties he (or she) is assigned, efficiency should
become an accepted goal of all personnel.
Summary
A fundamental prerequisite to effective court reform
is establishment of the judiciary as an equal and inde
pendent branch of government. This goal can only be
obtained if judges are granted the powers and resources
necessary to administer and coordinate their organization.
Among the most urgent conditions that must be present in
order to accomplish these complementary goals are: an
altered conception of court clerks that enables the courts
to control their support functions, administrative aware
ness and ability among judges and competent administrative
assistants to reduce the management burdens of judges.
State assumption of all judicial expenses, including person
nel, offers the most immediate and pragmatic solution. By
reducing fragmentation and diffused management authority,
judges will conceivably assume their legitimate position as
the formulators and implementers of reform policies.
Despite the apparent merits of the reforms outlined
in the present chapter, a large number of political and
to be responsive to the system's objectives, and that the
total composition of duties and responsibilities necessary
to accomplish each objective will be grouped into orderly
and efficient contributory entities.


285
appropriate judicial nominating commission. An election
shall be held to fill that judicial office for the term of
the office beginning at the end of the appointed term.
The nominations shall be made within thirty days from the
occurrence of a vacancy unless the period is extended by
the governor for a time not to exceed thirty days. The
governor must make the appointment within sixty days
after the nominations have been certified to him.
(b) There shall be a separate judicial nominating
commission as provided by general law for the supreme
court, each district court of appeal, and each judicial
circuit for all trial courts within the circuit.
SECTION 12. Discipline; removal and retirement.
(a) There shall be a judicial qualifications commission
composed of:
(1) Two judges of district courts of appeal selected
by the judges of those courts, two circuit judges
selected by the judges of the circuit courts and two
judges of county courts selected by the judges of those
courts;
(2) Two electors who reside in the state, who are
members of the bar of Florida, and who shall be chosen by
the governing body of the bar of Florida; and
(3) Five electors who reside in the state, who have
never held judicial office or been members of the bar
of Florida, and who shall be appointed by the governor.
(b) The members of the judicial qualifications


263
56. What problems do you confront most often in
carrying out your duties?
57. Which of these problems (#56) do you consider
to be the most important?
58. If you were given the necessary power and
resources, how would you alleviate the problem
(#57)?
(NOTE: For questions 59-62, please select the most
appropriate choice from those listed below and record the
corresponding number to the left of each question.)
1-Excellent
2-Very Good
3-Good
4-Average
5-Fair
6-Poor
7-Very Poor
8-No Opinion (Neutral)
9-Not Applicable
59. How would you describe your working relationship
with the Chief Judge?
60. How would you describe your working relationship
with the Court Administrator?
61. How would you describe the working relationship
between the Chief Judge and the Clerks?
62. How would you describe the working relationships
between the Chief Judge and his Administrator?
63. Does the Clerk's office have any noticeable problems
with external administrative agencies such as the
police department or the department of social ser
vices?
1. Yes 2. No
Please Specify.
64. Do you often take the initiative to provide the
Chief Judge with information relevant to the
efficient operation of the court?
1. Yes 2. No
Please Specify.


261
17. If yes, how many? (Please Circle) 12345
6 7 8 9
_18. Which do you consider yourself to be?
1. Conservative 2. Liberal
_19. Which do you consider yourself to be?
1. Republican 3. Independent
2. Democrat 4. Other (Please
Specify)
_20. Were your grandparents born in the United States?
1. Yes. 2. No
If not, where were they born?
21. What was the primary occupation of your...
(Please Specify)
Father Mother
22. Have you ever held any other publicly-elected
office?
1. Yes 2. No
Please Specify.
_23. Have you ever held an appointed office?
1. Yes 2. No
Please Specify.
B. Attitudinal Questions (Please choose the one word from
each pair of words which you feel best describes the
(I) Chief Judge and (II) the Court Administrator.
Signify your response by placing the appropriate letter--
"a" or "b" in Column I for the Chief Judge
Column II for the Court Administrator


59
the administrative functions of the circuit court, Article V
also assigned to the clerks responsibility for performing
all the clerical functions of the courts which have been
consoTTdated into the two-tier system. Moreover, while
their judicial role was increasing tremendously, the clerks
have not been divested of their county-based functions.^
The court clerks in Florida campaign on a county-wide
partisan ballot for four-year terms. The only requirements
for holding office are that the individual must be an elector
of the state and must devote his full attention to the duties
of the post.-*-9
^Although clerks in most counties retain their tra
ditional titular roles in the budgetary process, counties
which have adopted charter governments or which have employed
court-managers do not grant the clerics- such extensive powers
over budgeting.
-^According to Florida Statutes Annotated, Chapter
145.051, the clerks' salaries are determined according to
the population of their respective counties:
Each clerk of the circuit court shall receive as
salary the amount indicated, based on the popula
tion of his county. In addition, a compensation
shall be made for population increments over the
minimum for each population group, which shall be
determined by multiplying the population in excess
of the minimum for the grouping times the group rate.
POP. GROUP
COUNTY POP
. RANGE
BASE SALARY
GROUP RATE
MINIMUM
MAXIMUM
I
-0-
9,999
$14,000
$0,300
II
10,000
49,999
17,000
0.075
III
50,000
99,999
20,000
0.060
IV
100,000
199,999
23,000
0.025
V
200,000
399,999
25,500
0.015
VI
400,000
999,999
28,500
0.005
VII
1,000,000
31,500
0.000


214
delay trials, and thus greatly complicate the adjudi
catory process.23
The adversary form of judicial proceedings becomes
increasingly obsolete as society becomes more complex.
The assumption that "truth" is best determined by attor
neys verbally jousting before a judge is basically spurious.
Under such a system, truth depends primarily upon the at
torneys' competence, because the court remains ignorant of
any facts not presented by counsel. Since all attorneys
clearly are not equally qualified, the legal process
automatically becomes suspect. While the adversary pro
cess may have been more applicable when legal issues were
less technical, the present complexity of many disputes
which the courts must resolve apparently requires a more
innovative legal approach.^ Further, adversary proceedings
do not readily adapt themselves to the consideration of
multifaceted disputes. By forcing controversies into a
two-party contest, the courts compel other potential parties
^Often attorneys employ such tactics even though they
never intend to allow the case to go to trial. Both parties
to a dispute perform a ritualistic set of pre-trial maneuvers,
each hoping that the other will be "out-waited," or will be
come more favorably disposed to an out of court settlement.
Almost ninety per cent of all cases brought to court are
concluded without trial; thus court managers are compelled
to make preparations for numerous proceedings which never
occur.
2^Two notable innovations have been advocated by several
reform commissions to remedy the courts' lack of technical
expertise: (1) utilize a staff of specialist judges in which
each judge possesses expertise in a particular technical
area, much as the medical profession has done; or (2) elim
inate juries and provide the judiciary with full-time staff
technical experts in every conceivable phase of litigation.


155
assumed that an administrator must be at least tangentially-
involved in the daily operation of the organization.17 con
sequently, efficient personnel administration requires that
presiding judges develop awareness of the problems and
responsibilities of those personnel performing recording,
filing, and general office management functions. While
no judge can be expected to develop expertise in the plethora
of support activities, a modicum of knowledge about such
functions is a prerequisite to coordination and control
of the court organization. In larger circuits it may be
advisable to require judges to abandon their "judging" duties
during their tenure as administrative officers. Establish
ment of a judicial department personnel system has also
been advocated by several reform commissions as a partial
solution to the courts' need to control and supervise
judicial employees. Such a mechanism would lighten the
personnel responsibilities of presiding judges by perform
ing all recruitment, training, and evaluation functions, yet
would enable the judiciary to maintain control over these
aspects of the court bureaucracy.
Budget control. The last major group of responsibilities
that chief judges need to acquire are those involving fiscal
matters. According to Standard 9.2(5) of the National Advisory
Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals, "The
l^See, e.g., George Strauss and Leonard R. Sayles,
Personnel; The Human Problems of Management (Englewood
Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1972), pp. 163-82.



PAGE 1

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44
FLORIDA SUPREME COURT
7 JUSTICES
DISTRICT COURTS OF APPEALS
5 JUDGES EACH
4th district
W Palm Beach
CIRCUIT COURTS
263 JUDGES IN 20 CIRCUITS
COUNTY COURTS
164 JUDGES IN 67 COUNTIES
1st district
2nd district
3rd district
Tallahassee
Lakeland
Miami
Diagram 2.1
STATE OF FLORIDA COURT ORGANIZATION


152
tions is a prerequisite to the firm establishment of ad
ministrative responsibility in the chief judges' offices.
Most bureaucracies maximize the efforts of their personnel
by explicitly defining the jurisdiction and functions of
each individual in the hierarchy. -*-2 Through this mechanism
the organization determines responsibility for its goals,
as well as assuring control over the activities of function
aries. Much of the management vacuum present in the judicial
systems may be directly attributed to the courts' failure
to adhere to this basic organizational tenet.
Therefore, the Florida Supreme Court must not only
establish a specific administrative program to be followed
by chief judges, but must also institute control mechanisms
to insure that the centrally-derived management policies
are implemented.13 while the presiding judges of each cir
cuit should establish local administrative policy,14 any
rules and procedures that are formulated must necessarily
be designed to conform to guidelines drafted by the Chief
Justice of the Florida Supreme Court. Through this procedure
12see, e.g., Max Weber, "The Essentials of Bureau
cratic Organization," in Reader in Bureaucracy, eds. Robert
K. Merton et al. (Glencoe: The Free Press, 1952), pp. 18-27.
order to insure conformity to Florida Supreme
Court guidelines, recalcitrant and/or uncooperative judges
(or those who refuse to exercise their authority) could be
threatened with censure or removal from office.
14For a discussion of the merits of allowing decentral
ized judges to establish local administrative policy, see
National Center for State Courts, Administrative Unification
of the Main State Courts (Boston: National Center for
State Courts, 1975), pp. 23-25.


228
apparently favor preservation of the fundamental budgetary
link between the counties and.courts. Traditional political
relationships between judges and court clerks are primarily
based on county responsibility for judicial support func
tions. Since many circuits have experienced few problems
in obtaining resources through political bargaining with
the counties, their chief judges are hesitant to "gamble"
with an altered system.
Another major obstacle to judicial acceptance of state
budgetary and personnel controls is exemplified by the
following exchange:
(Interviewer) Do you favor state assumption
of all judicial budget and personnel responsi
bilities?
(Chief Judge) Who would supervise the
system if this were done?
(Interviewer) The Supreme Court would
ultimately be responsible, but the Office of State
Courts Administrator would probably do most of the
paper work.
(Chief Judge) You've got to be joking. _____
[State Courts Administrator] is building an empire
in Tallahassee and now we're going to let him con
trol our personnel and budgets? It'll never hap
pen.
The chief judges' animosity for the Office of State Courts
Administrator is immense.Most judges perceive the
51it is difficult to determine whether chief judges
object to the Office of State Courts Administrator, or to
the individual occupying that office. In fact, the state
courts administrator resigned his position during the
course of this investigation. That individual was an
active reform advocate who attempted to firmly establish
court executive assistants in every circuit. Perhaps his
activities alienated too many court managers, as it has been
suggested that he was "forced out" by court clerks. It is
likely that his replacement will assume a more passive posture.


142
is an institution whose membership is constantly changing,
there is little opportunity to construct or supervise
interminable reform programs. Finally, legislators by
necessity must respond to constituency pressures, and
public concern for the courts is generally acknowledged
as being minimal. Therefore, it can hardly be expected
that the legislature will, of its own voliton, make sub
stantial efforts toward improving the conditions of
the judiciary simply because the courts request it to do
so. 71
The consequences of legislative involvement in
court administration are clearly evident in court clerks'
responses to questions regarding their most important
problems. Ten clerks (31.6% adjusted frequency) specif
ically list "legislative controls" as their most pressing
administrative dilemma. Their comments generally reflect
the opinion that state directives are "too numerous,"
"unreasonable," and "inconsistent." Among the most
descriptive comments are the following: "The legislature
has a complete lack of understanding in passing laws as
to the problems created in carrying them out;" "In order
to keep up with state enactments I spend all my time
improvising;" and "Trying to satisfy contradictory require
ments from the legislature, as well as keeping up with
71For a related discussion, see Jerome S. Berg,
"Assumption of Administrative Responsibility by the
Judiciary: Rx for Reform," Suffolk University Law Review
6 (Summer, 1972), 804-6.


26
the administrative unit being studied.^ if the goal of
the bureaucracy is assumed to be justice, then the level
of organizational efficiency is determined by ascertain
ing the degree to which justice is produced. However,
such a conceptualization is impractical because the con
cept of justice has no clear relationship to empirical
evidence. Moreover, analysts following the goal model
tend to become preoccupied with formal structures and thus
s ^
ignore a number of crucial organizational variables.
Measurement of the organizational efficiency of the court
systems through the use of the goal model thus becomes a
monumental, if not impossible, task.
As a result, this study utilizes a more open-ended,
multi-dimensional conceptualization of judicial goals.
Specifically, a "functional systems model" of organizational
activity is applied to the courts.^ This approach provides
two fundamental advantages over the goal model. First, a
realistic appraisal of the internal interactions of
judicial organizations is facilitated, thus enabling the
52Amitai Etzioni, "Two Approaches to Organization
Analysis: A Critique and a Suggestion," Administrative
Science Quarterly 5 (June, 1960), 257-58.
^The compliance and impact studies of specific court
decisions are especially guilty of overlooking internal
organizational variables. See, e.g., R. J., Medalie et al. ,
"Custodial Police Interrogation in Our Nation's Capital:
The Attempt to Implement Miranda," Michigan Law Review 66
(1968), 1347-1422; and M. S. Wald et al., "Interrogations
in New Haven: The Impact of Miranda," Yale Law Journal
76 (July, 1967), 1521-1648.
^Etzioni, supra note 52, p. 259.


286
commission shall serve staggered terms, not to exceed
six years as prescribed by general law. No member of the
commission except a justice or judge shall be eligible
for state judicial office so long as he is a member of
the commission and for a period of two years thereafter.
No member of the commission shall hold office in a polit
ical party or participate in any campaign for judicial
office or hold public office; provided that a judge may
participate in his own campaign for judicial office and
hold that office. The commission shall elect one of its
members as its chairman.
(c) The supreme court shall adopt rules regulating
proceedings of the commission, the filing of vacancies
by the appointing authorities and the temporary replace
ment of disqualified or incapacitated members. After a
recommendation of removal of any justice or judge, the
record of the proceedings before the commission shall
be made public.
(d) Upon recommendation of two-thirds of the members
of the judicial qualifications commission, the supreme
court may order that the justice or judge be disciplined
by appropriate reprimand, or be removed from office with
termination of compensation for willful or persistent
failure to perform his duties or for other conduct
unbecoming a member of the judiciary, or be involuntarily
retired for any permanent disability that seriously
interferes with the performance of his duties. After the


65
essay by William C. Harvard:
In the absence of party or factional organization
which might exercise some degree of control over
the selection of candidates and their stand on
issues. Florida's political relations are highly
personalized. Office politics predominate over
issues, with the result that policy is worked out
interpersonally among the office-holders after the
election. Extreme localism is a marked character
istic of most political campaigns (even the support
of statewide candidates for office such as governor
tends to cluster heavily around the candidates'
home areas). And the alignment of office-holders
on issues appears to shift from issue to issue and
to offer few patterns that would lend themselves to
the usual classification of political groupings
according to the degree of advocacy of governmentally-
induced social change. 2
Thus, the predominance of personalistic and/or political
interrelationships that are characteristic of the chief
judges reappears in the activities of the clerks. Moreover,
these factors indicate that the majority of court clerks
have a decidedly localistic orientation. When asked to
specify their most important duty, 47% of the clerks
specifically stated that such functions as "serving the local
electorate" and "assisting the county commission" take
precedence over any other. Many other clerks expressed
concern with Article V because they fear that centraliza
tion will deny local citizens a "responsive" judiciary.
However, it is unreasonable to expect the clerks to dis
play any other types of attitudes. Although the clerks
by constitution must respond to both the county and the
court as distinct policy making entities, their predominant
identification as county officers is virtually guaranteed
because the county provides most of their operating
22jbid.


29
is indefensible.
Consequently, the legal profession has begun to shed its
historic aversion to the concept of administrative effi
ciency in the courts. Judicial reform movements are
primarily attempts to institute more effective and ef
ficient administrative practices so that the quality of
justice will not decline.59
Hypotheses and Theoretical Frameworks
The major impetus for this undertaking arose from a
simple question: What aspects of court organization affect
the content and likelihood of success of reform: This
query is predicated on several subsidiary assumptions
concerning the judicial system. First, an analysis of
reform presupposes that alterations in the judicial system
are necessary. The legitimacy of the need for reform in
American courts has already been suggested. However, this
study departs somewhat from the norm by being cognitive
of the role that support structures play in the reform
process. It is assumed that the achievement of valid
reform depends upon the response of the entire organiza
tion. The actions or inactions of any specific group of
individuals within the court system are seen as pertinent
considerations.
58Friesen et a^. supra note 7, p. 19.
59it is ironic to note that if efficiency does become
the accepted "means to an end," the courts may soon repre
sent the classic positive example of goal displacement.


198
within the Florida court system should be selected, super
vised, and promoted in accordance with regulations adopted
by the Supreme Court. Each individual employed by the courts
should be directly responsible to the judiciary and should
meet standard criteria. Moreover, salariesshould be allotted
according to job classification and experience. A uniform
personnel policy should therefore include the following ele
ments :
1. uniform position classifications;
2. uniform standards of recruitment and
compensation;
3. open and competitive application, ex
amination, and appointment;
4. definitive promotion and incentive
award program;
5. uniform procedures for periodic perfor
mance evaluation;
6. definitive discharge procedures;
7. standard conditions of employment, sick
leave, vacation time, and benefits;
8. an effective program for the training
of judges and auxiliary court personnel;
9. whenever possible, the personnel manage
ment system should be compatible with the state
career service program, yet should allow sufficient
flexibility to meet the unique requirements of the
judiciary.
The most feasible method of implementing such a personnel
system is to allow for both state and local participation.
An administrative appendage to the Florida Supreme Court should
be established to develop all uniform procedures, salary scales,


197
numerous factors that contribute to the chief judges'
reluctance to manage. The judiciary cannot be held fully
responsible for its own operations unless it has control
over its own employees. The only viable method to wrest
control of this aspect of court administration from court
clerks and local political bodies is for the state govern
ment to implement a judicial personnel system. Just as
the legislature, pursuant to Chapters 11.147 (1) (a) and
11.25 (2) of the General Laws of Florida, has established
its own personnel system, the judiciary should be allowed
to develop and implement similar controls over its employees.
The creation of a separate personnel system is nothing more
than a basic recognition of the separation of powers doctrine.
Continuing the practice of utilizing the same personnel
system for both judicial and executive employees is contrary
to the concept of the administrative independence of the
judiciary.78
Elements of a personnel system
With two major exceptions,^ all non-judicial personnel
^Keith Scott, as quoted in "The Role of the Admini
strator in a Unified Court System," by Harry 0. Lawson,
paper presented to the Second Citizens' Conference on the
Utah Courts, Salt Lake City, Utah, December 8, 1972, 4.
79judges' personal staffs, such as secretaries and
legal clerks, must necessarily remain within the realm of
discretionary appointments. It is desirable that judges
be provided with a confidential staff which is not subject
to rotation, transfer, or other external controls. In
addition, court administrators should remain judicial ap
pointees in order to avoid the potentially damaging effects
of imposing an unacceptable individual into the judges'
domain.


212
and respected qualities is also responsible for many pro
cedural and conceptual judicial characteristics which are
counterproductive to administrative efficiency. These
antiquated (and perhaps obsolete) operational practices
and customs have been retained mainly because they have
been sanctified by tradition. Despite the exigencies of
current litigation levels, it is extremely unlikely that
such inefficient procedures will yield to the forces of
reform. Due to the resistance of "sacrosanct" institutions
to innovation, reform programs will probably have to be
designed in accordance with the more traditional aspects
of legal culture. The most administratively impractical
and/or harmful characteristics of American jurisprudence
are the adversary system, the jury system,and the nature
of the legal profession.21
Adversary system
The adversary process is considered the "proper" method
for resolving disputes in courtrooms. Originating from
ancient customs involving trial by battle and/or confronta
tion, adversary proceedings are generally defined according
to three assumptions: (1) law is best discovered by
examining the arguments of conflicting parties, (2). the
correct interpretation of statutory or other codified law
will result from arguments presented in court, and (3) the
truth about disputed facts will be discovered as a result
21-For an exhaustive listing of potential constraints
on management, see Ernest C. Friesen, Edward C. Gallas, and
Nesta M. Gallas, Managing the Courts (New York: Bobbs-
Merrill Co., 1971), pp. 45-65.


101
often possess conflicting orientations and goals regarding
court functions.^
In order to provide the "consistent and uniform"
administrative direction that is ostensibly the intent
of Article V,^ chief judges must be willing and able to
assert their constitutional authority over the judicial
bureaucracy. By permitting court clerks and county commis
sioners to establish court management priorities, incon
sistency and inefficiency in the application of administra
tive practices and procedures are potentially increased.
However, several aspects of the chief judges' administrative
role inhibit effective management and transform the position
of "chief administrative officer" into a debilitated
facsimile of that described in Article V.
As has been previously stated, reorganization of the
Florida judicial system has not altered the intimate
traditional relationship between county and court.^ Because
counties continue to exercise tremendous discretionary
power in most aspects of court administration, chief judges
are compelled to rely upon political strategies and
^Chief judges and court clerks have distinctly different
attitudes toward their judicial responsibilities. See pp.
48-64 infra.
^The Florida Supreme Court is extremely persistent in
its public pronouncements that Article V is intended to
create a truly "unified" judicial system. See, e.g.,
Florida Judicial System Statistical Report, compiled by
the Office of the State Courts Administrator (Tallahassee:
Legislative Reference Bureau, 1973), p. 5.
5
See pp. 87-91 infra.


130
for comparable work in other occupations. For example, less
than one-tenth of the counties offer free hospitalization
and life insurance to their personnel. Minimum retirement
and workmen's compensation are the only benefits available
to deputy clerks in mot of the remaining counties. More
over, a great deal of friction and confusion is created
by the fact that disparities exist in the number of holidays
various counties recognize. The following statements aptly
describe this situation:
It isn't hard to imagine the confusion among
court workers who talk to each other by phone
every day and transfer cases back and forth
when they find that some counties give as many
as thirteen holidays while others give as few
as six. And except for Christmas, those holi
days that are recognized seem to coincide by
freakest chance.53
The inequities and deficiencies in the systems of
personnel administration applied by the court clerks hinder
the acquisition of proficient judicial staffs. This situa
tion would not be extremely serious if court employees were
adequately trained. However, the meager or non-existent
instruction available to deputy clerks in most counties
is not sufficient to ensure professional competence.
A logical consequence of disparate personnel pro
cedures is that deputy clerks in many counties are slow
to develop either expertise or professional orienta
tions toward their positions. Chief judges are cogni
zant of this situation and express concern over possible
53staff Report, supra note 35, p. 16.


136
direct influence on the clerks' operating revenues severely
restricts their authority to coordinate the activities
those revenues finance. Consequently, chief judges
have been compelled to maintain traditional political
relationships with court clerks in order to assure the
continued funding and policy implementation "cooperation"
of local officials.
A further consequence of this unrealistic division
of responsibility is that court clerks possess such an
extensive amount of political "clout" that they are often
able to arbitrarily resist the supervision of court authority.
Although the incidence of this behavior is quite rare, a
few examples are notable. On one occasion, a chief judge
directed a clerk to revise his probate procedures in order
to conform to those of other counties in the circuit. The
clerk responded that he is responsive to the electorate
and not to the policies and procedures of the court. More
over, the clerk has since removed himself completely from
judicial administration and has appointed a deputy clerk
59
to assume all his former court duties. Another court
clerk reports that his chief judge has, on occasion,
attempted to "use me as his personal secretary." Conse
quently, the clerk has instructed his own secretary that
~^It is interesting to note that the individual
employed to assume supervisory control over court functions
was literally "hired off the street." He is a complete
dilettante in court procedures who is "a friend of the guy
who originally turned down the job."


241
Implementation Attempt
During the public debates over Article V, several
prominent state officials openly espoused full state
funding for Florida's judicial system. For example, on
numerous occasions Governor Askew repeated the assertion
that Article V "presupposes a judicial system funded
entirely from state revenues." Perhaps the most com
pelling statement of this philosophy was presented to the
Legislature on April 9, 1971 by former Chief Justice
Vassar B. Carlton. In a speech in support of Article V,
he inserted the following plea:
The time has come for the Legislature
to recognize that the business of our
courts has a statewide impact no less
significant than matters of public
health, the construction of roads, or
the instruction of Our children. Since
all our courts are integral parts of
our statewide judicial machinery, the
obligation of the state to bear the
costs involved goes beyond the level of
judges and reaches down to all the
support elements within the state.
Thus, the issue of state funding for Florida's judicial
system appeared to have been settled upon the adoption
of Article V. According to all recorded legislative
debates preceding the state referendum which eventually
endorsed the measure, the framers and advocates of Article
V clearly included the proposition that it would "provide
distaff Report of the Joint Select Committee on Judi
cial Personnel, presented to the Joint Select Committee on
Judicial Personnel of the Florida Legislature, Tallahassee,
Florida, January 13, 1975, 13.


41
Consequently, special courts became judicial appendages
in every county in Florida. Each of these courts became a
separate entity which created new sets of vested interests.
The county clerks and judges exercised concurrent control
of the courts situated in their locales. Judges and clerks
became heavily involved in the administrative operation of
their courts, including the areas of budgeting, personnel
management, and procedural requirements. The amount of
appropriations allocated to each court often depended upon
the political relationship between the court administrators
and governing bodies. Moreover, because the clerical
functions were the responsibility of the independently-elected
clerks, and notTcTireCtTy under the control of the courts,
altercations between the court administrators themselves
were not uncommon. The situation that existed was some
what analogous to a judicial feudal system in which each
court represented a separate feifdom where responsibility
and control was divided between two major factions.
The negative consequences of this decentralized system
of justice were myriad. The plethora of local, specialized
judicial structures resulted in a tremendous number of
overlapping jurisdictions. Potential litigants were
confronted by a profusion of courts which conceivably had
jurisdiction over their cases. Because the courts were
dependent upon local political bodies for financial support,
great disparities in levels of funding existed. Courts
located in wealthy communities, or in areas where the


184
frequently.
Equitable distribution of resources. Due to unequal
abilities of local governments to properly finance court
administration, citizens in many counties do not receive
the degree and quality of judicial services that are
available to residents of more wealthy areas. The effec
tiveness of many courts is hampered by a lack of modern
equipment and facilities which stems directly from inade
quate tax bases. Moreover, reliance upon local funding
requires some localities to pay a disproportionately high
share of the total cost of the court system. For example,
the presence of a penal institution in a county may produce
an abnormally large volume of writs for the circuit court
to hear.
Such inequities would clearly be remedied by a central
budgeting authority which would be capable of comparing
local court requirements and thereby distribute resources
according to need. Courts presently functioning without
modern clerical equipment and/or services would benefit
from the resulting redistribution of resources. Judicial
efficiency might thus be improved, and the quality of
justice received by each citizen would no longer depend
5^Due to the inhibiting factors of local funding,
elected court clerks, and inadequate statistical capabil
ities, the Florida Supreme Court has initiated only a very
small number of planning studies.
5^For a related discussion, see Ricke, supra note 29
p. 821-24.


144
inundated by millions of documents which are often
extremely dated. ^4
A startling amount of discrepancy and uncertainty
also exists among statutory provisions governing dockets.
As with most state guidelines relating to the courts, the
terminology used to "direct" the court clerks in docketing
procedures is so vague that individual county interpreta
tion predominates. The term "docket" is defined in over
twenty different ways throughout the statutes. Some
examples are: fee docket, execution docket, court docket,
bench docket, trial docket, progress docket, motion docket,
judgement docket, default docket, will docket, and clerk's
docket. Therefore, many of the inconsistent and inefficient
administrative procedures utilized by various court clerks
can be at least partially attributed to inadequate legisla
tive provisions.
From a realistic perspective, legislative and execu
tive involvement in court administration inhibits effective
judicial control and decelerates reform. Because many
court management policies are established in other branches
of government, the conception of a judicial system as "just
another state agency" is accentuated and prolonged. The
court system has not been allowed to mature as an indepen
dent branch of government; it is granted even less control
74The expenses incurred by counties in storing records
accumulated over more than a century are immense. Many
clerks have been compelled to rent warehouse space in order
to house excess documents.


38
by the Committee were statistical surveys concerning the
organizational size and structure of many local court
systems. Moreover, the staff's access to Legislative and
Supreme Court policy proposals enabled a more comprehensive
analysis of the macro-political environment of the judicial
system than would otherwise have been possible.
During the course of this investigation, ample oppor
tunity was available to observe the various administrators
in their "natural" environment. The knowledge and insights
gained through these observations have been incorporated
throughout this study. Although the validity of con
clusions reached during an observation is difficult to
test empirically, the value of such a research technique
has not been questioned.' Observation assists the researcher
in developing more substantive questions, as well as pro
viding him with a deeper understanding of the temper of
the organization. However, any conclusions contained in
the present analysis which are based entirely upon such
observations are clearly noted as such.


91
exists between the degree of animosity a clerk holds for
an administrator by the chief judge. Three of the admini
strators located in circuits where clerks have admitted
that friction exists between the two offices perceive their
primary function as "assistant to the chief judge." Conver
sations with those judges reveal that the only major duties
assigned to the administrators are "communication with Talla
hassee" and "statistical surveys and studies." Both of
these statements are simply euphemisms for the Case Disposi
tion Reporting System. Moreover, the two administrators
who proved to be the most successful in obtaining responsi
bilities were both quite complimentary about their respective
clerks. It is symbolic that these two individuals are both
attorneys and are employed by chief judges who are enthusiastic
S 4
supporters of Article V.
Administrative Process
Although Article V places ultimate administrative
responsibility for the Florida court system in the Chief
Justice, authority and responsibility for quotidian
management is situated at the local level. In creating
and designating administrative officers for the circuit
court subsystems, Article V grants to chief judges, court
clerks, and court administrators a great deal of discretionary
5^n interesting aspect of the data is that the court
executives located in geographically large circuits are
most plagued by friction and have been assigned fewer duties
than their colleagues. Because these circuits are the most
rural, it might be deducted that there is no real need for
an administrator in circuits with low case loads.


161
expected to be active managers. Political compromise and
bargaining take precedence over the requirements of efficient
administration. The present system of electing judges ex
poses these individuals to a number of deleterious influ
ences.2^ Vigorous administration by effective chief judges
may make them unpopular with local entities that often
exercise a great deal of influence with the voters. As
might be expected under these conditions, chief judges con
form to the hypothesis that officials in highly discre
tionary jobs exercise their powers "whenever they believe
it is to their advantage to do so and evade discretion on
other occasions.Unfortunately, elected administrators
often discover that their continued presence in office is
contingent upon the avoidance of any discretionary activity
which causes undue displeasure or "publicity." Consequently,
the very least that must be done to protect chief judges
from the wrath of local constituencies is to protect them
from ballot box retaliation.
Almost every reform program of the last twenty years
has advocated the merit selection of judges. Although the
rationale for the adoption of such a selection technique
29por related discussions, see Francis C. Cady,
"Court Modernization: Retrospective, Prospective, and
Perspective," Suffolk University Law Review 6 (Summer,
1972), 837-38; and Luverne V. Ricke, "Unification,
Funding, Discipline and Administration: Cornerstones
for a New Judicial Article," Washington Law Review 48
(1973) 813-16.
Ajames D. Thompson, Organizations in Action (New
York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1970), p. 118.
r


SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
Books
Argyris, Chris. Journal of Social Issues. Ann Arbor:
Society for Psychological Study of Social Issues,
1952.
Arnold, Thurmon W. The Symbols of Government. New York:
Harcourt, Brace and World, 1962.
Blau, Peter M., and Scott, Richard W. Formal Organizations.
San Francisco: Chandler Publishing Company, 1962.
, and Schoenherr, Richard A. The Structure of
Organizations. New York: Basic Books, Incorporated,
1971.
Blaustein, Albert P., and Porter, Charles 0. The American
Lawyer. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1954.
Blumberg, Abraham. Criminal Justice. Chicago: Quad
rangle Books, 1967.
Burger, Warren E. "State of the Federal Judiciary." Crisis
in the Courts. Edited by Howard James. New York:
David McKay Company, Incorporated, 1971, pp. iii-xii.
Campbell, Angus. Measures of Political Attitudes. Ann
Arbor: Survey Research Center Press, 1968.
Coffey, Alan R. Administration of Criminal Justice.
Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Incorporated, 1974.
Cole, George, ed. Criminal Justice: Law and Politics.
New York: Duxburg Press, 1972.
Delbecq, Andre L. "The Management of Decision-Making
Within the Firm: Three Strategies for Three Types
of Decision-Making." The Dimensions of Public
Administration. Edited by Joseph A. Uveges, Jr.
Boston: Holbrook Press, Incorporated, 1975, pp. 213-25.
Dimock, Hedley S., and Sorenson, Roy. Designing Education
in Values: A Case Study of Institutional Change.
New York: Association Press, 1955.
299


227
These individuals assume that unitary financing will result
in increased appropriations to their respective circuits.49
As one judge stated:
State personnel and budget control
should help our present situation. We
don't have adequate judges or staff to
function adequately. State funding
hopefully would create a uniformity in
priorities where each circuit would be
given enough personnel to at least clear
its calendars. Some judges are sitting
on their [euphemism for buttocks] ,
while judges in other circuits work six
teen hours a day.^O
The remaining chief judges oppose centralized financing
and personnel systems, and justify their aversion with sev
eral arguments. A common complaint is that state government
has never been responsive to the needs of the judiciary.
Consequently, these individuals fear that state fiscal con
trols will result in reduced appropriations. In addition,
several judges object to a perceived reduction of "local
accountability" which, in turn, may influence voter response.
Because they serve local constituencies, most chief judges
49Trial court judges who are beset with financial
restrictions often become strong supporters of state fund
ing. However, budgetary constraints on state governments
have often destroyed the judiciary's expectations of receiv
ing increased appropriations. See, e.g., Edward E. Pringle,
"Fiscal Problems of a State Court System," paper presented
to the Conference of Chief Justices, Seattle, Washington,
August 11, 1972, 11.
^Although the state government already funds circuit
judges' positions, a few chief judges believe that complete
state funding will result in a more equitable distribution
of resources. Thus, circuits currently operating with
shortages of up to twenty judges would be assured more
judicial positions.


309
Gurney, Edward J. "Crisis in the Courts: The Need For
Reform." Florida Bar Journal 46 (April, 1972):
217-19.
Hamilton, William A., and Work, Charles R. "The Prosecutor's
Role in the Urban Court System: The Case For Manage
ment Consciousness." The Journal of Criminal Law and
Criminology 64 (December, 1973): 183-89.
Harvard, William C., "Notes on a Theory of State Consti
tutional Change: The Florida Experience." The
Journal of Politics 21 (February, 1929): 80-104.
Hazard, Geoffrey C., Jr. McNamera, Martin B.; and Santillas,
Irwin F. "Court Finance and Unitary Budgeting."
Yale Law Journal 81 (June, 1972) : 1295-1300.
Heflin, H. "Judicial System Improvement." Washburn Law
Journal 13 (Winter, 1974) : 1-5.
Henderson, Thomas A. "The Relative Effects of Community
Complexity and of Sheriffs upon the Professionalism
of Sheriffs Departments." American Journal of Political
Science (19 (February, 1975): 107-32.
Jacob, Herbert. "Black and White Perceptions of Justice."
Law and Society Review 6 (August, 1971): 69-89.
James, M. "Public Impressions of the Judiciary." Prison
Journal 49 (Autumn-Winter, 1969): 17-27.
Karlen, Delmar. "Judicial Education." American Bar
Association Journal 52 (June, 1966) : 1049-54.
Kaufman, Irving R. "Decongestion Through Calendar Controls."
The Annals 262 (March, 1960) : 84-93.
Klein, Fannie J. "The Position of the Trial Court Admini
strator in the States." Judicature 50 (April, 1967):
278-80.
Kleps, Ralph N. "Computers and Court Management." Judi
cature 53 (March, 1970); 322-25.
Landes, W. M. "Economic Analysis of the Courts." Journal
of Law and Economics 14 (April, 1971): 61-67.
Lowe, R. Stanley. "Voluntary Merit Selection Plans."
Judicature 55 (November, 1971): 161-67.
Lumbard, J. Edward. "Let the Jury Be But Modified." Trial
7 (November-December, 1971): 17-18.


168
where elected officials abound has been described thusly:
"His duties are like those of the impresario of a ballet
in which the ballet dancers are not hired by him, or paid
by him or fired by him, but he is expected to make them
dance with grace, beauty, and charm.
Political selection of court clerks is detrimental
not only to judicial authority, but to court efficiency.
The present system of electing clerks hardly ensures
competence in their position. Court clerks in Florida are
apparently seldom selected on the basis of managerial
expertise.4-*- Rather, the elective method of selection
has resulted in a group of court managers who are often
without training or experience in court procedures and/or
administration. Parochialism predominates over a realistic
concern for efficiency. Moreover, the expenses of running
for office, and the time expended in re-election efforts,
unquestionably detracts from the clerk's effectiveness and
potentially exposes the judicial system to charges of
"impropriety."
Popular election of court clerks cannot be justified
on the basis of the tasks they perform. Clerks do not make
substantive policy decisions over programs which must be
subject to voter approval. In fact the public has almost
no valid means by which to rationally measure the performance
4 0
Chantry, supra note 19, p. 158.
4**-See pp. 70-72 infra.


ANALYSIS OF COURT EXPENSES BY FUNDING SOURCE
Court/Function
State
County
Municipality
Supreme Court
Entire
-
District Courts
of Appeal
Entire
-
Circuit Courts
Judges
Executive Assistants
& Staff
Secretaries
Expenses (Limited)
Executive Assistants
& Staff
Support Personnel
Expenses (Majority)
Library
Space & Furnishings
County Courts
Judges
Secretaries
Expenses (Limited)
Support Personnel
Expenses (Majority)
Library
Space & Furnishings
Municipal Courts
-
As assumed by County
Courts
Entire pending
phase-out
Clerks of Court
Personnel
(131 positions)
Entire except State
funded personnel
Court Reporters
Official Reporters
(101 positions)
Expenses
Salary supplement &
positions (varies)
Supplement & page
rates (varies)
Space, Furnishings &
Equipment (varies)
295


260
8.How much if your annual salary (court-related
position)?
1. Below $5,000
2. $5,000-$10,000
3. $10,000-$15,000
4. $15,000-$20,000
5. Above $20,000
(Please Specify
Approx.)
9.What is the extent of your education?
1. Some high school
2. High school diploma
3. Two years of college
4. 4-year degree
5. Some graduate work
6. Master's degree
7. Law degree
8. PhD
10.Did you have any specialized administrative
training before assuming your present position?
1. Yes 2. No
If yes, please specify.
11.Have you had any previous administrative
experience?
1. Yes 2. No
If yes, please specify.
12.What job did you hold before assuming your
present position?
13. Have you had any specialized administrative
training since assuming your present position?
1. Yes 2. No
If yes, please specify.
14. Have you attended any of the Institute for
Court Management Seminars? (The Denver based
operation)
1. Yes 2. No
15. If yes, how many? (Please Circle) 12345
6 7 8 9
16. Have you attended any of the Court Management
Seminars conducted by the Clerks Association?
1. Yes
2. No


304
Skolnick, J. Justice Without Trial: Law Enforcement in
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Steiner, Gilbert Y., and Gover, Samuel K. Legislative
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Stodgill, Ralph. "Dimensions of Organizational Theory."
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Thompson, Victor A. Modern Organizations. New York:
Alfred A. Knopf, 1961.
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stration. Boston: Holbrook Press, Incorporated,
1975.
Vanderbilt, Arthur T. Minimum Standards of Judicial
Administration. New York: New York University
Press, 1949.
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Princeton University Press, 1955.
Vines, Kenneth, and Jacob, Herbert. "The Role of the
Judiciary in American State Politics." Judicial
Decision Making. Edited by Glendon Schubert. London:
The Free Press of Glencoe, 1963, pp. 245-56.
Vollmer, Howard M., and Mills, Donald L., eds. Professional
ization. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall^ Incor-
porated, 1966.
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252
Three major types of data were utilized: (1) questionnaires
distributed to court clerks and court executive assistants;
(2) interviews with several of these individuals, as well
as with sixteen chief judges; and (3) various documents com
posed by agencies and commissions concerned with court reform
in Florida. Participant observation data collected over a
seven month period was also utilized to verify and reinforce
several conclusions.
Article V purportedly transformed Florida's fragmented
and "unmanageable" judicial system into a consolidated
structure which is uniform in jurisdiction and which has
clearly defined administrative and jurisdictional authority.
Consequently, a majority of the present analysis attempted
to juxtapose this conception of Florida's reformed court
system with reality. The degree of acceptance of reform was
viewed as being related to five areas of organizational
research: (1) the relationship between the natural and
artificial systems, (2) the level and complexity of tech
nology employed by court organizations, (3)the number and
types of organizational goals, (4) the nature of the judicial
organizations' environment, and (5) the nature of the values,
roles, and individual goals exhibited by organization members.
Insights from the literature of organizational theory and
public administration concerning these problem areas were
employed in the analysis.
In Chapter II the backgrounds, roles, and attitudes of
Florida's court managers were examined. A major conclusion


208
centralize bureaucracies which have traditionally been
fragmented. For example, when school consolidation in
New York City threatened to eliminate several principals
and school board members, these individuals organized
successful protests against further unification.14 Per
sons who have a vested interest in the status quo are usually
politically and/or financially capable of marshalling
support to their position. Consequently, a few powerful
interests may block programs which are desired by a large
majority of ordinary citizens.
The present chapter examines the primary obstacles
to achievement of viable judicial reform in Florida. The
courts' susceptibility to effects of the five factors which
change in all social institutions is analyzed in terms of
current organizational realities. Traditionalism and vested
interests have been primarily culpable for the deficient
state of reform induced by Article V.^ Moreover, there
are a number of related factors which are endemic to
court organizations and which may prevent adoption of the
reforms discussed in the preceding chapter. These include:
the impact of legal culture, the attitudes of court man
agers, and consequences of the macro-political environment.
-*-4por an account of the New York school unification
struggle, see David Rogers, 110 Livingston Street (New
York: Random House, 1968) .
l^See, pp. 43-74 infra.


293
Ability to prepare and submit concise reports in
both oral and written form.
Ability to elicit the cooperation and confidence of
the practitioners within the system he serves.
MINIMUM TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE
Graduation from an accredited four-year college or
university and four years experience in the area of
specialization or six years executive administrative
management experience at a comparable level of responsi
bility. Post graduate study in the field of public
administration, business administration or judicial ad
ministration can be substituted for three years of the
minimum experience required. Post graduate study in
law can be substituted for two years of the minimum
experience required. In those circuits of 20 judges or
less the following additional qualifications are required:
A masters degree in the field of public
administration, business administration or
judicial administration and a certificate
from a nationally recognized institute for
court management; the certificate is not
required if the masters degree is in judicial
administration,
or
twelve years executive administrative
management experience at a comparable level
of responsibility and the certificate as
set forth above.


178
aid in the coordination of the various activities which
characterize all judicial organizations. A further benefit
that should accrue to the courts is that the chief judges'
power of appointment and removal over court clerks will
facilitate the implementation of centrally-derived admini
strative procedures. For example, if the Chief Justice of
the Florida Supreme Court instructs chief judges to institute
uniform probate procedures, the clerks must either comply
or be expelled from the judicial system. Consequently,
uniformity and consistency in forms, procedures, and rule
application will be greatly expedited.
An alternative
The creation of a truly uniform court system depends
upon more than simply th presence of professional admini
strators who are responsible to judicial authority. Of
equal importance is the judges' ability to control the
actions of their subordinates. It is questionable whether
most chief judges, especially those in multi-county circuits,
will have the time and resources to adequately supervise
their staffs. This dilemma will conceivably become increas
ingly pronounced as the judges assume more and more
responsibility over those aspects of court administration
that have traditionally been controlled by independent court
clerks. However, the transformation of clerks into court
administrators suggests an alternative to the present
organizational design of the Florida court system that will
enhance the chief judges' ability to control their organiza-


274
Judges
A. (Note: The following questions were asked to chief judges
during personal interviews)
1. Title of Occupation:
1. Clerk of Court 2. Deputy Clerk
3. Court Administrator 4. Chief Judge
2. How long have you held this position?
1. Less than 1 year
2.
1-5 years
3. 6-
-10 years
4. 11-15 years
5.
4 years
6. 5
years
3.
How long have you been Chief Judge (as opposed
to
"Judge")?
1. Less than one year
2.
1 year
3. 2
years
4. 3 years
5.
4 years
6. 5
years
4.
How old are you?
1. Below 31 years
2.
31-40 years
3. 41-50 years
4. 51-60 years
5.
Over 60 years
5.
What is your sex?
1. Female
2.
Male
6.
What is your race?
1. Caucasian
2.
Negro
3. Oriental
4.
Other
7.
What is your religion
?
1. Catholic
2.
Jewish
3. Protestant
4.
Other
8.
How long have you been a
resident of the
State
of
Fla. ?
1. Less than 1 year
2.
1-5 years
3. 6
-10 years
4. 11-20 years
5.
Over 20 years
1.
From what University did
you receive your
BA degree?
10.
From what University
did
you receive your
law
degree?
11. Did you receive any specialized administrative
training before assuming your present position?
1. Yes 2. No
Specify
12. Have you had any previous administrative experience?
1. Yes 2. No
Specify


196
salaries.^
Second, extensive use of the doctrine violates a funda
mental principle of efficient budgeting which states that
any service or facility should be regarded as dispensible
in the event that a more efficient or economical alternative
is discovered. By legally compelling local governments to
finance court administration, there is no opportunity to
rationally evaluate the wisdom of budgetary choices. More
over, the courts employing this founding technique are more
inclined to retain traditional (and perhaps obsolete) methods
and equipment because there is no necessity to analyze al
ternatives. Therefore, the most realistic and utilitarian
approach to court financing appears to be in state assumption
of all judicial expenditures.
State Personnel Control
The judicial system is unique among all governmental
branches and departments in that it must rely upon other
agencies and political subdivisions for its personnel. This
phenomenon has resulted in a plethora of management dilemmas,
including incompetent and poorly trained employees.' More
over, local control over judicial personnel is one of the
76By compelling the courts to prove that each expenditure
is indispensible, county governments could effectively "bring
the courts to their knees." It would be extremely impractical
for the judicial system to continually issue writs, declara
tory judgements, and ex parte orders in order to provide fund
ing .
7^See pp. 127-31 infra.


209
The Legal Culture
The legal system is one of the most traditional and
"sacrosanct" government institutions. Courts and law
occupy a special position in the United States as objects
of respect, esteem, and reverence. The distinctive status
of law is fundamental to an understanding of the admini
stration of American justice. Of particular importance
are: the legal traditional from which American law devel
oped, peculiar characteristics of the administration of
justice which constrain management, and the anti-admini
strative nature of American jurisprudence.
Legal Tradition
Although scholars have advanced a number of explana
tions for the quasi-sacred nature of American law, the
most widely quoted theory postulates that this phenomenon
stems from Western legal tradition. Most law before the
Reformation was sacred Roman Catholic canon law which was
interpreted by church lawyers and enforced by ecclesiastical
courts. Laws enforced by secular authorities were endowed
with quasi-sacred character because the monarchs who
enforced them derived their authority to rule by Divine
Right. Natural Law, as a derivative of Divine Law, is
the basis for modern legal precepts and thus extended the
quasi-sacred character of law into the present era.
16See, e.g., Herbert Jacob, Justice in America (Boston:
Little, Brown and Co., 1972), p. IT.


134
these individuals have continued to perform their duties
in a style which is inefficient and obsolete. The pro
pensity of any functionary in the bureaucracy to resist
change and to strive to retain the status quo is widely
recognized. Consequently, traditional modes of opera
tion cannot be replaced by modernistic and innovative
operational procedures until forceful management authority
is exercised by court clerks. However, most clerks are
not energetic advocates of reform. They are as susceptible
to the inertia of traditionalism as are the deputies. The
resulting combination of habit and under-supervision of
subordinates dictates that renovated management procedures
will not be readily implemented.
Fragmented Administrative Authority
A central theme of the preceding discussion is that
the chief judges' reluctance to assume firm administrative
control over their circuits enables local officials to
exercise enormous discretionary powers in managing the
judicial structure. Local control, in turn, has resulted
in a large number of administrative problems which detract
from the effectiveness of the court system. However, a
realistic appraisal of the current constitutional status
57see, e.g., Frederick C. Mosher, "Features and
Problems of the Federal Service: The Management of Merit,"
in People in Public Service, eds. Robert T. Golembiewski
and Michael Cohen (Ttasca: F. E. Peacock Publishers, Inc.,
1970), pp. 397-404; and Robert Presthus, The Organizational
Society (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1962)^ p~ 291.


288
serving as ex officio clerk of the board of county commis
sioners, auditor, recorder, and custodian of all county
funds. There may be a clerk of the county court if
authorized by general or special law.


60
The present organization of the clerks' offices
generally follows that which existed prior to the revision
of Article V. In sixty-four counties the court functions
are currently grouped with the county fiscal and recording
functions. Although Section 16 of Article V made it possible
to sever the non-judicial activities from the clerks' offices,
9 0
only three counties have done so. Consequently, two
distinct organizational models of the clerks' offices exist
(Diagrams 2.3 and 2.4). Moreover, the failure to separate
the two sets of duties and responsibilities has enabled a
large majority of the clerks to retain a prominent role
in the administrative operation of the judicial system.
This has resulted in an oximoronic situation. While the
chief judges have been granted titular administrative
authority over the entirecircuit judicial system, the
structural-alterations' required to consolidate this power
have not been instituted. The court clerks continue to
occupy positions from which they can potentially challenge
the authority of the chief judges. The extent to which
the clerks exercise their prerogatives, and thus inhibit
the coordinating functions of the chief judges, must be
^Section 16 of Article V states:
There shall in each county be a clerk of the
circuit court who shall be selected pursuant to
the provisions of the Article VII section 1. Not
withstanding any other provisions of the constitu
tion, the duties of the clerk of the circuit court
may be divided by special or general law between
two officers, one serving as clerk of court and
one serving as ex officio clerk of the board of
county commissioners, auditor, recorder, and cus
todian of all county funds.
The counties which have implemented such a model are Broward,
Orange and Escambia.


64
Table 2.2
BACKGROUND VARIABLES: COURT CLERKS
VARIABLES
1
NUMBER
PERCENTAGE
AGE
LESS THAN 31 YEARS
1
1.8
31-40 YEARS
8
14.0
41-50 YEARS
13
22.8
51-60 YEARS
24
42.1
OVER 60 YEARS
11
19.3
SEX
FEMALE
2
3.5
MALE
55
96.5
RACE
CAUCASIAN
57
100.0
OTHER
0
0.0
RELIGION
CATHOLIC
3
5.3
JEWISH
0
0.0
PROTESTANT
52
91.2
OTHER
2
3.5
LENGTH OF
6-10 YEARS
1
1.8
FLORIDA
11-20 YEARS
2
3.5
RESIDENCE
OVER 20 YEARS
54
94.7
EXTENT
SOME HIGH SCHOOL
1
1.8
OF
HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA
20
35.0
EDUCATION
2 YEARS OF COLLEGE
15
26.3
4 YEAR COLLEGE DEGREE
9
15.8
SOME GRADUATE WORK
7
12.3
MASTER'S DEGREE
5
8.8
LENGTH OF
1-5 YEARS
15
26.3
TENURE IN
6-10 YEARS
9
15.8
OFFICE
OVER 10 YEARS
33
57.9
POLITICAL
REPUBLICAN
8
14.0
PARTY
DEMOCRAT
48
84.2
PREFERENCE
INDEPENDENT
1
1.8
IDEOLOGY
CONSERVATIVE
50
87.7
LIBERAL
4
7.0
MODERATE
2
3.5
UNRECORDED
1
1.8


264
65. Do you often take the initiative to provide
the Court Administrator with information
relevant to the efficient operation of the
Court?
1. Yes 2. No
Please Elaborate.
66. Is court delay a problem in your court system?
1. Yes 2. No
Please Elaborate.
67. What types of technological innovations (such
as data processing, computer coding, and the
like) have you utilized or do you plan to
utilize?
From the list of choices at the right, specify how many
times
a month
you conduct business
with . .
(62-69)
68. the
Court Administrator
1.
None
4. 11-15
2.
1-5
5. 16-20
69. the
Chief Judge
3 .
6-10
6. Over 20
From
the list
of choices at' the right,
specify
how many
times
a month
you discuss business
on
the telephone
with
. . (70-71)
7 0. the
Court Administrator
1.
None
4. 11-15
2.
1-5
5. 16-20
71. the
Chief Judge
3.
6-10
6. Over 20
72. Do you believe that the Court Administrator
performs a useful function?
1. Yes 2. No
Please Elaborate.
73. Should the Court Administrator's office be . .
1. Strengthened 3. Abolished
2. Weakened 4. Left as is
74. How do you perceive your role within the context
of the over-all court structure?
Please Elaborate.


258
Inconsistent procedures, forms, and
dictate that the quality of justice
will also vary.
levels of efficiency
received by the citizens


11
This history of the adoption of Article V serves to
illustrate the politically sensitive nature of court reform.
It also furnishes valuable insights into the problems and
conflicts that can be expected by reformers in other states.
The structure of Florida's court system prior to the adop
tion of Article V greatly resembled the judicial structure
and administrative machinery that presently exists in many
areas of the United States. Consequently, the events
surrounding attempts to implement the article can be ex
pected to reflect occurrences that may surface as other
states attempt to implement similar reforms. The predis
positions and characteristics of the personnel intricately
involved in implementing reform in Florida are assumed to
be quite similar to those of their colleagues in other
states. Moreover, the traditional management procedures
and techniques which have yet to be replaced in Florida
are largely representative of practices throughout the nation.
The problems, inefficiencies, and conflicts present in
Florida's experience with reform thus have wide applicabil
ity- -and should enlighten future reformers as to the
obstacles they confront.
The History of Court Reform
Social scientists have historically been guilty of
what Jerome Frank aptly labeled "the upper court myth."19
19jerome Frank, Courts on Trial: Myth and Reality in
American Justice (Princeton: Princeton University Press,
1949), pp. 222-24.


88
administrator's functions. Fourteen (25%) feel that
the office should be left intact.^0 Twenty-nine (51.8%)
would like to see the position abolished, while only two
(3.6%) desire to have the office weakened. Finally,
eleven (19.6%) feel that the administrator should be
given more authority and responsibility.
As might be expected, the clerks' attitudes toward
the court administrators have affected the working
relationship between the two groups. Many clerks circum
vent the court administrator and take any problem or
information they may have directly to the chief judge.
Fifty-three per cent (N = 30) of the clerks indicate
that they do not provide the administrator with infor
mation relevant to the efficient operation of the court.
Conversely, 76% (N = 43) of the clerks state that they
regularly deliver such communications to the chief judge.
Moreover, 80% (N = 46) of the clerks report that they
conduct business with the administrator fewer than five
times a month.52
Although the clerks generally ignore the administrators,
very little overt friction appears to occur between these
50one court clerk did not respond to this question.
Consequently, the percentages are adjusted frequencies.
^The eleven clerks who advocate more powerful roles
for the court executives are primarily from more populous
counties.
52Fourteen court clerks (24.5%) report that they
never communicate with the court executive


22
between these two systems are influential in determining
the nature of organizational activity.Courts, due to
their decentralized and relatively unformalized structures,
are especially susceptible to the influences of the inter
actions between the systems. The introduction of
innovative reforms into the judicial structure is likely
to upset the delicate balance that has existed between
these systems for a century or more. The probability
exists that reforms, which by definion redefine the nature
of organizational interaction, will encounter opposition
from the informal system. Role conflict, "bruised pride,"
and other forms of friction-invoking situations can be
expected to arise. Each administrator's role conceptions,
attitudes, and individual goals will thus exert an influ
ence upon the level of acceptance and success that reform
achieves.^6
The fact that organizations are strongly influenced
by their environments is widely recognized. The link
between judicial systems and their environments is par
ticularly profound. Due to the traditional conception of
courts as neutral governmental organs, the judiciary has
been hesitant to assume an advocacy role in obtaining
increased appropriations, personnel, space, and equip-
45see Anthony Downs, Inside Bureaucracy (Boston:
Little, Brown and Co., 1967).
46por a discussion of the effects of organizational
variables on compliance to formal goals, see Amitai Etzioni,
A Comparative Analysis of Complex Organizations (New York:
The Free Press, 1961).


173
be apparent to a judiciary which has been trained in
management procedures and which no longer depends upon
political factors to provide cooperation and support from
local governmental entities.
Alteration of the judicial role of court clerks will
also exert a profound impact upon the acceptance of court
executive assistants, as well as upon the nature of their
duties. By removing the court clerks' policy-making
authority and subjecting them to judicial direction, much
of the present political and individual opposition to
court executives will dissipate. Court clerks will no
longer occupy a power position from which they are able to
aggresively resist encroachment by professional admini
strators. Moreover, the'clerks' role perceptions should
not be seriously threatened by officials whose organiza
tional status and functions correspond rather closely to
their own. Without substantive policy-making authority
over personnel and budgets, the court clerks' position
will indubitably resemble that of the court executive
assistants. Professional administrators could thus be
expected to occupy a much more meaningful position in the
judicial bureaucracy than is presently possible.
Creating two specialities
The fact that the roles, functions, and duties of
court clerks and court executive assistants would almost
completely converge if the reforms proposed for the clerks'
office were instituted suggests an interesting contradiction.


229
centralized administrative office as a threat to their inde
pendence and thus generally refuse to cooperate with its
representatives. ^2 This confiction is so pronounced that
several judges apparently object to any proposal that the
state office advocates. For example, one judge, whose
negative experiences with incompetent support employees
compelled him to become a vocal proponent of state personnel
controls, now opposes such a system:
As soon as started screaming for
"employee classification" and state pay
for court personnel, I changed my mind.
The administrator's office is very coy.
They say, "Look, judges, we want a judicial
administrative set-up because secretaries
and deputy clerks are classified under a
botched-up system." What they don't say or
tell to the Legislature is that the judges
don't support their pet schemethey tell
everybody the judges love it.
Whether chief judges object to the state administrator, his
office, or the reforms that his office represents is a moot
point. Without cooperation between the circuits and the
Office of State Courts Administrator, it is doubtful that
true uniformity can be achieved. The central administrative
office must be a forceful advocate of uniform procedures and
managerial standards, or else it will be ineffectual. Judi
cial administrative officers who object to state controls,
or to the office formulating such controls, are not likely
to apply these directives conscientiously to their own
circuits. In fact, some judges may avoid management responsi-
52
See pp. 83-86 infra.


149
court managers and political and economic reforms designed
to enforce judicial responsibility. Conversely, technical
and legal questions involving such topics as substantive
law reform,^ expedited procedures,^ omnibus hearings,^ and
accelerated appeals^ have been excluded due to their per
ceived secondary importance to purely administrative matters.
It is assumed that the numerous techniques which have been
suggested by court reformers as possible solutions to court
delay and a plethora of other judicial problems cannot be
effectively implemented until the more immediate question
of judicial responsibility is resolved.
Redefining the Roles of Court Managers
In order to effectively manage and coordinate an organi-
^See, e.g., Jeremy Main, "Only Radical Reform Can Save
the Courts," Fortune 82 (August, 1970), 110-54; and Maurice
Rosenberg, "Court Congestion: Status, Causes and Proposed
Remedies," in The Courts, The Public, and The Law Explosion,
ed. Harry W. Jones (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Inc.,
1965), pp. 29-59.
6See, e.g., William J. Campbell, "Proposals for Improve
ment in the Administration of Criminal Justice," Chicago
Bar Record 47 (November, 1972), 75-81; and "Forward March!
in Judicial Administration," American Bar Association Journal
57 (September, 1971), 860-62.
^See, e.g., Peter L. Costas, "The 1970's: Will We
Respond to the Need to Modernize Connecticut's Judicial
System?" Connecticut Bar Journal 44 (December, 1970), 465-514;
and Robert Danzig, "Toward the Creation of a Complementary
Decentralized System of Criminal Justice," Stanford Law
Review 26 (November, 1973), 1-54.
8see, e.g., H. Heflin, "Judicial System Improvement,"
Washburn Law Journal 13 (Winter, 1974), 1-5; and Charles H.
Wilson, "Delay and Congestion in the Criminal Courts,"
Florida Bar Journal 46 (February, 1972), 88-92.


126
to assert his power over this element of the court system.
Consequently, each clerk independently recruits, selects,
trains, evaluates, and compensates his deputy clerks
according to locally derived standards. As might be
expected, this situation has resulted in a myriad of
inconsistencies and efficiencies which inhibit effective
court administration and lead to serious management
dilemmas.
The most widely noted criticism of local control over
court personnel is that such an arrangement inevitably
leads to political patronage. It is assumed that
independently-elected court clerks repay political debts
by utilizing a "spoils system" form of personnel adminis
tration. Although there appears to be no widespread
occurrence of this phenomenon in Florida, there are a few
indications that political considerations do affect employ
ment practices. For example, three clerks (5.3%) report
that the party affiliation of prospective employees is an
important criteria in the recruitment process. While this
percentage is quite small, the mere fact that three
individuals are willing to admit to such priorities is
considered noteworthy. Moreover, the political nature of
deputy clerks' positions is exemplified by the fact that
in several counties the turn over rate of the court clerk's
^8See, e.g., Edward E.Pringle, "The Role of the State
Chief Justice," paper presented to the National Conference
on the Judiciary, Williamsburg, Virginia, March 14, 1971,
2-4.


190
on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals, "A budget for
the operation of the entire court system of the State
should be prepared by the State Court Administrator and
submitted to the appropriate legislative body."60 Again,
Florida already possesses such an office. The present
office of the State Courts Administrator should function
as the financial center for the courts. Budget preparation,
administration, accounting, and auditing could best be
performed by professional fiscal officers situated within
the court system.61 Through this office the budget could
be properly employed as a planning and auditing mechanism.
A traditional failure of the court systems has been that
they seldom attempt to define their goals in terms of:
"What are we trying to do, and how should we be trying to
do it?" By preparing and auditing the budget in a central
office, answers to these crucial questions should be stim
ulated and perfected. In turn, these answers, formulated
and stated in fiscal terms, may be used to prepare respon
sible and defensible requests for legislative funding.
The final aspect which should be present in the
judicial system in order to assure that the unitary budget
is properly administered is some form of participatory
6QReport, supra note 16, p. 176.
6lFor a related discussion, see Administrative Unifi
cation supra note 14, p. 63.


188
as an individual "case." Finally, there are no provisions
for "case weighting;" that is, a complicated and exhaustive
labor relations suit is assigned no more "weight" than is
a simple civil case consuming fifteen minutes of the judge's
time. Consequently, many judges who invest a considerable
amount of time hearing only a few difficult proceedings a
month appear to be laggards when the CDR system revealed
that the average monthly disposition rate per judge is well
over two hundred.
Unitary financing of the entire judicial system is
perceived as being a partial solution to these statistical
difficulties. The movement toward uniform procedures that
will be precipitated by state funding may also lead to
standardization of report and classification procedures.
The state government could thus benefit not only from an
improved CDR system, but from information gathered on other
aspects of court administration. For example, if such
factors as courtroom capacities, records volume, and
exhibit storage space were added to the computer capability
that has already been developed for the CDR system, the
judicial system would have a much greater capacity to
plan for the courts' future building requirements.
Implementation of unitary financing
Unitary financing will not automatically result in an
efficient and economical judicial system which is capable
of planning for its own needs. Conversely, state funding
must necessarily be preceded or accompanied by several other


Diagram 2.4 TOO OFFICER ORGANIZATIONAL MODEL
NJ


27
researcher to isolate specific problem areas. Second, the
courts are portrayed as being multi-functional units,55
therefore expanding the scope of the study to include non
goal oriented activities such as service, maintenance,
and custodial operations.
The major difference between the two models is that
the idealistic perspective of a rational court structure
pursuing a single set of goals is replaced-by a-conception
of the courts as being composed of a large number of
individuals with different and often conflicting objectives.56
Each member of the court system possesses a unique set of
values, perceptions, and backgrounds. Thus, a perfect
coincidence of organizational goals with the informal goals
of judicial actors cannot be expected. A pronounced dis
crepancy between these two types of goals (individual and
organizational goals) will eventually elicit conflicts
which will quite probably appear in an interpersonal or
institutional context. The presence of conflict often
denotes the existence of dysfunctional activities or atti
tudes which affect the ability of the organization to
^ibid. p. 260
^Besides Packer, who was cited earlier, there are
a number of other recent studies which recognize the
existence of goal conflict in the courts. See, e.g.,
Abraham Blumberg, Criminal Justice (Chicago: Quadrangle
Books, 1967); George Cole, ed., Criminal Justice: Law
and Politics (New York: Duxburg Press, 1972); and Jerome
Skolmck, Justice Without Trial: Law Enforcement in a
Democratic Society (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1966).


225
resisted. Any group of individuals that has learned to
work within a certain institutional arrangement, regardless
of their recognition of its shortcomings, is reluctant to
alter patterns of behavior in order to adjust to a new
system. This phenomenon is especially pronounced among
elected officials.45 The attitudes of court managers dis
cussed in Chapter II reflect the major obstacle to further
reform. Because neither court clerks nor chief judges
have internalized a "unified" depiction of Florida's court
structure,45 these personnel can hardly be expected to
countenance the comprehensive reforms outlined in the
preceding chapter.
Chief Judges
Under any judicial administrative system, chief judges
must be the policy makers for the courts. These court
managers are therefore the key to any improvement in the
administration of justice. Their willingness to assume
responsibility, their motivation to work diligently, and
their understanding of their organizational role all con
tribute to the eventual fate of court reform.47 of critical
45See, e.g., John D. Millett, Organization for the
Public Service (Princeton: D. Van Nostrand Co., Inc.,
1966), pp. 6-11.
4^See pp. 51-69 infra.
47For a related discussion, see Jerome S. Berg, "Judi
cial Interest in Administration: The Critical Variable,"
Judicature 57 (January, 1974), 251-55.


218
The consequences of these similarities are apparent.
The legal profession is a closed system. Attorneys have
established elaborate mechanisms to protect each other
against competition or encroachment from outside influ
ences.-^ Their training has developed a nearly universal
agreement that the presumptions of the legal culture are
31
legitimate and appropriate. Consequently, two of the
factors which inhibit innovation in social organizations
are reinforced merely by membership in the legal community.
Conformity to norms and rejection of outsiders are extremely
prevalent characteristics among lawyers.
The judicial system is atypical in relation to other
branches and institutions of government. Although strong
tendencies toward inertia exist in all organizations, courts
are particularly vulnerable to traditional influences. Due
to the mystical quality of "the law," change occurs more
slowly in the legal system than in any other major area of
American society. As a consequence, impractical and/or
obsolete customs and routines are preserved. Moreover,
these procedures tend to be perpetuated because the legal
profession is indoctrinated to defend the norms of the
institution, regardless of other necessities. Effective
management of courts is thus hindered by ancient appendages
30see, e.g., Albert P. Blaustein and Charles 0. Porter,
The American Lawyer (Chicago: University of Chicago Press,
1954), pp. 210-39.
31Jacob, supra note 16, p. 17.


242
much needed tax relief to the property owners by fully
funding the new statewide court system."^2
To this end, on April 4, 1972, three amendments to
House bill 4469 mandating state assumption of all court
salaries and expenses, exclusive of facilities and
equipment, were passed by the House. This action was
based on the general belief that a truly uniform judicial
system must include full state funding as an essential
component in order to assure the equitable distribution
of resources required for the fair administration of
justice statewide. These amendments were revised to con
tinue local funding in the absence of state appropriations.
When the provisions for state funding ultimately failed,
reform proponents marshalled sufficient legislative sup
port to achieve acceptance of an alternate proposal.
Specifically, the Joint Select Committee on Judicial Per
sonnel was created for the purpose of collecting data on
the feasibility and eventual impact of state funding for
all judicial support personnel. The most convincing and
damaging arguments against adoption of the original state
funding bill was that no accurate prediction of its fiscal
impact could be formulated at the time. Consequently, by
operationalizing an impact study, court reformers hoped
to strengthen their future position.
7 9 .
Staff Report of the Joint Select Committee on Judi
cial Personnel, presented to the Joint Select Committee on
Judicial Personnel of the Florida Legislature, Tallahassee,
Florida, November 12, 1974, 2.


265
75.Does any friction exist between your office
and the Court Administrator?
1. Yes 2. No
Please Elaborate.
76.Does the Chief Judge attempt to provide you
with administrative direction or supervision?
1. Yes 2. No
Please Elaborate.
77.When hiring new personnel, do you consider their
party affiliations?
1. Yes 2. No
Please Elaborate.
78.Do you perform the court-related functions of
your office personally, or are most of the duties
delegated?
1. Personally 2. Delegated
Please Elaborate.
79. What is the approximate population of your
county?
80. Are you the Clerk of the Circuit Court as well
as of the County Court?
1. Yes 2. No
81. What is the approximate population of your circuit?
(Note: answer this question whether you are
the Circuit Court Clerk or not)


150
zation any administrator must possess power and authority
which is commensurate with his responsibility. According
to Arthur D. Larson, "There is wide agreement among scholars,
laymen, and government officials that the principal problems
of the public bureaucracy today are not the traditional ones
of securing competence and efficiency, but those of insur
ing responsibility^ Although Article V clearly vests
authority and responsibility in chief judges, neither con
cept is well developed within the court system. Due to
their inability and/or unwillingness to utilize their con
stitutional authority the chief judges have not availed
themselves of a valuable organizational asset that could
conceivably succor accelerated reform. Moreover, the dif
fused nature of judicial responsibility has obscured manage
ment roles to the point that few court managers clearly
comprehend the functions expected of them. Consequently,
the most immediate requirement for management efficiency
and consistency within the judicial system is a clarified
role definition for each of the three groups of court
managers.
Chief Judges
Compared to other groups of court managers, the roles
of the chief judges are relatively well-defined by statute,
Supreme Court Rule, and constitutional provisions. Article
^Arthur D. Larson, "Representative Bureaucracy and
Administrative Responsibility: A Reassessment," in The
Dimensions of Public Administration, ed. Joseph A. Uveges,
Jr. (Boston: Holbrook Press, Inc., 1975), p. 543.


222
is assured until the legal community relinquishes its dis
torted affinity for autonomy. Otherwise, courts may never
be administered according to the modern management principles
which have benefited most other complex organizations.
Court goals
Much of the court system's antipathy toward admini
stration stems from the philosophical conflict between
justice and efficiency. Many members of the legal pro
fession contend that justice, the avowed goal of courts,
is unattainable if reforms compel an emphasis on speed and
-> q
economy. Conformity to the numerous procedural devices
designed to protect litigants' constitutional rights is a
time consuming and expensive process. Trial by jury,
cross-examination, and motions to exclude illegally obtained
evidence are very inefficient procedures. Moreover, the
maneuvering and delaying tactics employed by attorneys who
are attempting to obtain the best possible "justice" for
their clients are also inefficient.^ The adage that due
Strategies for Three Types of Decision-Making," in The
Dimensions of Public Administration ed. Joseph A. Uveges,
Jr. (Boston: Holbrook Press, Inc., 1975), pp. 213-25.
39see, e.g., Harold H. Greene, "Court Reform: What
Purpose?" American Bar Association Journal 58 (March,
1972), 247-50.
40john P- Frank asserts that legal education imparts
an anti-time (and therefore, anti-administration) bias to
attorneys. This characteristic of law schools results in
dilatory lawyers who are naturally inclined to resist
regimentation. See John P. Frank, American Law: The Case
for Radical Reform (London: The MacMillan Co., 1969) ,
pp. 33-43.


303
Perrow, Charles. Organizational Analysis: A Sociological
View. Belmont: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company, 1970.
Pound, Roscoe. Organization of Courts. Boston: Little,
Brown and Company, 1940.
"Organization of Courts." Judicial Admini-
stration and the Administration of Justice. Edited
by Dorothy-W._elson. St.Paul: West Publishing
Company, 1974, pp. 28-39.
. "The Causes of Popular Dissatisfaction with
the Administration of Justice." Judicial Administra
tion and the Administration of Justice. Edited by
Dorothy W. Nelson. St. Paul: West Publishing Company,
1974, pp. 1-15.
Presthus, Robert. The Organizational Society. New York:
Alfred A. Knopf, 1962.
Richardson, Richard J., and Vines, Kenneth N. The Politics
of Federal Courts. Boston: Little, Brown and Company,
1970.
Robertson, John A. Rough Justice: Perspectives on Lower
Criminal Courts7~ Boston: Little, Brown and Company,
1974 .
Robinson, John P.; Athanasiou, Robert; and Head, Kendra
B. Measures of Occupational Attitudes. Ann Arbor:
Survey Research Center Press, 1969.
Rogers, David. 110 Livingston Street. New York: Random
House, 1968.
Rosenberg, Maurice. "Court Congestion: Status, Causes
and Proposed Remedies." The Courts, The Public and
the Law Explosion. Edited by Harry W. Jones.
Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Incorporated, 1965,
pp. 29-59.
Schubert, Glendon, ed. Judicial Decision Making. Boston:
Little, Brown and Company, 1965.
Sellitz, Claire; Jahoda, Marie; Deutsch, Morton; and
Cook, Stuart W. Research Methods in Social Relations.
New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1959.
Shapiro, Martin. The Supreme Court and Administrative
Agencies. New York: The Free Press, 1968.


213
of advocates preparing and presenting conflicting proposi
tions. 22 in order to maintain judicial impartiality and
to allow litigants a fair hearing, the adversary process
also depends upon two subsidiary beliefs: that the right
to confront one's accuser is necessary and important, and
that the presumption of innocence in criminal trials is
desirable.
Several serious consequences for the administration
of justice are generated by the adversary system. Elaborate
rules and procedures have necessarily been developed to
allow courts to properly conform to the requirements of a
*
valid adversary proceeding. If the dispute in question
requires a jury trial, a large number of individuals must
be assembled in one place in order to adequately dispense
justice. Attorneys, a judge, witnesses, clerks, bailiffs,
court reporters, and litigants are all required to be
present. In addition to the obvious logistic problems
arising from this necessity, the expense incurred both by
litigants and courts represents a serious malady. More
over, the elaborate rules of evidence and procedure encourage
attorneys to employ special tactics to gain an advantage
for their clients. Legal maneuvers such as those arising
from "surprise," "concealment," and continuations are often
utilized to gain "tactical advantage." These tactics often
/
22Ibid
p. 46.


84
The rationales offered by the chief judges to explain
this phenomenon are based on their perceptions of the
qualities a court administrator should possess. The
judges repeatedly stated that, in their opinion, the court
administrator must be a person who has great interpersonal
skills and who is familiar with the personnel within the
judicial circuit. Moreover, a "general working knowledge"
of judicial systems is also regarded as an important
prerequisite to employment.4^ Consequently, most chief
judges selected personal acquaintances whose knowledge of
the individual circuits was recognized. Although no judge
would admit that the selection of such an individual is
a convenient method of assuring control, the implication is
obvious.
A second useful indicator of the chief judges' attitude
toward the court administrators, and toward their own roles
in the reform process, is provided by examining the specific
duties and responsibilities which they have delegated to
their administrators. The trend among most chief judges is
to delegate "whatever administrative minutia the judge
doesn't have time to do." Consequently, court administrators
commonly prepare the calendar, manage courtroom space and
equipment, supervise the court personnel within the
immediate office, and "make recommendations to the chief
judges." Moreover, every chief judge has given his
^Surprisingly, only two chief judges are advocates of
employing court executives who are attorneys. Notably,
both of these judges' present administrators are lawyers.


137
he is "no longer available to the chief judge, under any
circumstances.,,e>0 Perhaps the most blatant instance of
court clerks' recalcitrance in responding to judicial
demands relates to the Case Disposition Reporting System.
Although the Florida Supreme Court strongly advocates that
the clerks cooperate in reporting case dispositions to
the Office of State Courts Administrator, several court
clerks have capriciously refused to comply.
In addition to affecting the relationships between
judges and clerks, local budgetary control has also severely
restricted state-wide judicial policy options. The chief
justice's role as the judiciary's principal administrator
is restricted by the reliance on seventy-two different
criteria for the allocation of resources needed to operate
the state judicial system. Each county and court clerk
have their individual priorities concerning local judicial
exigencies. Moreover, there is no functional method of
evaluating the current court expenditures within the state.
Although there are statutory requirements that each clerk
report his budget to the comptroller, Supreme Court, and
auditor general, the budgeting systems among the counties
are so diverse that it is virtually impossible for anyone
to draw conclusions or to make generalizations on the
60it is difficult to determine the exact number of
court clerks who have completely divested themselves of
judicial functions. While many clerks state that they
"delegate" such duties, it is clear that many of these
individuals continue to occasionally participate in court
business. However, seven clerks (12.3%) indicate that
they have entirely discontinued their judicial activities.


253
reached was that chief judges have defaulted in their
administrative responsibilities. Instead of assuming the
burden for the managerial direction of their circuits,
most chief judges have perpetuated the previous administra
tive system which diffused court management authority. Con
sequently, the judges tend to perceive themselves as
"arbiters of disputes." The political relationships which
existed between court and county before the adoption of
Article V persist due to the pronounced reluctance of chief
judges to actively assert their constitutional administrat-
tive authority. "Personalistic" management thus predominates
over a desire to actively implement procedural and/or ad
ministrative improvements. The court clerks were shown to
be the primary cause of this abdication of authority.
Court clerks are the main administrative arm of
Florida's judicial system. Despite the fact that the clerks'
control of local court machinery has historically resulted
in inefficiency and conflict, Article V greatly expanded
their constitutional role in the judicial process. The
clerks' traditional control over local judicial budgets,
personnel, and other support functions has thus increased.
Therefore, while the chief judges have been granted titular
administrative authority over the entire circuit judicial
system, the structural alterations required to consolidate
this power have not been instituted.
The extent to which court clerks utilize their powers
in contradistinction to the courts was viewed to be related


75
14.1 Court Administrative Offices.
(b)Administrative Officers for individual
court units.
(i) Subordinate court executives. The
administrative office of each individual
unit of the court system should have an
executive. The executive should be ap
pointed by the presiding judge of the
court in which he serves, with the advice
and approval of the judges of that court
and should serve at the pleasure of the
presiding judge. The executive should
have such deputies, assistants, and staff
as may be necessary.
(ii) Responsibilities. Under the author
ity of the judges of the courts and the
supervision of the presiding judge, the
administrative office of each court unit
should be responsible for:
(a) Management of the court's calendar.
(b) Administration of all its staff
services, including the functions tradi
tionally performed by the clerks of
court, courtroom clerks and bailiffs,
court reporters, law clerks and secretar
ies, probation officers, court-affiliated
caseworkers, professionals such as doctors
and psychologists retained by the court
to perform diagnostic or consultative func
tions, and all other comparable officials.
(c) Personnel, financial, and records
administration, subject to the standards
of the central administrative office.
(d) Secretariat for meetings of the
judges of the court that it serves.
(e) Liason with local government, bar,
news media, and general public.38
The ABA Standards also designate that an "Executive
Director," or a state-wide court administrator, should be
appointed by the highest appeals court of every state to
create and implement uniform administrative procedures.
Each local administrator is to be responsible for super
vising the implementation of the standardized personnel,
budgeting, information, and records-management systems
^American Bar Association Commission on Standards of
Judicial Administration, Standards Relating to Court Admin
istration, (New York: Institute of Judicial Administration,
1973) p. 76


311
Ricke, Luvern V. "Unification, Funding, Discipline and
Administration: Cornerstones For a New Judicial
Article." Washington Law Review 48 (1973) : 811-37.
Roberts, B. K. "The State of the Judiciary." Florida Bar
Journal 46 (August, 1972): 457-61.
Rogge, 0. J. "Overview of Administrative Due Process."
Villanova Law Review 19 (November-December, 1973):
197-276, l^IT.
Rosenberg, Maurice. "Frank Talk on Improving the Admini
stration of Justice." Texas Law Review 47 (1969):
1029-38.
Saari, David J. "Management and Courts: A Perplexing
Nexus." American University Law Review 20 (December,
1970-March, 1971): 601-17.
. "Modern Court Management." Judicature 49
(July, 1966): 31-33.
Sheldon, Charles H. "Judicial Recruitment: What Ought to
Be and What Is." Judicature 51 (May, 1968): 386-88.
. "Structuring a Model of the Judicial Process.
Georgetown Law Review 58 (June, 1970): 1153-84.
. "The Degree of Satisfaction with State Judi
cial Selection Systems." Judicature 54 (March, 1971):
331-33.
Silverstein, Lee. "Bail in State Courts." Minnesota Law
Review 50 (1966): 621-52.
Smith, Phillip, and Graham, Neil H. "Reorganization of
the Court Structure." Alabama Law Review 10 (Spring,
1958); 139-53.
Sobel, Walter H. "The American Courthouse: Planning and
Design." Judicature 56 (October, 1972): 115-23.
Stoever, William. "The Expandable Resource: Studies to
Improve Juror Utilization." The Justice System Journal
1 (Winter, 1974): 39-53.
"Symposium on Judicial Selection." Connecticut Bar Journal
44(December, 1970): 461-518.
Temple, Ralph R. "Court Officers, Their Selection and
Responsibilities." New York University Law Quarterly
Review 22 (Spring, 1947): 401-32.


223
process is deliberately inefficient apparently has
numerous proponents among judges and attorneys alike.
Administrative measures endeavoring to accelerate
judicial processes and to economize conflict with the con
victions of many legal personnel. Despite their conten
tion that efficiency and justice are compatible, if not
complementary goals,41 reformers have enjoyed little
success in convincing attorneys that administration does not
necessarily imply the destruction of due process. Thus, the
inability of the legal community to appreciate the advantages
of efficient management is primarily a conceptual misunder
standing which apparently could be overcome by education.
However, law schools are notoriously negligent in offering
4 9
courses m administration to their students. Where judi
cial administration is taught, the faculty is usually com
prised of law professors whose expertise and interest in
management is questionable.43 as Nesta Gallas states, "The
subject (judicial administration) is treated as the adjective
4lMost reformers argue that court delay, and the con
sequent social and financial costs, is more deleterious
to justice than efficiency could ever be. See, e.g.,
Joseph D. Tydings, "Improving Archaic Judicial Machinery,"
American Bar Association Journal 57 (February, 1971), 154-55.
4 ?
^Schools of public administration may legitimately be
accused of reciprocal neglect. The anti-lawyer and anti
legal bias among public administrators is signified by the
almost total absence of judicial administration experts and
courses in the discipline.
43Gallas, supra note 37, p. 145.


182
heavily on local funding. ^2 since court finance is a
crucial component of court administration, the judicial
branch should ultimately control its own monetary resources.
The financing of trial courts by local governments tends
to obscure the lines of administrative authority which are
ostensibly delimited by Article V. If the state government
assumes the fiscal burden for all phases of judicial activ
ity, authority and responsibility for court administration
will be more firmly established in the judiciary and imple
mentation of other reform programs should be promoted.
Advantages of unitary financing
State assumption of all judicial expenses has long been
advocated by authorities in court administration. In fact,
unitary financing is almost universally regarded as the
first major condition that must be fulfilled before true
judicial reform can occur. In addition to removing the
fragmenting effects of local politics from the judicial
system, the following advantages of state funding may be
cited as justification for its use: (1) improved planning
potential, (2) more equitable distribution of resources,
(3) greater economy, (4) the ability to meet unusual
emergencies, (5) greater operational efficiency, and (6)
improved management information system.
Planning. Traditional budgetary methods limit the
ability of courts to plan. Accurate statements of the
52For a related discussion, see United States Advisory
Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, For a More Per
fect Union Court Reform (Washington, D.C.: Government
Printing Office, 1971), p. 2.


167
and more concerted attempts to eradicate the redundant and
inefficient forms and procedures that are now so prevalent.
Indeed, fulltime administrative direction by court clerks
will quite probably eliminate much of the present manage
ment vacuum and thus should facilitate implementation of
reform policies.
Selection of clerks
It is highly questionable whether or not the judiciary
will ever be able to control court clerks as long as they
are elected. Although creation of a clerk's position which
encompasses only judicial functions will clarify the roles
of court managers, responsiveness to the judiciary cannot
be assured until the court clerks' responsibility to their
constituencies is nullified. Elected officials do not
readily perceive themselves as bureaucrats in an organiza
tional hierarchy who must obey the orders of their superiors.
The authority of presiding judges is not sufficient to
insure cooperation from elected clerks who often utilize
their "independent" status to legitimize defiant behavior.
Centralization of administrative authority in the chief
judges' offices is thus an idle (and Utopian) fantasy while
court clerks retain their independent status.39 The dilemma
of a chief judge attempting to administer a court system
39The behavior of elected officials in the face of
centralized authority prompted Dwight Waldo to label such
officials "The Achilles Heal of Centralization." See Dwight
Waldo, The Administrative State (New York: The Ronald
Press Co., 1948), p. 144.


315
Report of the President1s Commission on Law Enforcement
and the Administration of Justice. Washington, dTc.:
Government Printing Office, 1968.
Report on State-Local Relations in the Criminal Justice
System! United States Advisory Commission on Inter-
governmental Relations. Washington, D. C.: Govern
ment Printing Office, 1971.
Saari, David J. "Modern Court Management: Trends in the
Role of the Court Executive." Law Enforcement Assistance
Administration. Washington, D. C.: Government Print
ing Office, 1970.
Scott, Keith as quoted in Harry 0. Lawson. "The Role of
the Administrator in a Unified Court System." Paper
presented to the Second Citizen's Conference on the
Utah Courts. Salt Lake City, Utah, December 8, 1972.
Staff Report of the Joint Select Committee on Judicial
Personnel, presented to the Joint Select Committee on
Judicial Personnel of the Florida Legislature. Talla
hassee, Florida, November 12, 1974.
Staff Report of the Joint Select Committee on Judicial
Personnel, presented to the Joint Select Committee on
Judicial Personnel of the Florida Legislature. Talla
hassee, Florida, January 12, 1975.
Staff Report of the Joint Select Committee on Judicial
Personnel, presented to the Joint Select Committee on
Judicial Personnel of the Florida Legislature. Talla
hassee, Florida, Janury 13, 1975.
Staff Report of the Joint Select Committee on Judicial
Personnel, presented to the Joint Select Committee
on Judicial Personnel of the Florida Legislature.
Tallahassee, Florida, March 12, 1975.
Standards Relating to Court Administration. American Bar
Association Commission on Standards of Judicial Ad
ministration. New York: Institute of Judicial
Administration, 1973.
Thompson, Victor A. Decision Theory, Pure and Applied.
New York: General Learning Press, 1971.
Waldo, A-B. "A Draft Report." The Cooperative District-
Wide Criminal Justice Planning and Education Project.
(Summer, 1974): unpublished paper.


275
13.
What job did you hold before assuming your present
position?
14.
Have you had any specialized administrative training
since assuming your present position?
1. Yes 2. No
Specify
15.
Have you attended any of the Institute for Court
Management Seminars?
1. Yes 2. No
16.
If "Yes" to #16, how many?
123456789
17.
Which do you consider yourself to be?
1. Conservative 2. Liberal
18.
Which do you consider yourself to be?
1. Republican 2. Democrat
3. Independent 4. Other
19.
Were your grandparents born in the U.S.?
1. Yes 2. No
Specify
20.
What was the primary occupation of your . .
Father Mother
21.
Have you ever held any other publicly-elected
office?
1. Yes 2. No
Specify
22.
Have you ever held an appointed office?
1. Yes 2. No
Specify


APPENDIX D
COURT EXPENSES BY FUNDING SOURCE


filled by the Governor from recommendations submitted by
non-partisan Judicial Nominating Commissions found in each
circuit. The requirements for holding office are quite
modest. A judge must devote his energies solely to judicia
duties and is eligible for office if he resides in the
territorial jurisdiction of his circuit. Moreover, the
prospective judge must be an elector of the state and must
have been a member of the bar of Florida for a minimum of
five years. No judge can serve after reaching the age of
g
seventy years except to complete a term of office.
The chief judge of each circuit is chosen from among
Q
the judges in his jurisdiction for a term of two years.
Under the Florida Rules of Procedure established by the
Supreme Court, and as cited in Article V, the chief judge
of each circuit is established as the chief administrative
official for all courts within his jurisdiction. Thus, he
is responsible for the supervision of all judicial and
non-judicial activities which occur in any of the courts
within his respective circuit.
The unitary court system instituted by Article V is
heirarchially structured to give the Chief Justice of the
Florida Supreme Court final administrative authority over
the actions of his subordinates. Thus, the chief judges
o
Florida, Constitution, art. V, sec. 8.
^Although the term of the chief judge is limited to
two years, they are permitted to serve consecutive terms.
Consequently, it is not uncommon to find chief judges who
have held their positions for several years.


273
80.Does the Chief Judge furnish you with too much
or too little to do?
1. Too Much 2. Too Little
Please Elaborate.
81.Do you believe that the court-related functions
of the Clerks would be better served by shifting
them to personnel outside of the Clerks' offices?
1. Yes 2. No
Please Elaborate
82. How many circuit judges are in your jurisdiction?
83. What is the approximate population of your
circuit?
84. Please describe the circumstances surrounding
how you obtained your present position?
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR TIME AND EFFORT.
APPRECIATED.
IT IS GREATLY


121
or the offices with which the court must
work on a daily basis. Individually
designed forms tend to reflect personal
interpretations and opinions of what is
proper and not proper and what is neces
sary and not necessary, therefore, creat
ing inconsistencies in the ways cases are
handled.40
Consequently, attorneys conducting business in more than
one county are often confronted by a plethora of divergent
forms which complicate and confuse judicial business.
A corresponding variation in filing procedures employed
among the clerks' offices places unnecessary burdens not
only on attorneys practicing in several counties, but on
the public conducting business in more than one county.
The variations in procedures have been so pronounced that
the legal community has advocated complete obligatory
standardization of all judicial procedures.41 Moreover,
the Court Management Seminars were instituted partially
to systematize procedures by educating the court clerks
about the most practical and economical methods of per
forming their functions.42 Nevertheless, many clerks
40Draft Report on Florida Judicial Recording and
Paper Flow Procedures, The Office of the State Courts
Administrator, Tallahassee, Florida, 1975, 14.
41in 1973, the Florida Bar Association petitioned
the state Supreme Court to utilize its rule-making powers
to standardize court forms and procedures, especially in
the area of probate. Staff Report of the Joint SeLect
Committee on Judicial Personnel of the Florida Legisla
ture, Tallahassee, Florida, January 13, 1975, 7.
42ibid.


CHAPTER II
THE FLORIDA COURT STRUCTURE
AND PERSONNEL
A History of the System
Before the implementation of Article V the Florida
judicial system lacked centralized administrative direction
and a locus of responsibility. This deficiency resulted in
a fragmented and unmanageable structure. Each court form
ulated its own administrative rules and procedures. Indivi
dual administrators and judges determined the personnel
requirements of their particular courts. No one person was
responsible for collecting statistics to determine the
financial and judicial requirements of the various court
systems. Moreover, no single individual had the authority
to transfer a judge from one jurisdiction to another, to
establish uniform procedures, or to pursue any activity
requiring the coordination of the various elements of the
system.
This anarchistic situation was aggravated by the
tendency to create specialized courts to meet the exigencies
of a rapidly changing society. The response to the judicial
backlogs and overloads brought about by increasing amounts
of automobile, civil and juvenile litigation was to simply
create new courts to administer these neoteric areas of the
39


194
(1) under a 1951 statute that empowered the court to
prescribe additional duties, powers, and procedures for
the Board, and (2) under the inherent powers of the court.
The Court denied the request by stating that the
statute in question pertained only to the qualifications
of examinees for admission to the bar, and that the doctrine
of separation of powers was such that only the legislature
could create officers or positions. The Court's comments
regarding inherent powers are particularly noteworthy:
It is true that courts of general juris
diction have certain inherent or implied
powers that stem from the constitutional
or statutory provisions creating the
court and clothing it with jurisdiction.
In other words, regularly constituted courts
have power to do anything that is reasonably
necessary to administer justice within the
scope of its jurisdiction, but not otherwise.
Inherent powers has to do with the incidents
of litigation, control of the conduct of its
officers and the preservation of order and
decorum with reference to its proceedings.
Such is the scope of inherent power, unless
the authority of the court clothes it with
more. The legislature.has not seen fit to
enlarge the inherent power of this court,
so we are without power to authorize the
appointment of an administrative officer for
the State Board of Law Examiners.^2
Thus, the inherent power doctrine in Florida is defined
rather narrowly as "merely an extension of jurisdictional
power."The creation of officers or positions and the
72petition of the Florida Bar, 61 So. 2d 646 (1952).
73Robert F. Fuquay, "The Doctrine of Separation of
Powers in Florida," in Papers on Florida Administrative Law,
ed. Ernest R. Bartley, University of Florida Civic Informa
tion Series, no. 8 (Gainesville: Public Administration
Clearing Service, 1952), p. 58.


221
itself in a number of ways, yet the most conspicuous
example appears when judges select "weak" individuals to
occupy administrative positions within the courts. Ernest
Friesen states that occasionally powerful administrative
judges are elected, but that these instances are "suffi
ciently rare to be noted as exceptions."35 The prevalence
of the anti-administration bias among attorneys is exem
plified by the fact that management abilities are often
excluded from lists of desirable qualities that judges are
O
expected to possess. Judges occupying management positions
within courts have traditionally avoided the restraining
aspects of administration by utilizing teamwork and col
lective action. In an attempt to grant the judiciary a
measure of independence, standing committees composed
solely of judges are the most prevalent judicial admini-
37
strative mechanism. Although committees are often dys
functional management devices,38 their continued use
33Ibid.
360nly one reform commission has included "administra
tive abilities" among the variables to be considered in
selecting judges, The National Advisory Commission on Crim
inal Justice Standards and Goals.
'See, e.g., Nesta M. Gallas, "Court Administration:
A Discipline or a Focus," Public Administration Review
31 (March-April, 1971), 143-48.
3 8
Public administration now recognizes that while
committees are applicable to some forms of organizational
decision making, there are many types of decisions (and
organizations) in which such management devices are
clearly inadequate. See, e.g., Andre L. Delbecq, "The
Management of Decision-Making Within the Firm: Three


48
of the twenty circuits have the responsibility to recommend
to the Chief Justice any substantive proposal designed to
expedite court administration. Any procedural, organiza
tional, budgetary, or personnel requirements which affect
the judicial system as a whole are submitted to the Chief
Justice for review. The Chief Justice must then evaluate
the competing requests in terms of the judicial budget in
order to assure the most equitable distribution of scarce
resources.
However, most judicial management considerations which
confront the chief judges are not of a nature which requires
action by the Chief Justice. Internal budaetpreparation.
resource allocation, rotation of judges, calendaring,
assignment of space, personnel management and administration,
and judicial coordination are all functions which are the
direct responsibility of the chief judges. All court
personnel within the circuits are administratively subservient
to their respective chief judges in these matters. Conse
quently, the chief judge has constitutionally-derived total
administrative authority over most: aspects of court management
in his circuit. Any management question arising from a
county court, clerk's office, or any other judicial or
quasi-judicial agency is directly within the purview of

the chief judge. Thus, these individuals have the authority
to undertake practically any action they deem necessary to
expedite judicial business.
Consequently, the circuit court chief judges constitute
key variables in examining the present judicial system in


200
less likely to resign in order to accept a higher paying
job in another county. Uniformity throughout the state
provides the opportunity for inter-court transfer to ease
the workload and provides opportunities for employees to
move without loss of position or benefits. Moreover,
standardization of vacation time, fringe benefits, and sick
leave will eliminate current disparities that destroy em
ployee morale by making many individuals feel as if they
are being unjustly treated.
In addition to upgrading the quality of court employees,
a uniform personnel system will also improve judicial effi
ciency. Development and implementation of uniform admini
strative forms and procedures will be facilitated by a corps
of proficient employees whose allegiance to the courts is
unquestioned. Moreover, in the course of pre-entry training
programs, candidates for quasi-judicial positions may be
instructed in the use of modern management procedures
designed by the Florida Supreme Court. Through this tech
nique, many of the obsolete and inefficient practices that
have traditionally permeated the courts may be eliminated.
Finally, by clearly delineating each employee's responsi
bilities, salary, and performance expectation, the court's
ability to establish and achieve specific management goals
will be enhanced.^^ Because employee performance will not
^classification of positions presupposes that personnel
management will function within an organization that has
clearly defined objectives, that individual unit heads
(chief judges and administrators) will organize their units


189
innovations that will enable the judiciary to properly
utilize its new powers and resources. Fortunately, the
Florida judicial system has already fulfilled all of these
preconditions: (1) an administrative structure vesting
ultimate budgetary responsibility in one office, (2) an
administrative staff to assist in budgeting duties, and
(3) some form of participatory management.
Responsibility for the budget must be centrally
located in one office a situation that presupposes a
uniform judicial structure. The reorganization accomplished
by Article V established an administrative structure which
lends itself admirably to a centrally controlled budget.
Since the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court is
the constitutionally designated chief administrative officer
of the judicial system, that individual would logically
assume ultimate responsibility for all budgetary activities.
Moreover, the clearly established line of authority that
descends from the Chief Justice's office to the chief judges
could serve as a vehicle by which budget policy could be
formulated and controlled.
The second aspect of judicial organization which must
precede state funding is the presence of an agency or
department which can assist the Chief Justice with his
fiscal duties. According to the National Advisory Commission
^Instead Qf burdening the Chief Justice with the entire
judicial budget, chief judges would compose their circuits'
fiscal documents and would be responsible for disbursing and
auditing funds.


"useful," then resistance will surely follow.
The conceptualization of courts as organizations is
predicted on the assumption that judicial systems have
finite goals. However, a major obstacle confronting
students of court organizations is that there is a lack
of clarity concerning the nature of the formal goals of
the judicial bureaucracy.51 On an abstract level, court
administration is normally considered to be directed
toward the achievement of "justice." The preoccupation
of the courts with judicial process in an attempt to
guarantee fairness in adversary proceedings can be
viewed as an outgrowth of this goal. Consequently,
efficiency, the announced goal of reformers, is often
viewed by the legal community as being antithetical to
the formal organizational objective. Efficiency and
administration thus connote an abandonment of due proces
considerations to financial and temporal exigencies.
The concern of legal theorists with this depiction
of the courts can be attributed to what Etzioni terms
the "goal model" of organizations. Under that model
the criteria for measuring the effectiveness of any or
ganization is based upon the announced public goals of
SlFor example, Herbert Packer illustrates that
many goals can be operating simultaneously in a judi
cial system. He identifies two major sets of antagon
istic goals: the "due process" goals and the "crime
control" goals. See Herbert Packer, The Limits of the
Criminal Sanction (Stanford: Stanford University Press,
1968) .


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Steven W. Hays was born September 11, 1949, at
Chattanooga, Tennessee. In June, 1967, he was graduated
from Seabreeze High School, Daytona Beach, Florida. In
June, 1971, he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts
with a major in Political Science from the University of
Florida. He enrolled in the Ph.D. program of the Depart
ment of Political Science of the University of Florida in
September, 1971, and received the degree of Master of
Arts in June, 1973.
Steven W. Hays is married to the former Anne Marie
Chiocca. He is a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, the American
Political Science Association, and the American Society
for Public Administration.
316


300
Dolbeare, Kenneth M. Trial Courts in Urban Politics.
New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1967.
Downie, Leonard, Jr., Justice Denied. Baltimore: Penguin
Books, Incorporated, 1972.
Downs, Anthony. Inside Bureaucracy. Boston: Little,
Brown and Company, 1967.
Edwards, Lyford P. The Natural History of Revolution.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1927.
Etzioni, Amitai. A Comparative Analysis of Complex Organ
izations New York: The Free Press, 1961.
, ed. Semi-Professions and Their Organizations.
New York: The Free Press, 1969.
Eulau, Heinz. Micro-Macro Political Analysis. Chicago:
Aldine Publishing Company, 1969.
Fiser, Webb S.; Brown, Stuart G.; and Gibson, John S.
Government in the United States. New York: The
Ronald Press Company, 1966.
Frank, Jerome. Courts on Trial: Myth and Reality in
American Justice. Princeton: Princeton University
Press, 1949.
Frank, John P. American Law: The Case for Radical Reform.
London: The MacMillan Company, 1969.
Friesen, Ernest C.; Gallas, Edward C.; and Gallas, Nesta M.
Managing the Courts. New York: Bobbs-Merrill Company,
1971.
Friesen, Ernest C.; Gallas, Edward C.; and Gallas, Nesta M.
"The Judge's Roles." Judicial Administration and the
Administration of Justice. Edited by Dorothy W.
Nelson. St. PaT: West Publishing Company, 1974,
pp. 873-80.
Golembiewski, Robert T., and Cohen, Michael, eds. People
in Public Service. Itasca: F. E. Peacock Publishers,
Incorporated, 1970.
Goode, William J. "The Theoretical Limits of Professionali
zation." Semi-Professions and Their Organizations.
Edited by Amitai Etzioni. New York: The Free Press,
1969, pp. 266-314.
Gouldner, Alvin W. "Organizational Analysis." Sociology
Today: Problems and Prospects. Edited by Robert K.
Merton, Leonard Broom, and Leonard S. Kartrell. New
York: Basic Books, 1959, pp. 400-28.


282
They shall have the power to issue writs of mandamus, quo
warranto, certiorari, prohibition and habeas corpus, and
all writs necessary or proper to the complete exercise
of their jurisdiction. Jurisdiction of the circuit court
shall be uniform throughout the state. They shall have
the power of direct review of administrative action
prescribed by general law.
SECTION 6. County courts. --
(a) ORGANIZATION. -- There shall be a county court
in each county. There shall be one or more judges for
each county court as prescribed by general law.
(b) JURISDICTION. The county courts shall
exercise the jurisdiction prescribed by general law.
Such jurisdiction shall be uniform throughout the state.
SECTION 7. Specialized divisions. -- All courts
except the supreme court may sit in divisions as may be
established by general law. A circuit or county court
may hold civil and criminal trials and hearings in any
place within the territorial jurisdiction of the court
as designated by the chief judge of the circuit.
SECTION 8. Eligibility. No person shall be
eligible for office of justice or judge of any court
unless he is an elector of the state and resides in the
territorial jurisdiction of his court. No justice or
judge shall s erve after attaining the age of seventy
years except upon temporary assignment or to complete a
term, one-half of which he has served. No person is


266
Administrators
A. Personal Information (Place the appropriate number in
the space to the left of the question)
1. Title of Occupation
1. Clerk of Court
2. Deputy Clerk
3. Court Administrator (Court Executive Assistant)
2. How long have you held this position?
1. Less than one year
3.
6-10 years
2. 1-5 years
4.
Over 10 years
3.
How old are you?
1. Below 31 years
4.
51-60 years
2. 31-40 years
3. 41-50 years
5.
Over 60 years
4.
What is your sex?
1. Female
2. Male
5.
What is your race?
1. Negro
4.
Spanish Surname
2. Caucasian
5.
Other (Please
3. Oriental
Specify)
6.
What is your religion?
1. Catholic
3.
Protestant
2. Jewish
4.
Other (Please
Specify)
7.
How long have you been a
resident of the State
of Florida?
1. Less than one year
4.
11-20 years
2. 1-5 years
3. 6-10 years
5.
Over 20 years
8.
How much is your annual
salary (court-related
position)?
1. Below $5,000
4.
$15,000-$20,000
2. $5,000-$10,000
5.
Above $20,000
3. $10,000-$15,000
(Please Specify,
Approx.)


3
quently, within recent decades several states have insti
tuted varying forms of centralized, "uniform" systems of
g
justice. The underlying assumption of these reform move
ments is that by unifying the courts under central admini
strative supervision (usually by the highest court of the
state), continuity of procedures, management techniques, and
judicial decisions can be achieved. Continuity among these
factors is viewed as being critical to a democratic polity,
for irregularities in the structure and organization of judi
cial systems are seen as threats to the quality of justice
which the courts dispense. Because the decision of a court
is dependent upon the process used to arrive at that deter
mination, it is now generally assumed that "a court with im-
9
paired management produces an inferior brand of justice."
Despite the noble objectives of court reform, relative
ly little progress has been achieved in centralizing and
standardizing court structures and procedures.-'-O This fact
is hardly surprising. The effects of two centuries of frag
mentation and decentralization cannot be expected to rapidly
evaporate in response to a legislative dictate. There exists
O
The states of Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida,
Hawaii and Nebraska have all recently unified their court
systems.
9
David J. Saari, "Management and Courts: A Perplexing
Nexus," American University Law Review 20 (December, 1970-
March, 1971), 604.
lOpor an analysis of the current status of court ad
ministration in the states, see Law Enforcement Assistance
Administration, National Survey of Court Organization
(Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973).


224
side of the law."44 without early exposure to the practices
and advantages of administration, it is doubtful that the
legal community will readily accept professional management
as a legitimate component of judicial organizations.
The preceding discussion imparts a discouraging im
pression of the probability that comprehensive reform will
be implemented in the judicial system. American legal
culture engenders numerous defenses against both change
and administration. Moreover, the biases of judicial
personnel toward innovation are reinforced by traditional
practices and procedures which are revered by society,
yet which restrain proper administration. The inherent
conflict between law and change may be summarized quite
simply: law emphasizes precedent and therefore tends
toward a static state, whereas'change and administration
are social processes which stress dynamism. Thus, a formid
able and delicate task of compromising these diametrically
opposed forces confronts reformers. The extent to which
they are successful is partially dependent upon the
strength of traditionalism and inertia among court manag
ers .
Resistance from Court Managers
The reactions of chief judges and court clerks to
reforms intended by Article V suggest that further innova
tion within the Florida judicial system will be vigorously
44ibid.


172
administrative control over the circuits. Because many
chief judges have not internalized the constitutional
depiction of their office as the center of administrative
authority, only trivial duties remain to be delegated to
court executives. This situation will be radically
reversed when (or if) chief judges begin to exercise con
trol over all phases of court administration. The realities
of administering a complex organization may compel the
judges to seek assistance from the court executives, regard-
less of judicial desires to the contrary. As administrative
responsibilities consume increasing proportions of the
judges' energies, it is quite probable that archaic biases
against "administration" will be replaced by at least a
tacit acceptance of professional managers. The tendency
of chief judges to utilize their court executives may also
be affected positively by the improved "quality" of the
judiciary, which is a potential by-product of non-political
selection and increased training. Chief judges presently
administer through elaborate political compromises and
agreements which are jeopardized by "expertise."^ However,
the necessity for expertise and competent administration will
4^Many judges harbor very unfavorable attitudes toward
court executive assistants. See, e.g., Jerome S. Berg,
"Judicial Interest in Administration: The Critical Variable,"
Judicature 57 (January, 1974), 251-55.
46
Expertise presupposes the application of rational,
neutral standards in solving administrative problems. Such
decision-making criteria openly conflict with political
compromise.


Diagram 2.3
TRADITIONAL ORGANIZATIONAL MODEL
CLERK OF THE CIRCUIT COURT


98
involvement in this area is present. When asked if the chief
judges attempt to provide them with administrative direction
or supervision, only thirty-three (57.9%) responded in the
affirmative. The remaining clerks have apparently assumed
a very defensive posture. As one clerk stated, "He (chief
judge) gives me very little direction, and it's a good
thing that he does not!"6 The major conclusion that can
be drawn from the responses of the chief judges is that the
clerks are allowed to supervise the support structure with
little or no judicial direction. The clerks actively seek
assistance from the chief judges only when there is a
severe problem, or when they are confronted by a situation
which they do not know how to manage. Moreover, judicial
direction and consultation only occur when the chief judge
is striving to implement new procedures.
Summary
Despite the partial implementation of Article V, the
data indicates that the Florida judicial system remains
fragmented. Several competing judicial authorities are
present. Because the chief judges have not fully opera-
ticnLized the intent of Article V, the court clerks (and
accompanying local influences) serve to diffract respon
sibility and authority from the court structure as a whole.
^This attitude may simply be the result of the
terminology utilized in the questionnaire. "Inputs"
implies a substantial role in the administrative process,
whereas "supervision" may be construed as subjugation to
the will of the chief judge, something few court clerks
appear ready to accept.


110
subunits.2-*- Each court clerk, in concert with the county
commission, designs and supervises the judicial functions
in his own county. Consequently, there are seventy-two
divergent organizational frameworks which utilize a
multitude of irregular (1) budgetary, (2) personnel, and
(3) clerical and managerial procedures. Many of the most
grievous judicial maladies arise directly from the resulting
incongruities.
Budgetary Dilemmas
Local control over court budgets is often cited as a
principle contributory catalyst of locally generated judicial
2 2
problems. The budget instrument is the most finite state
ment of government policy. Consequently, the individuals
who determine court fiscal priorities exert tremendous
influence on judicial management policies. Unfortunately,
court clerks and county commissioners often advocate fiscal
programs which ignore judicial exigencies. The following
consequences are thus evident: (1) disparate levels of
court financing exist between the counties; and (2) the
level of technology employed in each county is largely
determined by local economic capabilities.
21-This number is obtained by combining the sixty-seven
county courts with the four appeals courts and the Florida
Supreme Court.
22
See, e.g., Francis C. Cady, "Court Modernization:
Retrospective, Prospective, and Perspective," Suffolk
University Law Review 6 (Summer, 1972), 835-43; Jim R.
Carrigan, "Inherent Powers and Finance," Trial 7 (November-
December, 1971), 22-25;and James A. Gazell^ "Judicial
Management at the State Level: Its Neglect, Growth, and
Principal Facets," California Western Law Review 7 (Spring,
1971), 355-82.


30
It has been further hypothesized that conventional
organizational structures and techniques have resulted in
the development of behavior which is counterproductive to
court efficiency. The decentralized, fragmented nature of
the courts prior to reform allowed a variety of ineffective
procedures and relationships to arise. Many of these
factors are potentially deleterious to the implementation
of reform. For example, it was originally assumed that
decentralization enabled the lack of "professionalism" to
exist among certain pivotal court personnel.^0 Due to the
fact that courts, perhaps more than any other type of
organization, must rely on professional norms to induce
adherence to formal goals, the absence of such standards
of behavior presents a particularly grave administrative
dilemma.61 Moreover, the extent to which the vested inter
ests of these individuals are jeopardized by structural
alterations in the judicial system was assumed to be a key
variable in ascertaining the degree of informal acceptance
of innovation.
6C>For a discussion of the criteria by which occupa
tions are classified as professions, see William J. Good,
"The Theoretical Limits of Professionalization," in Semi-
Professions and Their Organization, ed. Amitai Etzioni
(New York: The Free Press, 1969), pp. 266-314.
6lFor an analysis of the implications of relying on
professionalism as a primary control mechanism, see Eliot
Friedson and Buford Rhea, "Processes of Control in a
Company of Equals," Social Problems 11 (Fall, 1963),
119-31.


240
reform opposition from court clerks is supplemented by-
resistance from the judiciary, major systemic alterations
may only be achieved after an intense conflict.
Macro-Political Influences
Despite the dismal outlook for reform at the local
level, there are a number of encouraging indicators that
state officials recognize the need for a more unified
judicial system. Since the adoption of Article V various
influential governmental figures have been striving to
perpetuate the reform fervor initiated by judicial re
organization. Most of their efforts have been directed
toward implementation of a unitary financing system for
the entire court structure. Assumption of all court opera
tional costs by the state government is recognized as being
the crucial step in granting the judicial branch the inde-
7 0
pendent status to which it is constitutionally entitled.
Moreover, by removing the influence of local political
systems from judicial policy determinations, further re
forms in procedural and personnel areas would be facili
tated. Because state funding is essentially the funda
mental issue in any attempt to implement comprehensive
judicial reform, the obstacles and arguments that arise
in opposition to unitary financing are assumed to be
symptomatic of resistance to other less inclusive innova
tions .
70
See pp. 180-181 infra.


ANALYSIS OF STATE FUNDED JUDICIAL BRANCH EXPENDITURES
Court/Function
Expenditures
Actual
Actual
Actual
Actual
Estimated
FY 71-72
FY 71-72
FY 72-73
FY 73-74
FY 74-75
632,132
697,416
1,117,226
1,815,946
2,504,770
40
42
57
67
83
1,520,099
1,581,771
1,845,976
1,975,976
2,238,634
97
97
101
101
112
6,129,349
7,368,602.
11,305,425
17,355,290
21,717,867
193
204
354
622
626
None
None
2,960,575
7,239,610
9,549,585
None
None
413
427
516
80,848
91,764
111,264
171,328
337,030
7
7
9
10
16
$ 8,362,428
$ 9,739,533
$17,071,141
$28,073,819
$35,268,615
269,325
484,078
1,079,271
$ 8,362,428
$ 9,739,533
$17,340,446
$28,557,897
$36,347,886
337
350
934
1,227
1,353*
Supreme Court:
Amount
Positions
District Courts
of Appeal:
Amount
Positions:
Circuit Courts &
Related Matters:
Amount
Positions
County Courts:
Amount
Positions
Jud. Admin. Comm.,
Jud. Qual. Comm. &
Judicial Council:
Amount
Positions
Total by Fund:
Gen. Revenue
Trust
Total All Funds
Number of Positions
*Includes 456 Judges.
296


163
service in which the only question is whether
the judge's record warrants his retention in
office.
4. Periodic review of the appointment at
the end of each term of office by the voters in
which the only question is whether the judge's
record warrants his continued retention in
office.^ 3
Traditional political relationships between local
officials and the chief judges would inevitably decline if
the judiciary is appointed on the basis of qualifications.
However, the final variable which potentially affects the
chief judge's ability to properly manage their circuits is
unaffected by the degree of expertise and political neutral
ity present among judicial administrators. Specifically,
the level of interference from other court managers and
political entities is of-fundamental importance. Reform in
this area cannot be accomplished until the courts are freed
from their dependence upon local political systems, a goal
which is predicated upon an altered conception of the court
clerks' role.
The Court Clerks
Effective utilization of administrative authority by
chief judges cannot be achieved until the court clerks'
judicial role is radically altered. The grave lack of
administrative direction present within the court system
may be largely attributed to the influence of court clerks.
^The President's Commission Report Relating to the
Courts, as quoted in Judicature 5 0 (March 1967) 24"lT


TABLE 1.1
FLORIDA COURT SYSTEM: PREVIOUS
Level
Previous
I
State-Wide
Supreme Court, seven Justices,
six year terms, elected.
II
District Courts
of Appeal
Four courts of three judges
each, six year terms, elected.
Ill
Circuit Court
20 judicial circuits, one
judge for each 50,000 people.
No specialization by judges
on particular cases.
AND PRESENT
Present
Supreme Court, seven Justices,
six year terms. No change in
structure.
Number of districts and number of
judges to be determined by general
law enacted by the legislature on
recommendation from the State
Supreme Court. Judges are elected
for six year terms. General law
may provide for special divisions.
Any number of judicial circuits
as recommended by the Supreme Court
and as determined by general law.
Circuit judges to be elected for
six year terms. General law may
provide for a system of special
divisions. The Circuit Courts have
appellate jurisdiction from lower
courts and original jurisdiction
over cases not falling to county
courts. Probate jurisdiction is
assigned to the circuit courts.
-j


191
management.^2 Although judicial councils and advisory
boards of judges would be functional in providing judicial
input into the Chief Justice's budgetary policy decisions,
the existence of twenty chief judges who are already directly
responsible for regional policy dictates that no special
judicial consultative body is required. Rather, chief judges
must be given the opportunity to meet collectively in order
to discuss mutual fiscal problems and to prepare programs
and objectives for submission to the Chief Justice. "Judges
Conferences" which are scheduled periodically for these
purposes appear to be extremely promising in this regard.
An alternative: inherent powers
In the event that the state government rejects the
burden of full judicial funding, the court system could con
ceivably invoke the inherent power doctrine. Simply stated,
this doctrine assumes that every court has an inherent
power to do whatever is reasonably necessary to administer
justice within the scope of its jurisdiction. In its most
practical application the doctrine implies that the courts
can do anything necessary to maintain their existence and
r o
to permit their operation. If the courts decide that the
legislature is hindering their ability to conduct business
62por a discussion of the importance of participatory
management to judicial budget formulation, see Pringle,
supra note 58.
63see, e.g., Missouri ex inf. of Anderson v. St. Louis
County,451 S.W. 2d 99 (1970); and Nevada ex rel. Kitzmeyer
v. Davis 68 p. 689 (1902).
J


43
This phenomenon further complicated the status of court
administration in the state, for responsibility and account
ability could never be firmly established as long as the
judicial organizations were serving two masters.
The systemic and structural disorganization that
existed in Florida's courts provided the impetus for the
reform movement which culminated in the passage of Article
V of the Florida Constitution. As has been previously
stated, Article V restructured the Florida court system
into a consolidated structure with fixed administrative
responsibility. With the exception of municipal courts,
all special courts were abolished and uniformity in juris
diction was instituted (Diagram 2.1). The judicial power
of the state was vested in four levels of courts, and the
policy making authority for the administrative supervision
of the judicial branch was delegated to the Supreme Court.^
Moreover, the chief judges of the twenty circuit courts
were given administrative responsibility for all the courts
located in their districts. Consequently, the judiciary in
Florida appears to have been granted not only the sole
adjudicatory authority, but also the responsibility for
maintaining itself through its administrative authority.
A literal reading of Article V thus depicts a judicial
system which rivals any in the nation for its progressiveness,
uniformity, and manageability.
^Florida, Constitution, art. V, sec. 2 (a).


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I wish to express my sincere appreciation to Dr. Larry
Berkson and Dr. William Kelso. Any clarity and consistency
of usage in the text is largely the result of their efforts.
In addition, I would like to thank Dr. Ernest Bartley, Dr.
Manning Dauer, and Dr. Charles Frazier for their coopera
tion in serving on my committee. They provided not only
assistance in their suggestions for this dissertation but
have furnished encouragements to me throughout my graduate
career at the University of Florida. I would also like
to thank the many court 'clerks, chief judges, court admin
istrators, and other judicial personnel whose comments
comprise the most interesting and useful part of this work.
Finally, I would like to express my deep appreciation to
Anne Marie, my wife, who has provided assistance and
support not only in the present endeavor, but throughout
the long and difficult years of my graduate study. Any
deficiencies of this work are, of course, my sole responsi
bility.
11


268
19. Which do you consider yourself to be?
1. Republican 3. Independent
2. Democrat 4. Other (Please
Spe'cify)
20. Were your grandparents born in the United
States?
1. Yes 2. No
If not, where were they born?
21. What was the primary occupation of your
(Please Specify)
Father Mother
22. Have you ever held a publicly-elected office?
1. Yes 2. No
Please Specify.
23. Have you ever held an appointed office?
1. Yes 2. No
Please Specify.
(continued next page)


259
APPENDIX A
THE QUESTIONNAIRES
Court Clerks
A. Personal Information (Place the appropriate number in
the space to the left of the question).
1. Title of Occupation
1. Clerk of Court
2. Deputy Clerk
3. Court Administrator (Executive Court Assistant)
2. How long have you held this position?
1. Less than one year
3.
6-10 years
2. 1-5 years
4.
Over 10 years
3.
How old are you?
1. Below 31 years
4.
51-60 years
2. 31-40 years
3. 41-50 years
5.
Over 60 years
4.
What is your sex?
1. Female
2. Male
5.
What is your race?
1. Negro
4.
Spanish Surname
2. Caucasian
5.
Other (Please
3. Oriental
Specify)
6.
What is your religion?
1. Catholic
3.
Protestant
2. Jewish
4.
Other (Please
Specify)
7.
How long have you been
a resident of the State
of Florida?
1. Less than one year
4.
11-20 years
2. 1-5 years
3. 6-10 years
5 .
Over 20 years


124
continue this general trend of inconsistency. In some
counties each arrestee is automatically advised at the time
of his booking as to the location and date of his trial.
Conversely, a number of other counties either require the
sheriff to personally deliver the summons, or they forward
it by certified mail. Consequently, many arrestees
released on recognizance are never contacted due to the
inability of the clerks and sheriffs to locate them.
When the negative effects of the three examples are multi
plied by the tremendous number of other irregularities
present in the system, the depth of this problem becomes
apparent.
The extent to which local control of court adminis
tration can inhibit proper administration is aptly illus
trated by the following account. Within the past five
years Broward, Orange, and Hillsborough Counties instituted
special procedures to collect support payments. They
established a unique agency within the clerk's office to
insure that support payments are made on time and to
monitor the receiving family in order to determine whether
the funds are being utilized beneficially. The merits
of this procedure were recognized by the Supreme Court,
which recommended similar programs to the remaining
counties in the state. However, despite the recognized
advantages to be gained by such an arrangement, no other
county has yet implemented a similar plan. As might be


166
such a distribution of responsibilities are apparent.
Primarily, the court clerks' responsiveness to judicial
authority should increase. By severing their county-based
duties from the judicial structure, clerks will be less
inclined to adhere to extremely localistic policy prefer
ences. Their loyalty will no longer be divided between
the goals of county commissioners and courts. Consequently,
judicial objectives will be internalized and role con
flict will decline. Moreover, the chief judges' consti
tutional role as chief administrative officer should assume
added significance when court clerks no longer regard
county commissioners as their "bosses" or colleagues. The
clerks' accountability and responsiveness to judicial
authority should thus be' enhanced.
In addition to the rather abstract advantages of
accountability and responsiveness, establishment of a
fulltime administrative officer in each county will result
in more competent court management. Court clerks who per
form only purely judicial functions will logically devote
a much larger percentage of their time to "court work" than
is presently the case. As a consequence, clerks may be
expected to abandon their former crisis management philoso
phy for a more active judicial role. Among the major
benefits that should result are: long-range planning
designed to isolate and resolve administrative problems
before they become serious detriments to the organization;
the development of managerial expertise among the clerks;


I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Charles E. Frazier
Assistant Professor of
Sociology
er
This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of
the Department of Political Science in the College of Arts
and Sciences and to the Graduate Council, and was accepted
as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree
of Doctor of Philosophy.
December, 1975
Dean, Graduate School


6
Consequently, the administration of the county courts was
examined only insofar as it related to the activities of
the personnel in the circuit court and county clerks of
fices.
The court system of the State of Florida offers a
particularly fruitful opportunity to study the interactions
between court personnel and their environment. There is
substantial evidence that the Florida court system is one
of the most progressive and advanced judicial structures in
the nation. On March 14, 1972, the voters of Florida ap
proved the revision of Article V of the State Constitution
which essentially resulted in the complete restructuring of
the statewide court system into what is widely assumed to
be a unified whole. Former Chief Justice B. K. Roberts
characterized the passage of Article V when he stated: "In
one sweeping move to modernization, uniformity and consoli
dation, overwhelming voter approval was given to a new
court system which has already been heralded as one of the
most modern m the nation.' J
The immediate effects of the adoption of Article V
somewhat resemble the most optimistic desires of judicial
reformers. The basic provisions of the amended Article
create a unified state court system which consists of the
Florida Supreme Court, four District Courts of Appeal,
twenty circuit courts, and sixty-seven county courts. The
^The Honorable B. K. Roberts, as quoted in Florida
Judicial System Statistical Report, compiled by The Office
of the State Courts Administrator (Tallahassee: Legislative
Reference Bureau, 1973), p. 1.


12
Lower trial courts have largely been ignored by the schol
arly community because these institutions traditionally
have not been perceived as being politically significant.20
The few studies that had been conducted on the lower courts
within the past decades primarily analyzed these institu
tions from the perspective of the United States Supreme
Court. However, a relatively recent trend that has emerged
in the literature indicates that scholars are broadening
their areas of inquiry to include the lower federal and
state judiciaries. The political importance of lower courts
is now recognized, and the study of such courts has become
a legitimate and popular endeavor.2^ Recently, several
authors have analyzed the administration of local justice
in order to ascertain the effects of various procedural
practices on the quality of justice dispensed.22
Despite this increasing awareness of state courts by
political scientists, academicians have tended to devote
20Kenneth M. Dolbeare, Trial Courts in Urban Politics
(New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1967), ppT 1-5.
21see, e.g., James R. Klonski and Robert I. Mendelsohn,
The Politics of Local Justice (Boston: Little, Brown and
Co., 1970); John A. Robertson, ed., Rough Justice: Perspec
tives on Lower Criminal Courts (Boston: Little, Brown
and Co., 1974); Kenneth Vines and Herbert Jacob, "The Role
of the Judiciary in American State Politics," in Judicial
Decision Making, ed. Glendon Schubert (London: The Free
Press of Glencoe, 1963), pp. 245-56; and Stephen Wasby,
"Public Law, Politics, and the Local Courts," Journal of
Public Law 16, No. 1 (1965), 105-30.
22see, e.g., Herbert Jacob, Debtors in Court (Chicago:
Rand McNally and Co., 1969); and David Vi. Neubauer, Criminal
Justice in Middle America (Morristown: General Learning
Press, 1974).


14
4. The various participants in the liti
gation process do not all have the same goal,
and responsibility and authority over goals are
not fixed by a finite administrative structure.25
Nevertheless, as the administrative problems in lower
courts have grown more acute, academic interest in court
management has increased. James A. Gazell states that
the courts' heightened degree of national visibility has
been partially responsible for this trend. The massive
arrests of civil rights and anti-war demonstrators in the
past decade so overburdened judicial machinery that the news
media was able to expose the grave shortcomings of trial
courts to public scrutiny.26 As a result, several Presi
dential and Gubernatorial commissions were established to
investigate possible reforms for the systems.27 The defects
exposed by these commissions, and the proposals offered for
their solutions, have provided the impetus for increased
25Although these reasons have been cited often in the
literature, the most succinct discussion is offered by
Edward B. McConnell, "Organization of a State Court System:
The Role of a State Court Administrator," paper presented
to the National Conference on the Judiciary, Williamsburg,
Virginia, March 14, 1971.
26James A. Gazell, "Judicial Management at the State
Level: Its Neglect, Growth, and Principal Facets,"
California Western Law Review 7 (Spring, 1971) 355-82.
27see, e.g., The Report of the National Advisory
Commission on Civil Disorders (Washington, D.C.: Govern
ment Publishing Office, 1968); The Report of the National
Conference of the Judiciary (Washington, D.C.: Government
Printing Office, 1971) ; and The Report of the President1s
Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of
Justice (Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office,
1968).


230
bilities in a concerted attempt to undermine state judicial
policy.
Administrative responsibility
Every organization requires a responsible leader who
is charged with the duty of ultimate supervision. Judges
are the only individuals who are qualified to give such
direction to court organizations. According to Jerome
Berg: "The judge cannot ignore his administrative responsi
bilities any more than he can his responsibility to keep
abreast of the law or judge fairly the issues brought
before him."53 However, it is questionable whether or not
Florida's chief judges will internalize this conception
of their role, even if they are given control over their
support functions.
The chief judges' failure to exercise their consti
tutional authority under Article V furnishes clear testi
mony to the fact that most judges will be reluctant admini
strators if further reforms are instituted. The extent
to which an anti-administration bias prevails among these
individuals is reflected in their attitudes toward court
clerks. Although splitting the clerks' offices would
eradicate many management deficiencies, eleven judges are
content to retain the status quo. A statement of one
judge is particularly enlightening: "Who would take over
their duties? If pure judicial clerks are appointed I'd
be responsible for training and supervising them. Who has
53Berg, supra note 47, p. 253.


106
each circuit leads to an erratic form of administrative
direction which is counterproductive to continuity and
efficiency. Most chief judges are openly hesitant to
institute broad procedural and operational reforms which
necessarily will affect the activities of their colleagues
and successors. Moreover, newly-elected administrative
officers often revise the management practices of their
predecessors and thus confuse and frustrate other judicial
personnel. Consequently, active and progressive management
is abandoned in favor of passive "crisis management" in
which chief judges respond to problems but do not attempt
to plan for future contingencies. Individual circuit judges
are thus allowed to exercise a relatively "free hand" in
managing their respective judicial domains.-*-4
In addition to the natural disinclinations of the chief
judges toward administration, another operational aspect of
this role produces negative sentiments and detracts from
their willingness to assert management authority. Specific
ally, many judges commented about the unrequited nature of
the position. When asked to delineate their most important
administrative problems, almost the entire sample noted that
conducting business with other elected officials is often
a difficult and thankless task. In the words of one chief
judge:
-^Unless, of course, the actions of clerks or judges
conflict with state law or rules of the Florida Supreme
Court.


71
This fact is exceedingly noteworthy because the clerks'
offices employ by far the largest number of judicial per
sonnel and expend seventy per cent of the entire court
system budget annually. They thus occupy a position from
which their inaction, or their actions working in contra
distinction to those of the chief judges, can subvert the
operation of the entire judicial system.
The position of the clerks in the judicial system is
further complicated by their defensiveness. During the
course of this study, efforts were made to interview a
number of deputy clerks throughout the state. However, of
the thirty clerks' offices initially visited, only five
permitted their assistants to either be interviewed or
to complete questionnaires.30 The explanations offered
by the clerks for their refusals typically included the
statement, "They can't tell you anything that I can't."
A large number of clerks also were very concerned that
their own responses to the questionnaires would remain
innominate. Although a multitude of explanations could
be offered for this defensiveness, the most pertinent
rationale appears to be linked to the creation of the
Office of the State Courts Administrators. A recurring
complaint of the court clerks is that the Supreme Court,
through the Administrator's Office, is attempting to
wrest the clerks' control of the administrative functions
from them. As one clerk stated, "Anyone coming around
30This was a totally unexpected reaction. Because the
researcher had the prior approval of the Clerks Association
and various other state judicial personnel, no resistance
was foreseen.


74
very few trial level administrators are currently employed.
For example, in the one hundred largest standard metropolitan
statistical areas "there are approximately seventy having no
court executive in one or more of the counties."35 in fact,
only fifteen per cent of the trial courts of general juris-
O
diction employed professional administrators by 1973. The
explanation for the hesitancy of many trial level judges to
utilize the services of court executives is that the duties
assigned to such personnel have traditionally been the pro
vince of the court clerks. Consequently, the services offered
by the administrators are often regarded as unnecessary.
A large number of authorities in the literature on
court administration discuss in great detail what the hypo
thesized functions and roles of trial level court executives
should be.However, the most widely accepted delineation
of these duties and responsibilities expected of such per
sonnel appears in the Standards Relating to Court Organiza
tion promulgated by the American Bar Association Commis
sion on Standards o f Judicial Administration:
35David J. Saari, "Modern Court Management: Trends
in the Role of the Court Executive," Law Enforcement Assist
ance Administration (Washington, D. C.: Government Printing
Office, 1970), p. 11.
36supra note 33, p. 8.
37see, e.g., Fannie J. Klein, "The Position of the
Trial Court Administrator in the States," Judicature 50
(April, 1967), 278-80; Arnold M. Malech, "A Glass House:
Court Administration from the Inside," Judicature 50
(March, 1967), 249-51; and Bernadine Meyer, "Court Ad
ministration: The Newest Profession," Duquesne Law Review
10 (inter, 1971), 220-35.


117
revenues. Moreover, the counties are predictably reluctant
to make long-term financial commitments for judicial facilities
and equipment when no single responsible source can prognos-
33
ticate future requirements of the courts. Adequate
estimates of judicial needs are also hindered by inconsistent
standards as to what expenses will be charged to the courts.
For example, while prosecution witness fees and prisoner
transportation costs should logically be the responsibility
of other government agencies, in many counties these expenses
are charged to the courts on one occasion, and to the state's
attorney's or sheriff's office on another. Consequently,
it is often unreasonable to expect impecunious counties
to appropriate large sums to the courts which cannot
clearly define their needs.
The monetary difficulties of the court system have
been acerbated by the advent of Article V which placed
heavy additional financial burdens on the counties with
respect to reorganization expenses and stringent new rules
of criminal procedure. The counties have been compelled to
provide funding and space for court functions which were
previously the purview of large self-supporting special
courts. Moreover, clerks of the courts abolished by
Article V have been statutorially designated "deputy
33For a related discussion, see Edward B. McConnell,
"Organization of a State Court System: The Role of a
State Court Administrator," paper presented to the
National Conference on the Judiciary, Williamsburg, Vir
ginia, March 14, 1971, 22-25.


positions. According to Thomas Henderson, "The heads of
all bureaucratic agencies must resolve conflicts between
their roles as bureaucratic administrators and as major
policy advisors."24 As many authors have noted, occupants
of such offices resolve this conflict by either becoming
more involved with the local political structure, or by
viewing themselves as professionals and thus devoting
themselves to objective standards of performance at the
o r
expense of local support. As has been stated, most
clerks seem to identify with local power structures. Their
concern with limiting expenditures and pleasing their
electorates and county commissions is documented.
However, the data reveals that most clerks also
perceive themselves to be crucial administrative officers
of the court. Among the responses which reflect this
attitude are the following: "I'm the main wheel;" "I'm
the hub around which the entire court structure revolves;"
and "The clerk's office is the information and mechanical
center of the judicial system." In fact, 63% (adjusted
frequency) of the clerks specifically envision their role
in the court system as being "vital" or "crucial."2^
Thomas A. Henderson, "The Relative Effects of
Community Complexity and of Sheriffs upon the Professional
ism of Sheriff Departments," American Journal of Political
Science 19 (February, 1975), 113.
25Ibid.
o r
This response is given added significance because the
question was open-ended and did not solicit any particular
response. Thus, the individuals who suggested that they
are "vital" were volunteering the information.


116
is perceived by many authorities as being functional,30 the
rapid increase in litigation throughout the state indicates
that such a technique is hardly adequate when applied to
the judicial system.31 Moreover, the political and economic
predispositions of the court clerks necessarily discourage
advocacy of large increases in judicial appropriations. The
clerks are overwhelmingly conservative and thus are as dis
inclined to seek enlarged budgets as are the judges.
Although several chief judges blame parsimonious
county commissioners and clerks for the current financial
plight of the courts, local revenues are so exiguous that
most counties are barely able to maintain present funding
levels. Reliance upon local funding forces the judiciary
to "join the unhappy competition for the inadequate revenues
of the property tax."32 The rapid expansion of judicial
needs has placed obligations on counties which they are
ill-equipped to finance out of depleted property tax
30see, e.g., Charles E. Lindblom, "Decision-Making
in Taxation and Expenditure," in Public Finances: Needs,
Sources, and Utilization, National Bureau of Economic
Research (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1961),
pp. 295-336; and Aaron Wildavsky, The Politics of the
Budgetary Process (Boston: LittleT-Brown and CoT, 197 4) .
^Incremental budgeting techniques are not particularly
useful in long-range planning, or in acquiring the increased
appropriations required by expanded case loads. Under this
procedure, budgets are prepared by simply adding "incre
mental" appropriations to the monies allotted in the pre
ceding fiscal year.
Harry 0. Lawson, "Overview of Court Administration:
A Commentary," paper presented to the Institute of Court
Management, American University, Washington, D.C., July 8,
1974, 22.


10
revised version of the Florida Constitution for action of
the 1967 Legislature, presented that body with a proposal
that was deemed unacceptable. The Legislature diligently
attempted to arrive at a settlement as to the content of
the Article, but too many conflicting ideas were presented.
Subsequently, a new Article V was proposed by the legislature
and was placed on the ballot in the 1970 general election.16
This proposal was defeated by the citizens of the state.
That election had been preceded by a vigorous campaign
on the part of those both favoring and opposing the amend
ment, and its defeat left Article V as the only section
of the 1885 Florida Constitution still in effect. Another
revision was then drafted by the Florida House and Senate
Judiciary Committees after hearings were held around the
state and preliminary drafts were circulated for comments
and suggestions.17 This last version was submitted as an
emergency matter to the voters on the March presidential
preference ballot. It was approved this time by a two-to-
one margin.1^
l^The article was voted down in 1967 and 1968. The
1969 session of the Legislature first placed the issue on
the ballot.
l^See Manning J. Dauer, Proposed Amendment to the
Florida Constitution, University of Florida Civic Informa
tion Series, No. 52 (Gainesville: Public Administration
Clearing Service, 1972), p. 1.
l^The actual vote was 969,741 for, to 401,861 against
the revised article. Most commentators attribute the
radical change in public opinion to a successful voter
education program sponsored by the proponents of Article V.
Moreover, court delay had become so severe that the public
was becoming aware of judicial inefficiencies.


179
tions.
Instead of employing sixty-seven court clerks to super
vise the non-judicial functions of the courts situated in
their counties, it appears desirable to utilize only twenty
such individuals. Specifically, each chief judge would
appoint one Chief Circuit Clerk (a more appropriate title
might be "Chief Circuit Administrator") to oversee all the
clerks'duties within their circuit. This official would
be directly responsible to the chief judge and would pos
sess no independent authority. The Chief Circuit Clerk
would appoint a Deputy Administrator in each county of the
circuit or in branch offices of single-county circuits.
Deputy Administrators would replace court clerks and would
be responsible to the Chief Circuit Clerk directly, and to
the chief judge ultimately.
This proposal would parallel the judicial organization
of the chief judge-court executive assistant relationship
and offers several advantages over the court clerk system.
Because there would only be twenty Chief Circuit Clerks,
chief judges would only be compelled to directly supervise
one official involved with non-judicial functions. That
official, in turn, would be responsible for the actions of
the Deputy Administrators he appoints to manage the courts
in the other counties of the circuit. Consequently, chief
judges would be freed from the necessity to continually
supervise and delegate authority to a large number of
subordinates. This would simplify communication and admini-


280
system. He shall have the power to assign justices or
judges, including consenting retired justices or judges,
to temporary duty in any court for which the judge is
qualified and to delegate to a chief judge of a judicial
circuit the power to assign judges for duty in his
respective circuit.
(c) A chief judge for each district court of appeal
shall be chosen by a majority of the judges thereof or,
if there is no majority, by the chief justice. The
chief judge shall be responsible for the administrative
supervision of the court.
(d) A chief judge in each circuit shall be chosen
from among the circuit judges as provided by supreme
court rule. The chief judge shall be responsible for
the administrative supervision of the circuit courts and
county courts in his circuit.
SECTION 3. Supreme court.
(a) ORGANIZATION. The supreme court shall consist
of seven justices. Five justices shall constitute a
quorum. The concurrence of four justices shall be
necessary to a decision. When recusals for cause would
prohibit the court from convening because of the require
ments of this section, judges assigned to temporary duty
may be substituted for justices.
* *
(c) CLERK AND MARSHAL The supreme court shall
appoint a clerk and a marshal who shall hold office


210
Contemporary American law is greatly influenced by
its relationship to the "sacred" practices of the past.
Respect for the legal system is one of the most fundamental
mores of American society. As explained by Herbert
Jacob:
People are taught to respect law alone
among the institutions of government,
simply because it is law. One may speak
disparagingly about Presidents, congress
men, and generals. One may insult the
President at the White House and only be
condemned as a boor, but disrespect for
the lowliest judge in the courtroom will
bring a jail sentence. Respect for the
law is urged by many people as a necessary
barrier to anarchy; they urge respect for
the law even if one disagrees with it and
seeks to change it.17
As a consequence of its unique status as a sacred and
respected concept, law in the United States has been imbued
with a degree of dignity and ceremony that is unprecedented
in other government institutions. Unfortunately, court
proceedings have also been saturated by a similar amount
of ritualism. Manifestations of this phenomenon are ram
pant in any American courtroom. In the words of Alfred F.
Conard, "The thousand-year-old Catholic mass has been turned
into English, but lawyers are still telling their rosaries
with habeas corpus, ultra vires, and res gestae."18 Yet
antiquated and ritualistic language is only one example of
the courts' concern for tradition and respect. There are
-^Ibid. p. 14 .
l^Alfred F. Conard, "The Crisis of Justice," Washburn
Law Journal 99 (Fall, 1971), 3.


283
eligible for the office of justice of the supreme court
or judge of a district court of appeal unless he is, and
has been for the preceding ten years, a member of the bar
of Florida. No person is eligible for the office of
circuit judge unless he is, and has been for the preceding
five years, a member of the bar of Florida. Unless other
wise provided by general law, a county court judge must
be a member of the bar of Florida.
SECTION 9. Determination of number of judges. --
The supreme court shall establish by rule uniform criteria
for the determination of the need for additional judges
except supreme court justices, the necessity for decreasing
the number of judges and for increasing, decreasing or re
defining appellate districts and judicial circuits. If
the supreme court finds that a^ need exists for increasing
or decreasing the number of judges or increasing,
decreasing or redefining appellate districts and judicial
circuits, it shall, prior to the next regular session of
the legislature, certify to the legislature its findings
and recommendations concerning such need. Upon receipt
of such certificate, the legislature, at the next regular
session, shall consider the findings and recommendations
and may reject the recommendations or by law implement
the recommendations in whole or in part; provided the leg
islature may create more judicial offices than are
recommended by the supreme court or may decrease the
number of judicial offices by a greater number than
recommended by the court only upon a finding of two-thirds


51
toward judicial roles and functions might exist. '-1-' The chief
judges had apparently undergone very similar socialization
processes. They attended the same academic institutions,
obtained nearly identical pre-entry experience, and were
raised in very analogous social environments. Moreover, each
of them had been on the bench for many years preceding the
implementation of Article V. Consequently, all of the chief
judges were well acquainted with the traditional modes of
operation that had dominated Florida's judicial system before
re-organization. The resulting carry-over of anachronistic
management policies are especially germaine to this analysis.
The most obvious initial conclusion ascertained concern
ing the roles of the chief judges in the judicial system is
that they have, for a variety of reasons, defaulted in their
administrative responsibilities. Instead of assuming the
burden for the managerial direction of their circuits, most
chief judges have perpetuated the previous system which
diffused court management authority. They tend to view their
roles as the final arbiters of disputes that arise within
the judicial system. Although this sentiment is variously
worded,^ the attitude appears to be almost universal.
Consequently, few judges have actively become involved in
l^See, John Hogarth, "Background Characteristics of
Magistrates," in Rough Justice: Perspectives on Lower
Criminal Courts, ed. John A. Robertson (Boston: Little
Brown and Co., 1974), pp. 175-191.
''The most commonly used statements voiced by the
chief judges to express this sentiment were: "I am here to
put out fires," "I am the final word," and "Everyone looks
to me to resolve problems."


13 2
as record the "minutes" for every official government meet
ing in their counties. Primarily as a result of these
county responsibilities, thirty-three clerks (57.9%) report
that their judicial functions are entirely delegated to
subordinate personnel. Consequently, it is not entirely
unexpected that many deputy clerks are often "on their
own" in performing court duties. As one deputy clerk
stated: "The clerk has no idea of what's going on. He
really does not understand the workings of the court. This
really isn't surprising, because he's never here long enough
to know what any of us (deputy clerks) are doing."-5
Of similar significance is the fact that judges and
court administrators are extremely hesitant to supervise
and/or instruct deputy clerks on proper procedures. Only
two chief judges stated that it is an "accepted practice"
in their circuits for judges to supervise or instruct
deputy clerks. Most clerks are fanatically defensive about
their assistants and object to any perceived incursions
into their domains. For example, in one large urban
county the court executive assistant attempted to correct
several inefficient and improper practices being followed
by local deputy clerks. When the court clerk discovered
^Although many clerks are guilty of ignoring certain
aspects of their judicial functions, this phenomenon is by
no means universal. A sizeable number of court clerks are
competent administrators who manage very efficient offices.
However, this does not detract from the fact that serious
"management vacuums" exist in several counties. In fact,
no less than six policy statements of the Florida Supreme
Court have mentioned this phenomenon.


138
information being reported.-'-
This phenomenon recurs in the areas of personnel and
general administration. The Supreme Court and Legislature
are rigidly limited in enacting state-wide judicial policies
affecting either of these areas. Before any new policy is
enacted, the state government must necessarily appraise
the ability of each county to conform to the dictate.
Because funding loads and administrative practices and
procedures vary so widely among the counties, a state
requirement for uniformity in any single area may conceiv
ably surpass the abilities of many counties to comply.2
As a result of these factors, it is entirely unreason
able to expect any sole agency or individual to assume
total administrative authority and responsibility over
the judicial system. The existence of seventy-two distinct
court organizations diffuses accountability to a practically
irreducible level. Moreover, the formulation and execu
tion of any pragmatic policy requires that comprehensive
planning precede legislative action. However, it is
debatable that such planning can occur in a system in
which no authority can predict the consequences of an
action. Under the present structure, conformity to
^'In 197 3, the Department of Administration attempted
to prepare a single budgetary report of the entire judicial
system for the state legislature. Due to the diverse
accounting and fiscal procedures utilized among the counties
the project was labeled "impractical" and was thus abandoned
62por example, two clerks state that they are unable
to submit Case Disposition Reports because they cannot
afford the additional clerical expenses generated by that
system.


192
due to inadequate appropriations, they can assert their
status as an independent branch of government by forcing
the legislature to provide funds.^ Despite the apparent
attractiveness of this legal remedy for the courts' finan
cial ills, there are few precedents in which a judicial
branch has initiated such action against a state legisla-
65
ture. This fact is hardly surprising considering the
political ramifications that would inevitably result from
a blatant confrontation between the judicial and legislative
branches of government.
Although the courts are extremely reluctant to chal
lenge state legislature, the doctrine of inherent powers
has been invoked on numerous occasion in regard to local
funding sources. In over twenty states cases have arisen
in which courts sued county governments for a variety of
goods and services ranging from judicial salaries,^ to
carpeting.67 Among the other areas in which the doctrine
has been utilized most effectively are: determining the
64The most frequently employed form of action against
parsimonious governmental organs has been mandamus, some
times in combination with declaratory judgements. A variety
of other remedies have been utilized successfully, including
debt actions, ex parte orders, taxpayer suits, and contempt
proceedings. See, e.g., Berg, supra note 1, p. 810.
^See, e.g., Harry O. Lawson, "Overview of Court
Administration: A Commentary," paper presented to the
Institute for Court Management, American University, Washing
ton, D.C., July 8, 1974, 27.
See, e.g., Leahey v. Farrell,66 A. 2d 577 (1949).
67see, e.g., Nevada ex rel. Kitzmeyer v. Davis,
68 p. 189 (1902).


206
7
consequences" which are destructive m many other related
O
areas. Hedley Dimock and Roy Sorenson best state this
proposition:
No part of institutional change is an
"island unto itself." Changes in program
call for changes in every other part of
the institution, and advance in one sector
cannot proceed far ahead of change in other
sectors. For example, program groups cannot
be changed without officer training, which
in turn depends upon staff reeducation. Simi
larly, changes in staff goals and ways of
working are dependent upon administrative
procedures, policies, and budgets which in
turn require changes in committees and locus
of authority.^
Consequently, resistance to a specific reform is generated
in areas of the organization which are not directly affected
by the initial innovation.
Rejection of outsiders. Most changes are imposed by
groups which are external to the organization being reformed.
Suspicion and hostility toward outsiders is a universal
organizational and psychological trait. The major rationale
of bureaucrats confronted by externally advocated innovation
^See Victor A. Thompson, Decision Theory, Pure and
Applied (New York: General Learning Press, 1971), p. 3.
^This theory is based on the Gestalt principle that
the parts of an entity assume characteristics of the whole.
Thus, the principle that it is difficult to change one part
without affecting others is implied.
^Hedley S. Dimock and Roy Sorenson, Designing Education
in Values: A Case Study of Institutional Change (New York:
Association Press, 1955), p. 117.
l^See, e.g., Matthew B. Miles, ed., Innovation in
Education (New York: Bureau of Publications, Teachers Col
lege, College University, 1964), p. 431.


312
Thiel, Orn S. "Judicial Statistics." The Annals 262
(March, 1960): 94-104.
Tolman, Leland L. "Court Administration: Housekeeping
For the Judiciary." The Annals. 262 (March, 1960):
105-15.
Tydings, Joseph D. "Improving Archaic Judicial Machinery."
American Bar Association Journal 57 (February, 1971):
154-57.
"The Courts and Congress." Public Administra
tion Review 31 (March-April, 1971): 113-20.
Vanderbilt, Arthur T. "Our New Judicial Establishment:
Record of the First Year." Rutgers Law Review 4
(1950): 353-80.
. "Section of Judicial Administration Launches
Program on Wide Front." American Bar Association
Journal 24 (January, 1938): 5-6, 78.
Wald, M. S.; Ayres, Richard; Hess, David W.; Schantz,
Mark; and Whitebread, Charles H. "Interrogation in
New Haven: The Impact of Miranda." Yale Law Journal
76 (July, 1967): 1521-1648.
Wasby, Stephen. "The Public Law, Politics and the Local
Courts." Journal of Public Law 16, No. 1 (1965):
105-30.
Watson, Richard A. "Judging the Judges," Judicature 53
(February, 1970): 283-88.
Whittaker, William L. "Ceremony Versus Substance: Clerical
Processes in the Courts." Judicature 56 (April, 1973):
374-76.
Wilson, Charles H., Jr. "Delay and Congestion in the
Criminal Courts." Florida Bar Journal 46 (February,
1972): 88-92.
Wilson, T. C. "The Communication Gulf Between Public and
Courts." New York Law Journal 4 (May, 1969) : 161-68.
Winters, Glen R. "Lagging Justice." The Annals 328
(march, 1960): 44-56.
Zeisel, Hans. "Court Delay and the Bar: A Rejoinder."
Judicature 53 (October, 1969): 111-13.
. "Court Delay Caused by the Bar?" American
Bar Association Journal 54 (September, 1968): 886-88.


97
additional resources must necessarily be channelled through
the clerks' offices and county commissions. Thus, the
ability of the judges to operationalize administrative
practices is often dependent upon the financial approval
of the local political bodies. Moreover, if a policy
formulated by a judge conflicts with the clerk's accepted
management practices, a political struggle often ensues.
The court clerks have almost plenary control of the
5 8
administrative operation of their respective offices.
Consequently, they must sanction any judicial orders which

affect the operation of the clerical and support functions.
The extent to which the chief judges involve the court
clerks in the decision making processes of the court system
reflects the symbiotic relationships which exist between
these individuals. All of the chief judges interviewed
state that they attempt to "consult with" the clerks before
any major administrative program is implemented. These
consultations generally are composed of personal contact
which precedes a formal conference of all the personnel
whom a decision will affect. Moreover, forty-five clerks
(75.4%) indicate that they have substantial input into
the decision making process. However, an interesting
contradiction in the clerks' responses concerning their
C O
JOMost county clerks are required to submit adminis
trative and personnel changes to the county commissions
for review.
^^The court clerk's control over the judicial func
tions of their offices is, of course, dependent upon the
willingness of the chief judges to allow the continuance
of current organizational methods.


297
APPENDIX E
STATUTORY DUTIES OF CHIEF JUDGES
According to Florida Statutes, Chapter 43.26, chief
judges shall exercise the following powers:
(1) The presiding judge of each judicial circuit,
who shall be a circuit judge, shall exercise administra
tive supervision over all the trial courts within the
judicial circuit except municipal courts and over the
judges and other officers of such courts.
(2) The presiding judge of the circuit shall have the
power:
(a) To assign judges to the trial of civil or
criminal cases, to preliminary hearings, or to divi
sions and to determine the length of the assignment;
(b) To assign clerks and bailiffs;
(c) To regulate use of courtrooms;
(d) To supervise dockets and calendars;
(e) To require attendance of prosecutors and
public defenders; and
(f) To do everything necessary to promote the
prompt and efficient administration, of justice in
the courts over which he presides.
(3) The presiding judge shall be responsible to the
chief justice of the supreme court for such information
as may be required by the chief justice, including but
not limited to, caseload, status of dockets, and disposi
tion of cases in the courts over which he presides.


245
personnel authority, court clerks or centrally located
judicial administrators? Surprisingly, counties in several
states have ignored this issue and have become leaders in
the movement for state court funding. The ever increasing
demands for government services have strained limited local
revenue sources to such an extent that state assumption of
judicial costs is welcomed.^ However, many counties in
Florida operate their courts at a profit. Shifting these
excess revenues to the state government represents a polit
ical problem of immense proportions.
Practical Considerations Inhibiting State Funding
In addition to the political arguments that have been
raised in oppostion to state funding, two practical imita
tions exist which may complicate its implementation. First,
it is difficult to determine which agencies and services
comprise the judicial system. Second, state funding may
result in an under-financed court structure.
Judicial system definition
Before state funding is implemented, a number of prior
decisions must be made regarding which functions and ser
vices should be included in a consolidated budget. For
example, probation and parole commissions, juvenile officers,
and bailiffs all perform functions which are directly
related to the courts. State government must therefore
74Harry 0. Lawson, "Overview of Court Administration:
A Commentary," paper presented to the Institute for Court
Management, American University, Washington, D. C., July 8,
1974, 23.


78
Court executives are appointed. The state-wide
administrator was appointed by the Chief Justice of the
Florida Supreme Court, with the concurrence of the other
members of that judicial body. The state administrative
office is located in the Supreme Court building and
presently employs a staff of approximately fifteen individ
uals, both professional and clerical. Conversely, most
circuit administrators are limited to only one assistant,
their secretary. However, a few of the court executives
situated in larger circuits have as many as nine adminis
trative assistants.
Compared to most court clerks, the professional court
administrators are eminently qualified to manage judicial
systems. Ten administrators (71.4%) hold college degrees.
Moreover, eight (57.2%) have either obtained graduate
degrees or are currently working toward an advanced diploma
(Table 2.3). Of the fourteen executives who responded to
the questionnaire, ten (71.4%) were employed in court-related
administrative positions before being appointed to their
present offices. Most of these administrators had been
prosecutors, juvenile court administrators, deputy clerks
(^circuit courts, or law enforcement supervisors. More
over, twelve (85.8%) have undergone some type of court-
related administrative training since assuming their
present positions. Nine (64.3%) have attended one or
more of the training sessions offered by the Institute
of Court Management.


85
administrator total responsibility for the Case Disposition
Reporting System. Few judges have asked their administrator
to assume authority over clerical personnel, records manage
ment, or the total circuit budget, the traditional domain
of the court clerks.
An interesting finding of the research is that many
chief judges appear to view their court administrators
as personal valets provided at state expense. In fact, one
instance was discovered in which a convalescing judge
utilizes the services of his court administrator to
chauffer him to judicial conferences and other court func
tions. One judge, while extolling the virtues of the
court administrator concept, explained how his own adminis
trator was quite useful in "arranging the investitures,
getting the robes, and fixing up the offices" of newly-
elected judges.
This phenomenon is the primary reason why the three
judges who do not utilize court administrators object to
the concept. They all stated that because the crucial
court personnel are elected, "How can we expect an appointed
administrator to tell a sheriff, clerk or judge what to do?"
With no legitimate authority over such personnel, the
administrator is viewed as performing the functions of
"a glorified secretary." Moreover, two of these judges
47
have misgivings about the State Courts Administrator.
47General displeasure with the central court adminis
trator is expressed by several judges. Most mentioned his
lack of personal acumen, and not his "politics," as the
reason for their negative opinions.


56
Despite the negative attitudes toward Article V evident
among several of the rural judges, a majority of the chief
judges in the state appear to view the measure quite favorably.
Most of the judges were pleased with the effects of unifica
tion. By eradicating the utter fragmentation that existed
before re-organization, Article V is seen as having insti
tuted a "streamlined" court system. Among the benefits
mentioned by various chief judges were: "It makes it
easier for attorneys to work across government boundaries;"
"It will enable us to create more uniformity in budgeting
priorities;" and "Less friction now exists because the vary
ing jurisdictions have been consolidated."
However, despite the advantages that have already
been derived from Article V, most of the judges acknowledge
that they have not accomplished many of the goals that are
within their power to pursue. The reasons cited by most
judges in explaining this failure to fully exercise their
administrative authority primarily revolve around political
issues. The establishment of a unified court system (which
includes centralized control of personnel, budgeting, space
and equipment) depends upon the acquiesence of a large
number of local officials who have traditionally performed
critical roles in judicial activities. Although the chief
judges certainly possess the requisite power to impose their
be quantified. They contend that the nature of cases they
dispose of (for example, involved civil actions or maritime
suits) require a much longer period of study than do simple
criminal actions.


129
"reading the section of the Florida Statutes that deals
with the duties of Clerks of Court." As might be expected,
employees who have received this inadequate level of instruc
tion must rely upon actual experience in order to develop
competence in their positions. The phenomenon of deputy
clerks teaching themselves how to index, file, and process
litigation by "trial and error" is enough to frighten the
most experienced judge or attorney.
The recruitment and training practices utilized by
most court clerks indicate that the quality of deputy
clerks employed throughout the state is not entirely ade
quate. Moreover, a number of other inconsistencies exist
among working conditions which frustrate many courts' attempts
to employ and retain competent personnel. For example, the
average initial salary of deputy clerks is only $4,300
52
annually. Clerks in rural counties with large urban neigh
bors report that they have experienced severe problems in
retaining qualified deputies. Small counties cannot afford
to pay their deputies salaries comparable to those available
in private business or in clerks' offices situated in more
wealthy areas. "As soon as I get a good clerk trained,
they hire him away" is a common complaint.
In addition to inadequate salaries, the fringe benefits
available to court personnel are inconsistent among the
clerks' offices and do not generally equal those received
52Pringle, supra note 48, p. 11.


104
jurisdiction. The local judge often believes that his
primary responsibility is to the county that "delivered
the largest number of votes." Consequently, he resists
transfer by stating that in any other county he will be
unable to meet the needs of his electorate. -*-0
Despite the fact that political considerations exert
a sizeable amount of influence on the activities of
Florida's judges, there are few indications that blatant
partisanship is present. Although all of the chief judges
are Democrats, they are only tangentially related to the
party organization. Incumbent circuit judges are very
rarely opposed for reelection. Moreover, while four
chief judges (25%) have previously held elected offices,
only three (18.8%) have been appointed to any public posi
tion. These factors reflect a relatively low level of
partisan involvement. Consequently, most of the "political"
relationships of chief judges involve simple power confron
tations with other elected officials and do not encompass
the sordid "party politics" normally cited as justification
for appointing judges.^
lOone chief judge became so disturbed by the refusal of
a judge in his circuit to accept a trnsfer to another county
that he reported the recalcitrant individual to the Judicial
Qualifications Committee.
-^Larry C. Berkson, A Merit Plan for Selecting Judges
in Florida, University of Florida Civic Information Series,
no. 55 (Gainesville: Public Administration Clearing
Service, 1975), p. 12.
12
Most authorities now ascribe to the theory that
appointment of judges "removes them from politics" somewhat
and thus reduces their susceptibility to "party politics."


235
It is extremely difficult to abolish any
public office, and these particular offi
cials [clerks] are especially hard to
eliminate. Inferior court officialdom has
the habit of being extremely close to is
legislators. In addition the typical clerk
has numerous helpers and deputies. Where
these officials are elected they have their
own political organization, and usually claim
a strong family, friends, and neighbors vote.62
These characteristics are certainly applicable to Florida's
court clerks. Having occupied their offices for relatively
lengthy periods of time, most clerks are well entrenched
politically and employ favorable relationships with their
64
legislators. In fact, approximately thirty court clerks
congregate in Tallahassee periodically to consult with
legislative and judicial officials in what one judge labeled
"effective lobbying efforts."
A prime consideration on their lobbying agenda is
6 5
reputedly "a desire to stop state encroachment." Staff
reports of the Joint Select Committee on Judicial Personnel
are replete with references to the arguments advanced by
court clerks to "limit state encroachment into their do
main." Citing "home rule" and "local responsiveness" as
62united States Advisory Commission, supra note 2,
p. 195.
See pp. 63-67 infra.
^For a related discussion, see Larry C. Berkson and
Steven W. Hays, "The Forgotten Politicians: Court Clerks,"
unpublished manuscript, 1975.
65staff Report of the Joint Select Committee on Judi
cial Personnel, presented to the Joint Select Committee on
Judicial Personnel of the Florida Legislature, Tallahassee,
Florida, March 12, 1975, 11.


115
Although reluctance on the part of county commissioners
and court clerks to solicit funds has resulted in a number
of potentially serious problems for the judiciary, present
budgetary arrangements indicate that inadequate funding
levels will continue. Most judges are conservative and
consequently are not prone to actively seek additional
resources from legislative bodies. Moreover, the budget
preparation by court clerks allows for very little control
or planning either by the judiciary or the county commis
sion. Since no judge is responsible for each county
(except for chief judges in one-county circuits), the
county commissioners and court clerks receive divergent
2 9
and sometimes conflicting suggestions from the judiciary.
This situation is aggravated by the fact that no formal
mechanism exists to enable the judges to meet with the court
clerks and county commissioners in order to provide justi
fication for budget requests. Consequently, a plethora
of budgetary requests result from the chief judges' failure
to consolidate fiscal responsibility into one office.
Major initial responsibility of "trimming the fat" from
these budget proposals is thus assumed by court clerks.
Usually the only practical criteria available to
evaluate funding requests is the previous year's budget.
Although the use of this incremental style of budgeting
2 9
One judge reports that he is often required to
take responsibility for expenses that he does not have
time to adequately review.


72
here lately makes us edgy." Thus the clerks apparently
fear anyone who may be collecting information which may
be used as "ammunition" against them.
Although a majority of the clerks appear to be
rather parochial, unprofessional, and defensive, this
phenomenon is by no means universal. As with the judges,
the clerks from urban areas are more professional than
their rural colleagues. Moreover, the more highly educated
clerks also appear to be much more progressive than the
31 .... ...
norm. An interesting finding is that the individuals
in these two groupings have developed management styles
very different from the other clerks. There is a high
correlation between(education and delegation of judicial
authority. The more highly educated clerks, on the whole,
have internally divested themselves of court functions and
have appointed "judicial assistants" to assume those
duties. However, this group of clerks is clearly in the
minority. Most court clerks continue to exercise a
degree of influence and control over court administration
which rivals that of their predecessors of past decades.
The Court Executive Assistants
Developments in court administration have progressed
at a rapid rate during the past twenty-five years. One
of the most innovative approaches to the solution of
^However, as a general rule the more highly educated
clerks represented urban counties. Thus it cannot be
determined which variable directly exerts the greatest
influence on progressivism.


109
Consequently, some authors contend that judges are by
I O
nature poor administrators. This theory may be advanced
as a partial explanation for the chief judge's inability to
properly manage, but it does not account for the reluctance
19
to make a concerted attempt.
The major consequence of these factors inhibiting the
exercise of judicial administrative authority is that the
circuits are primarily without uniform management direction.
Court clerks and parochially oriented judges have assumed
a large measure of administrative responsibility by
default. Consequently, the traditional nexus between the
%
court managers and the counties endures. Local political
preferences and values continue to greatly influence the
judicial system and contribute to the plethora of management
dilemmas which preclude the success of reform.
The Impact of Localism
The most conspicuous characteristic of the Florida
9 0
judicial system is that no real "system" exists. Rather,
the courts are fragmented into seventy-two distinct
-^See, e.g., Leonard Downie, Jr., Justice Denied
(Baltimore: Penguin Books, Inc., 1972), pp. 159-99; and
Jerome Frank, Courts on Trial: Myth and Reality in
American Justice (Princeton: Princeton University Press,
1949), pp. 101-19.
^Although the depiction of chief judges as poor
administrators may indeed be valid, there are few applicable
measures to either prove or refute the theory. The only
indicators that are within the scope of this study are
those which relate to actual performance.
2 A "system" implies some unity of purpose and
organizational interrelationship among component parts.


290
system effecting liaison and coordination among the courts
and judges of the judicial circuit.
Considers and evaluates the business of the courts
and means of improving and administration of justice within
the judicial system of the circuit.
Formulates and submits to the Chief Judge recommenda
tions for continuing improvements of the judicial system.
Collects, compiles and analyzes statistical data and
other information on the work of other offices related to
and serving the courts, and submits to the Chief Judge and
the circuit court periodic reports with respect thereto.
Is responsible for the collection of data required for
the Uniform Case Reporting System by the Office of the
State Courts Administrator and for the liaison activities
involved in the expansion of that system to a total
state-wide management information system.
Collects and compiles information on courtrooms,
offices and other facilities of the courts and submits
recommendations to the Chief Judge and the circuit court
with respect thereto.
Assigns clerks and bailiffs; regulates use of court
rooms; provides specialized or technical services to
members of the judicial circuit in connection with
management-information systems used in the jurisdiction.
Examines the condition of the dockets and the
practice and procedures of the courts and makes recommenda
tions to the Chief Judge and the circuit court for expe-


183
system's current expenditures, available resources, and
expected needs are required in order to effectively design
strategy to confront future contingencies. However, local
budgeting and accounting techniques vary to such an extent
that it is extremely difficult to derive valid conclusions
from the information provided by counties. Moreover, any
reform that is implemented is certain to require the cooper
ation of counties with disparate abilities (and desires) to
conform to state requests. Under these conditions the
implementation of reform is largely "a matter of optimistic
exhortation."54
Centralized budgeting mechanisms will eliminate these
problems and thus enable the court system to constructively
plan for change. More precise statements of judicial
expenditures and available resources will inevitably result
from standardized budgeting and accounting procedures. In
addition, the court system will no longer be compelled to
rely upon local politicians to finance and implement reform
policies. By granting the Florida Supreme Court the
authority and resources necessary to execute state-wide
policy options, it is conceivable that planning will not
only become more effective, but that it will occur more
~^See p. 137 infra.
-^Geoffrey C. Hazard, Jr., Martin B. McNamera, and
Irwin R. Santillas, "Court Finance and Unitary Budgeting,"
Yale Law Journal 81 (June, 1972), 1295.


113
economic orientations regarding the judicial system and thus
are delighted when a "surplus" exists.
The absence of modern technological management aides
in many counties is also partially attributable to local
control of the court budget. The use of computers and
automatic data processing in the judicial system has long
2 6
been advocated by court reformers. Such innovations
would streamline the major functions of court administration
including indexing, docketing, scheduling, jury management,
general accounting and case tracking. However, many court
clerks view such machinery as expensive luxuries. Thirty-
seven (65%) court clerks report that they presently do not
utilize any form of sophisticated technological management
equipment. For example, one court clerk remarked that the
use of computers in the court system is simply "a dream of
academicians." Moreover, several clerks expressed extreme
doubts that the county commissions would ever countenance
the capital expenditure necessary to purchase even the most
primitive "innovation." A few clerks remarked that they
were forced to "go hat in hand" to the commissioners in
order to obtain a single tape recorder or circular
26see, e.g., Gerald S. Blaine, "Computer-Based Informa
tion Systems Can Help Solve Urban Court Problems," Judicature
54 (November, 1970), 149-53; Robert L. Chartrand, "Systems
Technology and Judicial Administration," Judicature 52
(December, 1968),194-98; Roy N. Freed, "Computers in Judicial
Administration," Judicature 52 (May, 1969), 419-21; and
Ralph N. Kleps, "Computers and Court Management," Judicature
53 (March, 1970), 322-25.


143
all the red tape, is a tremendous chore." According to
Office of the State Courts Administrator:
Clerks are hampered in efficiently carry
ing out their responsibilities by laws
which specify certain record creation and
maintenance practices, by forms and pro
cedures imposed outside their jurisdiction
and by unrealistic records scheduling and
disposal requirements .... Statutes
should not be expected to provide the day-
to-day operational guidelines for the clerk's
office. These authorities, while presumably
adequate to meet the needs of the judges
and other officials of the court, are totally
unsatisfactory as guidelines for operational
purposes within the clerks' offices. When
attempting to apply them to the clerks'
operations, various inconsistencies, voids,
and unclear meanings appear.72
Examples of such shortcomings abound. Sections 111.09,
267.051 (7) and (8) of the Florida Statutes control the
. . . 71.
retention and disposition of records. Although these
statutes provide for the destruction of some records after
a specific period of time, they also require that records
having continued value be preserved. Because the law is
extremely vague as to what records belong in each category,
court clerks have developed their own criteria for deter
mining which documents will be retained. As might be
expected, this procedure has resulted in tremendous dis
crepancies among the counties. While a few clerks attempt
to dispose of nonessential records, most are presently
72Supra note 40, p. 19.
22These statutory provisions are supplemented by rules
and regulations established by the State Division of Archives.


20
system consisting of the interactions between the formal
organizational structure and the informal relationships
developed by organizational members.^ Moreover, it is
asserted that any system of justice entails the key
elements of complex organization: institutionalized
interaction of a large number of actors whose roles are
defined, who are required to follow explicit rules, and
who share common goals.43
Such a depiction of the judicial system is somewhat
iconoclastic. Rather than the highly rationalized, rule-
bound and bureaucratically structured system Max Weber
depicted, courts are typically highly decentralized and
extremely non-hierarchial systems of interaction in which
there are virtually no instruments to supervise practices
and secure compliance to the formal goals of the organi
zation. 44 Consequently, organizational theorists have
traditionally treated the courts as non-bureaucratic
entities. It was assumed by these individuals that the
"Dimensions of Organizational Theory," in Approaches to
Organizational Design, ed. James D. Thompson (Pittsburgh:
University of Pittsburgh Press, 1963), pp. 1-56.
4 7
For an analysis of the distinction between these
two elements of organizations, see Alvin W. Gouldner,
"Organizational Analysis," in Sociology Today: Problems
and Prospects, ed. Robert K. Merton et al~] (New York: Basic
Books, 1959), pp. 400-28.
43por a classic discussion of the organizational
elements of court systems, see Malcolm M. Feeley, "Two
Models of the Criminal Justice System: An Organizational
Perspective," Law and Society Review 7 (Spring, 1973), 407-25.
44ibid., p. 422.


306
Bianchi, Carl F. "Effects of Progressive Court Admini
stration on Legal Services and the Poor in New Jersey."
Judicature 55 (January-February, 1972): 388-97 .
Blaine, Gerald S. "Computer-Based Information Systems
Can Help Solve Urban Court Problems." Judicature
54 (November, 1970): 149-53.
Brownwell, Herbert. "A Development Program for Court
Administration." Judicature 54 (October, 1970):
99-103.
Burger, Warren E. "Bringing the Judicial Machinery Up to
the Demands Made On It." Pennsylvania Bar Associa
tion Quarterly 42 (March, 1971): 262-67.
. "Court Administrators: Where Would We Find
Them?" Judicature 53 (October, 1969): 108-13.
. "Deferred Maintenance of Judicial Machinery."
New York State Bar Journal 43 (October, 1971): 383-90.
. "Forward to the Symposium." Public Admini
stration Review 31 (March-April, 1971): 112-13.
Burney, Cecil E. "Texas Lawyers Take Time For Leadership."
Judicature 36 (June', 1952) : 13-21.
Cady, Francis C. "Court Modernization: Retrospective,
Prospective, and Perspective." Suffolk University
Law Review 6 (Summer, 1972) : 835-42.
Campbell, William J. "Proposals For Improvements in the
Administration of Criminal Justice." Chicago Bar
Record 47 (November, 1972): 75-81.
Carlton, J. Phil. "A Journey Through the District Court
System." Popular Government 37 (October, 1970): 5-15.
Carp, Robert A. "The Scope and Function of Intra-Circuit
Judicial Communication: A Case Study of the Eighth
Circuit." Law and Society Review 6 (February, 1972):
405-26.
Carrigan, Jim R. "Inherent Powers and Finance." Trial 7
(November-December, 1971): 22-25.
Chartrand, Robert L. "Systems Technology and Judicial
Administration." Judicature 52 (December, 1968):
194-98.
Clark, Tom C. "Minimum Standards of Criminal Justice."
Wisconsin Law Review 55 (November, 1971): 149-54.


207
is to contend that the proposal does not conform to "local"
conditions. For example, struggles to improve labor and
race relations have commonly been discounted as inspired by
"outside agitators" or "Communists."H Thus, the introduc
tion of change must necessarily be preceded by efforts to
secure local participation and acceptance.
The sacrosanct. Every society contains certain customs,
beliefs, and institutions which are extremely difficult to
change. Usually societal aspects that are least likely to
initiate and support innovation are those which involve
moral, ethical, or sacred concepts. Even when these tra
ditional modes of behavior are recognized as being inadequate,
they persist and are revered by most citizens.^ The closer
any reform approaches such ritualistic communal activities,
the more likely it is to be successfully resisted.
Vested interests. Innovations which threaten the
economic, hierarchial, or prestige position of organization
members are inevitably opposed. Moreover, individuals whose
discretionary power is jeopardized are often the largest
single source of resistance to reform.13 This tendency
is especially prevalent when efforts are being made to
1-^For a discussion of common defenses against outside
influences, see Chris Argyris, Journal of Social Issues
(Ann Arbor: Society for the Psychological Study of Social
Issues, 1952).
l^see, e.g., Edward H. Spicer, Human Problems in Tech
nological Change (New York: Russel Sage Foundation, 1952).
l^see, e.g., August Hollingshead, Elmtown's Youth
(New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1949).


237
sional managers. As has already been stated, court clerks
are also largely responsible for the resignation of the
former state courts administrator. During an interview
several months before his departure, that individual voiced
his concern: "We administrators can't do anything unless
we are given the 'key to the door' by clerks and judges.
Unfortunately, neither group is yet willing to give us that
key, especially the clerks." The state courts administrator's
concern for improving relations with the clerks motivated
him to employ an individual who is widely regarded as being
"friendly with" local court officials. Apparently that
action was "too little and too late."
The clerks' office. The fact that only three counties
have divided the clerks''office in accordance with Article
V, Section 16 of the Florida Constitution is indicative of
their political influence. Despite the administrative
6 7
and conceptual advantages of such an action, most clerks
have successfully defended their positions. The following
quote from a chief judge partially explains this phenomenon"
I"m one of maybe ten or twenty judges in
the state who favors splitting their office.
There may be more, but it's not healthy to
admit it. It's a very "hot" political ques
tion. Clerks have a lot of influence and a
lot of friends, and they can do a hell of a
lot of damage if they know you're against
them.
State personnel system. A principal source of fric
tion between court clerks and the Office of State Courts
^See pp. 164-66 infra.


247
bilities.7 6
Under-financed judicial system
Courts funded by state government will not necessarily
receive more resources than they did under traditional
financial arrangements. In fact, state government may be
unable to maintain the levels of fiscal support currently
provided through political relationships with local officials.
According to Edward E. Pringle:
The judicial system must compete with
all other state agencies and functions
for appropriations. While states have
greater fiscal resources than local
governments, these resources are not
unlimited. It is unrealistic to assume
that the court system will get every
thing it asks for or even everything it
thinks it needs to maintain adequate
operations. The court system must expect
to take its fiscal lumps along with every
one else.
This phenomenon is accentuated by several additional
factors. First, other than the organized bar and a few
interested citizens, courts do not possess active constitu
encies that are useful in pressuring the legislature for
increased appropriations. Thus, state agencies with interest
group support have a distinct advantage in the competition
for funds. Second, judges may allow their "independent"
status to discourage direct appeals to the legislature. If
7^For example, it has been suggested that judicial
personnel responsibilities could be assumed by the existing
career service program, and that budgeting functions could
be performed by the Department of Administration.
77
Pringle, supra note 49, p. 13.


82
The problems that the court administrators regard as
most serious are useful in explicating their passive role
orientation. When asked to delineate their primary
occupational dilemmas, the following responses were given
most often: "Procuring the cooperation of various county
commissions and other county officers;" "Handling the
personalities and biases of numerous judges;" "Strong
objections to change;" "Misunderstandings between agencies
as to the role function, and effect of court administrators;"
and "Obtaining the acceptance of the court administrator
concept by judges and clerks." These statements indicate
that the court administrators are opposed on several fronts.
Many judges, clerks, and local political bodies either do
not comprehend the purpose of their profession, or simply
object to the court administrator concept as it is presently
defined. Whatever the reason, the court administrators
recognize that they have few "friends" in the local political
and judicial systems. Consequently, most appear to have
opted for a passive role which reduces the likelihood that
they will further alienate any specific group. One
administrator summarized his feelings thusly: "In order
to make any advances in court administration we have to
remain low key and simply try to obtain authority through
competence. "44
In order to determine the actual impact of court
^The phrase "authority through competence" has been
used by Ernest Friesen and numerous other authors to describe
the court administrator's reliance upon expertise to gain
acceptance and "authority" within the judicial system.


231
the time? I certainly don't." While this example is
rather extreme, the other judges who oppose alteration of
the clerks' offices offered similar, yet less blunt,
explanations. For example: "This idea would not change
anything. Clerks are better managers than I can be;"
"That's simply the work of academicians who don't under
stand the court system;" and "The issue is a paper tiger
which has no practical foundation." Judges who are not
anxious to assume the limited responsibility that would
accrue by redefining the clerks' role may be terrified
by the administrative duties prompted by reforms outlined
in Chapter IV.
A major factor which reduces the chief judges' willing
ness to assert their management authority is the elective
nature of their office. Political selection of judges
is not conducive to management. Chief judges who are not
protected from the wrath of their constituencies will
presumably assume the bureaucratic posture of "doing noth
ing." Passive management does not arouse "attention" and
reduces the possibility that politically influential individ
uals will be alienated. Merit selection of judges would
partially eliminate this problem, as well as expediting the
process of placing more administratively competent judges
in office. In an encouraging and surprising response, ten
54
See pp. 160-63 infra.


233
In order to fulfill these requirements it is imperative
that chief judges utilize the services of their court ad
ministrators. The exigencies of the judges' judicial respon
sibilities demand that professionally competent assistants
perform much of the administrative minutia.58
Unfortunately, the legal profession's antipathy toward
administration often influences judges' relationships with
court executive assistants. Fear of bureaucratic rigidity,
regimentation and repression motivates the judiciary to
59
resist professional administrators. This phenomenon is
especially pronounced among Florida chief judges.60 Court
executive assistants have been relegated to ineffectual
roles which resemble those of secretaries. Consequently,
it may well be overly optimistic to expect chief judges to
accept management assistants enthusiastically. Unless this
fundamental bias can be overcome, even those judges who
actively strive to provide competent administrative leader
ship may be so inundated by responsibilities that tradi
tional judicial inertia will persist.
^See p. 175 infra
5^See, e.g., David J. Saari, "Management and Courts:
A Perplexing Nexus," American University Law Review 20
(December, 1970 March, 1971)~ 601-17.
60see Larry C. Berkson and Steven W. Hays, "The Court
Managers: An Exploratory Study of Backgrounds and Attitudes,"
paper presented to the American Political Science Associa
tion, San Francisco, California, September 3, 1975.


153
continuity in rule application is partially assured, yet
allowances are made for local circumstances which require
"unusual treatment." Although this general management
arrangement presently exists within Florida's judicial
system, legal mechanisms are required to persuade chief
judges to exercise the authority they have possessed since
1972.
Judicial executives confront the same leadership prob
lems and contingencies that corporate and bureaucratic
leaders face. Among executive functions which chief judges
must be convinced to undertake are the following: setting
output goals; facilitating communication through the judicial
bureaucracy; maintaining unity of command; narrowing the
span of control; organizing judicial departments; utilizing
the judicial budget as an instrument of coordination, con
trol, and planning; and supervising the "housekeeping"
operations such as recruitment, training, and evaluation of
judicial support personnel.15 a large number of legal
authorities and judicial reform commissions have analyzed
and evaluated the requisite powers that must be specifically
granted to chief judges in order to insure their coopera
tion in performing these functions.-*-6 The only consensus
15For a related discussion, see James A. Gazell,
"State Trial Courts: An Odyssey into Faltering Bureau
cracies," San Diego Law Review 8 (March, 1971), 291-301.
16American Bar Association Commission on Standards of
Judicial Administration, Standards Relating to Court Admini
stration Standards 1.33 (New York: Institute of Judicial
Administration, 1973), p. 81 ff; and Report of the National
Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals,
Standard 9.2 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office,
1973), pp. 180-82.


73
judicial problems has been the creation of a professional
group of trained court executives to assist judges in their
administrative duties. The theory behind this movement is
that an "expert," schooled in judicial procedures and in
current management techniques, will bring to the court
system modern administrative methods and the competence to
institute these practices in a systematic manner. Although
the individuals who occupy these positions have been
referred to by a number of titles, the most common is
"court executive assistant" or simply "court administrator."
Since 1950, the growth of the court administrator
32
profession has been dramatic. The National Survey of
Court Organizations (1973) states that full-time court
administrators are employed by two-thirds of the appellate
33
courts in the nation. Moreover, the federal government
has recently provided for the hiring of such personnel
34
to assist District Court judges. However, because the
position is normally regarded as a state-level concern,
32only a few court administrators were employed before
1950. The administrative office of the United States Courts
was created in 1939. In 1947, the New Jersey Judicial
article created the position of Administrative Director of
the Courts. Finally, in 1948, the Conference of Commissioners
of Uniform State Laws recognized the need and approved a model
act to provide for an administrator in all state courts.
33
Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, National
Survey of Court Organization (Washington, D.C.: Government
Printing Office, 1973), p. 8.
34
Statute 952 of the 91st Congress provides for District
Court Executives in United States District Courts with six
or more judges, and for United States circuit court execu
tives .


125
expected, "local preferences" are cited as explanation.^
Personnel Dilemmas
The impact of localism is even more pronounced in the
area of personnel administration than it is in budgetary
or procedural matters. As Roscoe Pound stated early in
this history of American judicial reform, "The judiciary
is the only agency of government which is habitually
given no control of its clerical force. Even the pettiest
agency has much more control than the average state
* i
court.Court staffs perform a variety of functions
which are prerequisites for effective administration of
the judicial system. Yet all recording, processing,
scheduling, and filing duties are generally performed by
subordinate personnel who are responsible to an individual
who is not directly accountable to the court.
The court clerks in Florida exercise almost dictatorial
control over the support personnel within the judicial
system. Although under Article V chief judges have the
authority to establish whatever personnel requirements
and procedures they desire, no judge has actually attempted
46Staff Report of the Joint Select Committee on
Judicial Personnel, presented to the Joint Select Committee
on Judicial Personnel of the Florida Legislature, Talla
hassee, Florida, January 13, 1975, 12.
^Roscoe Pound, "Organization of Courts," in Judicial
Administration and the Administration of Justice, ed.
Dorothy W. Nelson (St. Paul: West Publishing Co., 1974),
p. 37.


86
They fear that he is developing a strong power base in
Tallahassee from which he may "take over if the wrong
man is made Chief Justice." Consequently, these three
individuals have vehemently resisted the placement of court
executives in their circuits, although the "pressure" from
Tallahassee has been severe.
Although most chief judges have failed to effectively
utilize their administrators, the liability for this
phenomenon cannot be entirely assigned to the judges.
As one chief judge stated, "When I tried to separate the
clerks' offices in this circuit and give the judicial
functions to the administrator, the clerks screamed."
This comment reflects a reality which all the chief judges
have been compelled to confront. Many clerks regard the
creation of the court administrator's position in the
circuits as a intense threat to their role in the adminis
trative process. Consequently, the court clerks have
represented a tremendous obstacle not only to the court
administrators, but to the chief judges who have attempted
4 R
to re-organize their circuits.
The extent to which court clerks object to court
administrators is readily apparent. Forty-nine per cent
of the clerks do not believe that court administrators
perform a useful function. Adjectives such as "useless,"
48por example, the writer was invited to a meeting
of approximately thirty court clerks in which political
strategies designed to resist re-organization were dis
cussed.


157
As has been previously stated, a "crisis management" orien-
o n
tation prevails among most judges. Their lack of in
fluence in personnel and budgetary matters has resulted
in an impotent judiciary which often fails to utilize
available rule-making powers. Due to their inability either
to predict the amount of resources to be allocated in
the future or to control the actions of support personnel,
chief judges have (understandably) been inactive administra
tors. However, upon gaining control over total judicial
operations, chief judges will have the opportunity to dis
cover and treat potential problems before they become
serious detriments to the organization. Moreover, "improved
judicial functioning" should result from the judges' in
creasing ability to "evaluate performance, to recommend
changes in the organization, jurisdiction, operation, and
21
procedures of the court."
Developing Assertive Administrators
Placing such an enormous amount of responsibility in
a central position does not necessarily insure proper
administration. In fact, the aspects of court admini
stration that inhibit the chief judges' exercise of
20see pp. 54-55 infra.
distaff Report of the Joint Select Committee on
Judicial Personnel, presented to the Joint Select Committee
on Judicial Personnel of the Florida Legislature, Talla
hassee, Florida, January 13, 1975, 10.


FLORIDA STATE COURT SYSTEM
ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESS
VD
OJ


15
academic attention to the bureaucratic limitations of the
American judicial system.28
Commentators from a number of fields are now address
ing themselves to every conceivable administrative malady
facing the courts. Criticism of the judiciary from within
the legal profession has been legitimized by former Justice
Tom C. Clark29 and Chief Justice Warren Burger.30 The
professional literature is now replete with recommendations
for modernizing the judicial system at all levels.
However, several fundamental omissions exist in the
literature that has been generated by the sudden interest
in court management. Most authors dwell upon such general
operational aspects as judicial selection and tenure, the
procedural causes of delay, and judicial decision making.
Few studies of American courts acknowledge the existence
of any group of actors other than the judges.31 Conse
quently, the total organizational context of judicial
28Although the issue of court reform has only become
popular recently, the recognition of basic systemic
maladies in the judicial structures has existed for some
time. See, e.g., Roscoe Pound, "The Causes of Popular
Dissatisfaction with the Administration of Justice,"
American Law Review 40 (1906), 729-50; and Arthur T.
Vanderbilt, The Challenge of Law Reform (Princeton:
Princeton University Press, 1955).
29toiti C. Clark, "Objectives for American Justice,"
Journal of Public Law 19, No. 2 (1970), 169-78.
30warren E. Burger, "Bringing the Judicial Machinery
Up to the Demands Made On It," Pennsylvania Bar Association
Quarterly 42 (March, 1971), 262-67.
31only two recent articles could be found which


77
Consequently, most professional managers have been given
control over little more than statistics-gathering functions.
Moreover, the vested interests of court clerks, and other
personnel who have historically been involved in court
management, have served to inhibit and delay the acceptance
of the profession.
In Florida, there is a state-wide court administrator
directly under the supervision of the Chief Justice of
the Supreme Court. The Office of the State Courts Adminis
trator was created by Supreme Court Rule in July, 1972 to
"assist the Chief Justice in his capacity as the chief
administrative officer of the state judicial system.
Since that time, seventeen trial court administrators have
been employed by the circuit courts. The organization of
the administrative system established between these
administrators closely parallels that outlined in the
ABA Standards. The central administrator's office is
charged with the responsibility of creating uniform standards
of administration to be applied throughout the state; the
circuit administrators are ostensibly responsible for
implementing and supervising these management procedures
within their respective circuits.^
^The Office of the State Courts Administrator,
Florida Judicial System Statistical Report (Tallahassee,
Legislative Reference Bureau, 1973), p. 6T It is
interesting to note that the position of court executive
has yet to be legitimized by either constitutional
revision or statutory provision, although the court
administrators in the state have lobbied for this goal
since 1972.
42por a complete position description of the court
executives, see Appendix C.


The trial court__a^&tem in the State of Florida is the
primary organizational unit olL.-ana lysis. A 1972 constitu
tional revision reputedly transformed the Florida courts
into a consolidated system which has clearly defined
administrative and jurisdictional authority. The three
groups of court managers who are ultimately responsible
for implementing innovative administrative and procedural
practices are chief judges, court clerks, and court admini
strators. The roles and attitudes of these individuals
are examined in order to determine whether the Florida
judicial system merits classification as a "reformed" or
"unified" entity. The research methods utilized include
seven months of participant observation, and interviews
and questionnaires administered to a large majority of the
court managers.
The most significant finding is that resistance from
the court managers has severely inhibited reform. Chief
judges have defaulted in their administrative responsi-
'
brlities. Instead of actively asserting their constitutional
management authority, the judges have perpetuated the
previous administrative system which diffused court manage
ment authority. Consequently, court clerks have retained
their traditional preeminent control over many crucial
aspects of court management.
Court clerks are found to be decidedly unprofessional
and parochial in their approach to judicial responsibilities.
This fact has resulted in numerous management dilemmas,
vi


176
The major rationale for employing specialized individ
uals to perform this extensive list of functions is to
relieve the chief judges of as many administrative duties
as possible. The assumption of such management "trivia"
by trained assistants would not only make the position of
chief judge more attractive, but would also grant the judges
additional time to pursue more immediate policy objectives.
However, the performance of such duties presupposes a
sizeable degree of expertise in judicial affairs. Conse
quently, prospective Judges' Assistants must necessarily
possess a measure of training and experience in some court-
related profession.
The second major group of professional court admini
strators would replace court clerks. Instead of performing
services directly for chief judges, these individuals would
supervise the "general administrative" aspects of judicial
organizations. Although court clerks have traditionally
controlled such facets of the court system, the "new breed"
administrators would not possess policy-making authority
and thus would be unable to manage their courts in a manner
contradictory to the wishes of chief judges. The general
administrative duties to be performed by these managers
include:
Organization and administration. Organize
and supervise all of the non-judicial activities
of the courts, including all clerical and proces
sing functions.
Employee supervision. Assign, supervise,
and direct the work of all non-judicial officers


102
relationships in order to maintain their courts. Conse
quently, few judges have aggressively advocated and/or
instituted comprehensive administrative programs designed
to standardize and modernize management procedures within
their circuits. However, the courts' reliance upon counties
for financial and administrative supports is not the
exclusive cause of the chief judges' reluctance to assume
r
preeminent control over judicial machinery. Of similar
importance are: (1) the elective nature of their offices,
(2) their brief tenure as administrative officials, (3) the
thankless nature of their tasks, and (4) their questionable
level of managerial competence.
The first impediment to the assertive administration
of any state court system arises whenever chief judges are
elected. As Dorothy Nelson states: "The ineviatable
sacrifice of judicial independence is the high cost of
electing judges, for judges must be responsive to the forces
which place them in office and which can remove them from
office." The elected judges are potentially much more
susceptible to local influences than are their appointed
colleagues. Moreover, elected chief judges are subject
^According to James Thompson, "When interdependence
is so diffuse that the local job lacks command over the
resources to carry out a discretionary commitment, the
individual evades discretion." See James D. Thompson,
Organizations in Action (New York: McGraw-Hill Book
Co., 1970), p. 119.
7
'Dorothy W. Nelson, ed., Judicial Administration and
the Administration of Justice (St. Pauli West Publishing
Co., 1974), p. 703.


187
processes and would therefore accelerate the design and
implementation of superior judicial practices. State
funding also makes greater operational efficiency possible
through control of resources and the development of cost
and caseload data that show meaningful comparisons among
courts and among different kinds of cases. From these
comparisons criteria may be developed to determine how many
employees are needed in courts with differing numbers of
judges and caseloads. These criteria can then be used in
evaluating budget requests and measuring the effectiveness
of resource allocation and expenditures for court operations.
Improved information systems. The present Case Disposi
tion Reporting System has several flaws. Many chief judges
do not believe that the statistics produced by the system
are accurate. Several counties refuse to submit case dis
position reports, and procedural variations in the other
counties serve to decrease the validity of the statistics
that are reported. For example, in several counties the
state's attorneys offices and the court clerks' offices
have, on occasion, submitted conflicting interpretations of
identical legal action. In other counties the number of
dispositions is often inflated by the clerks' tendency to
report each offense of a person arrested for multiple charges
^For a related discussion, see Edward E. Pringle,
"Fiscal Problems of a State Court System," paper presented
to the Conference of Chief Justices, Seattle, Washington,
August 11, 1972.


298
(4) The presiding judge of the circuit shall be
selected by a majority of the judges subject to this
section in that circuit for a term of two years. The
presiding judge may succeed himself for successive terms.
(5) Failure of any judge, clerk, prosecutor, public
defender, or other officer of the court to comply with an
order or directive of the presiding judge under this
section shall constitute neglect of duty for which such
officer may be suspended from office as provided by law.
(6) There may be an executive assistant to the pre
siding judge who shall perform such duties as the presid
ing judge may direct.


249
to the judicial system an aversion to any alteration in its
structures, procedures, or methods of operation. Reformers
who attempt to modernize the courts through administrative
practices are confronted by further obstacles. Law and
administration are regarded as mutually contradictory
concepts by many members of the legal profession. Law em
phasizes precedent and assiduous attention to procedures
designed to insure "justice," while administration is more
concerned with efficiency and economy. As a result, many
court reforms are regarded as assaults on fundamental legal
precepts and doctrines.
Two other major factors threaten to obstruct the specific
reforms proposed for Florida's judicial system in Chapter IV.
Vested interests of chief judges and court clerks are
endangered by centralization of personnel and budget systems.
Judges are fearful that their independence will be usurped
by state agencies and are unwilling to abandon traditional
modes of operation. Court clerks understandably object to
the abolition of their independent authority, and have
proven in four notable instances that they possess adequate
influence to alter the course of reform.
Moreover, there are numerous arguments that may
legitimately be advanced against state assumption of
judicial budget and personnel responsibilities. Reduced
local responsiveness, cost increases, and loss of local
autonomy may all result from state controls. While it is
impossible to test the validity of these objections without


140
budget.65 This power of prior review grants to the executive
and legislative branches the responsibility for interpreting
policy and for establishing priorities within the judicial
system.
The current legal status of the Florida judicial
system is thus extremely confused. Existing legislation
appears to place the judiciary in a unique position of
double administrative accountability. Not only is the
legislature's power of appropriation to the judiciary recog
nized, but authority is also granted to the Department of
Administration and the governor over many aspects of the
court system's personnel and budget. This interposition
of the executive branch between the legislature and judi
ciary tends to diffuse rather than fix the accountability
which Article V clearly vests in the Chief Justice of
the Florida Supreme Court. By effectively vesting the
supervisory authority for court administration in executive
agencies and personnel, ultimate responsibility for the
quality and effectiveness of policy implementation cannot
be reasonably expected of the judiciary. Therefore, the
judicial administrative system is relegated to a mainte
nance role in which both judges and court clerks manage
largely in response to crisis rather than according to
deliberately planned objectives.
The role of the state legislature in judicial affairs
65Florida Statutes Annotated,Chapter 216.111.


145
over its internal affairs than are most other bureaucratic
organizations. Consequently, the judiciary has been
unable to develop into an effective force for change.
This role has been almost entirely absorbed by the other
governmental branches.
Summary
Article V was intended by its authors to unify and
coordinate Florida's judicial system. However, the inde
pendence of court clerks, and the accompanying impact of
local influences, has resulted in management irregularities
which indicate that the aspirations of reformers have not
yet been realized. Judicial efficiency and "manageability"
have sustained a severe blow from the perpetuance of
fragmentation. Disparate budgetary, procedural, and
personnel policies have resulted in serious management
dilemmas. Moreover, existing relationships between the
courts and other political entities prevent the judiciary
from acquiring preeminent control over its own destiny.
Reliance upon local political entities for financial supports,
and upon other branches of government for management policies,
tends to increase fragmentation in all spheres of judicial
activity and indicates that present management irregularities
will persist.
It appears obvious that the only technique which will
insure consistent management is to give the judicial branch
control over its own resources and personnel. Uniformity
in any organization is contingent upon cohesive administra-


205
rejection of outsiders, sacrosanct aspects of organiza
tions, and vested interests.
Conformity to norms. William H. Whyte in The Organi
zation Man describes the behavior of organization members
in terms of social norms.^ Norms in social systems corre
spond to habits in individuals, and thus are customary and
expected modes of conduct. Members of any organization de
mand of themselves and of other members conformity to
institutional norms. These behavior standards encompass all
organizational activity. Included are: modes of dress;
forms of address to colleagues, superiors, and subordinates;
patterns of output and consumption of resources; and forms
of approved participation in decision making. According to
Goodwin Watson, "These norms make it possible for members
of a system to work together. Each knows what he may expect
in the other.Because such behavior is shared by many
participants, attempts to alter traditional relationships
are usually frustrated. The abnormal or anomic is perceived
as disruptive.
Systemic coherence. It is often quite difficult to
alter one aspect of an organization without affecting other
parts. Innovations helpful in one area may cause "unsolicited
^William H. Whyte, Jr., The Organization Man (New York:
Simon and Schuster, 1956) .
^Goodwin Watson, ed., Concepts for Social Change
(Chicago: Institute for Applied Behavioral Research, 1967)
p. 17.


114
file.27
The reluctance on the part of the court clerks and
county commissioners to modernize judicial equipment has
also resulted in the continued use of archaic clerical tech
niques. Either through ignorance, apathy, or limited funds,
court clerks utilize an amazing variety of clerical practices
that range from MCR and IBM computers to the most primitive
filing system imagineable. For example, in more than one
county the deputy clerks continue to make multiple hand
written entries in docket books just as their predecessors
were doing one hundred years before. Several court clerks
require their deputies to type copies of documents which
could very easily be microfilmed or photocopied. Moreover,
there is a marked lack of uniformity in the methods used to
store records. Looseleaf dockets, bound dockets, index
cards and index files, separate dockets for civil and crimi
nal cases and bound dockets for both types of cases all exist.28
27Although most court clerks do not possess many modern
technological management aides, approximately fifteen of
the larger court systems have either installed, or plan to
install, data processing and other computerized hardware.
Due to the fact that thirty-nine (68.5%) counties have popu
lations of 50,000 or below, it is unreasonable to expect
them to invest large amounts of capital in computer systems
when their tax base is so restricted.
28Although financial considerations indubitably influ
ence the court clerks' willingness to utilize modern equip
ment, continued use of archaic clerical practices is also
attributed to the clerks' lack of expertise in such matters.
See pp. 68-72 infra. For a related discussion of archaic
clerical techniques present in other state judicial systems,
see Jeremy Main, "Only Radical Reform Can Save the Courts,"
Fortune 82 (August, 1970), 110-54 .


220
Although many explanations have been offered for the aversion
of the legal community to administration, judicial independ
ence and the nature of court goals appear to be the most
pertinent.
Judicial independence
The concept of judicial independence is deeply ingrained
in American legal culture. It is generally assumed that
attorneys must be independent if they are to perform their
functions impartially. Consequently, the entire process of
legal education and professional practice emphasizes the
merits of autonomy. According to Ernest Friesen:
From the commencement of an attorney's
career in the law he is trained as a
soloist. His law school emphasizes
individual work to the almost complete
exclusion of any team or organization
work. The practice of law whether in a
prosecutor's office or with a private law
fim is highly individual. While this tends
to develop persons who are individually
very thorough, it does not prepare them for
membership in an organization. In defend
ing their own independence judges and attor
neys tend to protect the individual freedom
of all others in the system, even when such
freedom is destructive of necessary admini
strative action.34
Administration presupposes that a degree of control
will be exercised over members of an organization. Because
control infringes on their independence and threatens to
transform them into mere functionaries, judges and attorneys
instinctively object to reforms which tend to "bureaucratize"
the judicial system. Professional independence manifests
34Friesen, supra note 32, p. 122.


80
As expected, the court executives are a rather homo
geneous group. All are Caucasian males who have resided
in Florida for most of their adult lives. Moreover, most
are Protestants who have few ethnic ties and whose back
grounds are primarily middle class. Surprisingly, only
five administrators (35.7%) adhere to a conservative social
and political philosophy, although only one stated that he
is a Republican. With one exception, all administrators
receive an annual salary of over $20,000.^
Background characteristics of the court executives
indicate that they are less parochial and less conservative
than their colleagues, the court clerks. As a group they
are better educated and have received a much greater level
of court-related experience and training. Partially due
to these pre-entry experiences, the administrators are
expected to have developed comparatively greater professional
orientations toward their responsibilities. Moreover, since
they are appointed officials, their allegiance to the
judicial system should be assured. The court administrators
are not required to please an interested electorate in
order to retain their positions, as are the clerks. Conse
quently, these personnel represent a major cosmopolitan
force in the judicial structure and are expected to be a
crucial force attempting to overcome the traditional frag
mentation which has restrained reform movements in the
past.
^The salaries of these court executives vary from
$18,000 to $26,000 annually.


122
continue to ignore state directives and requests. The
Staff of the Joint Legislative Committee on Judicial
Personnel reports that several court clerks have failed
to institute even the most crucial aspects of recent
procedural reforms. Moreover, many clerks reputedly have
"misinterpreted statutes" or have interpreted them in
in so many ways that even the circuit judges are often
bewildered by the resulting variations in papers filed
and practices followed.^
Although court clerks are largely responsible for
the utilization of inconsistent forms and procedures,
judges have also contributed to this dilemma. Upon
ascending the bench many judges re-design, according to
their own preferences, the forms that were previously
utilized. Specifically, judges generally alter only those
forms which relate to areas of judicial activity over which
they exercise direct supervision, such as verdicts. Con
versely, forms which emanate directly from the clerks'
offices (such as subpoenas and certifications) are
normally unaffected by a turn over of judges.
Of the hundreds of procedural variations occurring
within the Florida judicial system, perhaps the most
blatant examples appear in the areas of exhibits, minute
books, and summonses. Presently each court clerk establishes
43Staff Report of the Joint Select Committee on
Judicial Personnel, presented to the Joint Select Commit
tee on Judicial Personnel of the Florida Legislature,
Tallahassee, Florida, November 12, 1974, 12-14.


174
Since both groups of managers would receive instructions
from the chief judges and would therefore share in the
supervision of all judicial and quasi-judicial support
functions, it appears obvious that one position should be
abolished, or also a realistic separation of responsibilities
must be contrived. It would clearly be absurd to employ two
distinct groups of administrators to perform identical func
tions. In smaller circuits it is obvious that court ad
ministrators cannot easily be justified. In fact, their
presence represents a distinct waste of judicial resources.
However, urbanized circuits may often require the services
of as many trained administrators as they are able to
obtain. The most practical technique that may be utilized
to overcome this apparent redundancy is thus to separate
judicial from non-judicial administrative duties. By
specifically differentiating the duties which are basically
judicial from those that involve general management functions,
two distinct specialities will be developed within the
field of court administration.47 The responsibilities of
the first group of specialists would closely resemble the
duties now supposedly performed by court executives assist
ants. Individuals specializing in this area of court
^Although specialization is no longer universally
regarded as a positive attribute of all organizations, the
nature of tasks performed within the judicial system may
be logically categorized under two headings, judicial and
non-judicial. Since many of the courts' most serious
problems result partially from the uncoordinated specialities
of hundreds of personnel, a distinct division of respon
sibility appears to be both logical and necessary.


94
tion^5 has been given authority to review and alter judicial
budgetary requests. The policy decisions of this agency
are then submitted to the Legislature for final action.
The trial level courts, which are responsible for
the greatest bulk of the judicial system's work load and
which consume the vast majority of the judicial budget,
are almost totally financed by the individual counties.
The chief judges of the circuit courts submit their budgetary
requests both to the court clerks and to the Chief Justice.
Appropriations for support personnel, operating expenses,
space and equipment are reviewed by the court clerks and
then offered to the county commissions for final approval.
The Chief Justice considers only requests which are
directly related to the circuit court offices, such as
financing of additional judges and secretaries."^ Conse
quently, the circuit courts are primarily dependent upon
the counties for appropriations.
This reliance upon the county commissions for resources
also extends into the area of personnel. However, the
5 S
The Department of Administration is an executive
agency which may be likened to the federal Office of
Management and Budget. The Department reviews all budgetary
and personnel requests from state agencies and determines
budgetary priorities.
~^See Appendix D for an analysis of court expenses
by funding source. Presently, the state government pays
only limited office expenses and the salaries of judges,
their personal secretaries, and official court reporters
(101 positions). The counties finance all other court
expenses, except for 131 positions in clerks' offices--
the result of LEAA and other federal grants.


204
ture rejected a bill which would have consolidated muni
cipal courts with district courts; in 1967, legislation
which was designed to consolidate and integrate the judicial
system of Rhode Island was allowed to die in committee; in
1968, the Georgia General Assembly failed to approve a
judicial article offered by a joint legislative committee;
in 1970, new constitutions containing unified judicial arti
cles were rejected by the voters in Idaho and Arkansas; also
in 1970, the Iowa Legislature voted down a proposed amendment
to revamp the lower court system;3 and in 1973, the Nevada
Legislature not only refused to implement unitary funding,
but abolished the position of state court administrator.
Within any culture some activities are easily changed,
while others are highly resistant to innovation.^ An exami
nation of recent court reform efforts suggests that judicial
activity is one of the more static aspects of American
society. Various anthropologists, sociologists, psycholo
gists, and political scientists who have studied the process
of change in social institutions have generated theories
which are applicable to an explanation of the court's
reluctance to innovate. Specifically, five major factors
which potentially inhibit change in any social system have
been identified: conformity to norms, systemic coherence,
3Ibid.
^See, e.g., Lyford P. Edwards, The Natural History of
Revolution (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1927);
and Floyd C. Mann and Franklin W. Neff, Managing Major Change
in Organizations (Ann Arbor: Foundation for Research on
Human Behavior, 1961).


CHAPTER III
THE MANAGEMENT DILEMMAS
Lack of Judicial Management
A major conclusion reached in the preceding chapter
is that most chief judges have not actively attempted to
consolidate the authority granted to them by Article V."*"
Instead of firmly establishing their authority over all
phases of court administration, chief judges have deferred
to more parochial court managers, the court clerks.
Consequently, the local political environment continues
to exert tremendous influence on the court system. Judicial
staffs, budgets, and management policies are largely
dominated by officials whose primary allegiance is to the
. o
local political community. Responsibility for court
administration is thus divided between two factions which
*366 p. 47 infra.
2
The political unit which is most pertinent in examin
ing state judicial systems is the county. As a fundamental
constitutional creature of the state, the county has tradi
tionally been granted primary responsibility for the
judicial system. The recognition of this responsibility
has long been manifested in an elaborate fabric of inter
related local officials, shared facilities, and locally
generated revenues. See, e. g., Webb. S. Fiser, Stuart
G. Brown, and John S. Gibson, Government in the United
States (New York: The Ronald Press Co., 1966), pp. 402-
18.
10C


284
of the membership of both houses of the legislature, that
such a need exists. A decrease in the number of judges
shall be effective only after the expiration of a term.
If the supreme court fails to make findings as provided
above when need exists, the legislature may by concurrent
resolution request the court to certify its findings and
recommendations and upon the failure of the court to
certify its findings for nine consecutive months, the
legislature may, upon a finding of two-thirds of the mem
bership of both houses of the legislature that a need
exists, increase or decrease the number of judges or
increase, decrease or redefine appellate districts and
judicial circuits.
SECTION 10. Election and terms. --
(a) ELECTION. -- All justices and judges shall be
elected by vote of the qualified electors within the
territorial jurisdiction of their respective courts.
(b) TERMS. -- The terms of all justices of the
supreme court, judges of district courts of appeal and
circuit judges shall be for six years. The terms of
judges of county courts shall be for four years.
SECTION 11. Vacancies.
(a) The governor shall fill each vacancy in
judicial office by appointing for a term ending on the
first Tuesday after the first Monday in January of the
year following the next primary and general election,
one of not fewer than three persons nominated by the


269
B. Attitudinal Questions (Please choose the one word from
each pair of words which you feel best describes the
(I) Chief Judge and (II) the Clerk of the Circuit Court.
Signify your response by placing the appropriate letter
"a" or "b" in Column I for the Chief Judge, Column II
for the Clerk of the Circuit Court.
I II
Chief Judge Clerk of the Circuit
24.
39.
a)
honest
.b)corrupt
25.
40.
a)
bad
b)
good
26.
41.
a)
unfair
b)
fair
27.
42.
a)
calm
b)
excitable
28.
43.
a)
cooperative.
b)
uncooperative
29.
44.
a)
lazy
b)
industrious
30.
45.
a)
competent.. .
.b)
incompetent
31.
46.
a)
smart
b)
stupid
32.
47.
a)
friendly....
b)
unfriendly
33.
48.
a)
kind
b)
cruel
34.
49.
a)
strong
b)
weak
35.
50.
a)
harsh
b)
easygoing
36.
51.
a)
tough
b)
softhearted
37.
52.
a)
democratic. .
b)
authoritarian
38.
53.
a)
innovative..
b)
traditional
C. Administrative Information (Please answer the following
questions in the space provided.)
54. What do you consider to be your most important
duty?


55
approach. When a problem arises the chief judge will
exercise his authority to alleviate the situation, but few
judges indicated an interest in actively pursuing reform.
Moreover, the chief judges who displayed the greatest
degree of skepticism regarding Article V were primarily
from rural circuits. A typical comment from these individuals
usually included phrases such as the following, "Article V
is an administrative boondoggle!" The chief judges who
voiced a sentiment such as the one above often implied that
the imposition of an administrative system into the judicial
organization "makes most judges think that someone doesn't
think they're doing a good job or what's right." Moreover,
these judges universally opposed both the concept and the
application of the Case Disposition Reporting System (CDR) ^
They feel that the CDR system is inaccurate and that it
represents an organizational control which does not conform
to the nature of judicial tasks. By measuring the number
of cases disposed by each judge annually, the judges fear
that the CDR ignores the concept of "quality" as it
15
related to litigation.
l^Section V of Chapter 72-406
requires that: "The Supreme Court
case reporting system including a
categories of cases, time required
cases, and manner of disposition o
responsibility for collecting and
data has been placed in the Office
Administrator. The CDR system bee
1973.
of the Florida Statutes
shall develop a uniform
uniform means of reporting
in the disposition of
f cases." Primary
analyzing the resulting
of the State Courts
ame operational January 2,
-^A number of judges have been shown by the CDR to
dispose of far fewer cases than their colleagues. The
normal retort of such individuals is that justice cannot


96
The procedures utilized in implementing general
administrative policies are somewhat less complicated.
Most procedural and administrative rules and orders
emanate from the offices of the chief judges. Therefore,
each circuit chief judge has primary responsibility for
determining the administrative policy which governs court
reporters, judicial assignments, circuit organization,
duties of personnel, and a tremendous variety of other
procedural and operational concerns. However, most chief
judges have delegated responsibility for the individual
civil, criminal, traffic, and probate divisions to circuit
judges who have been appointed "administrative judges" of
these departments. Consequently, the administrative judges
formulate the policies governing their individual divisions
and submit them to the chief judge for approval. The court
administrators are also expected to formulate potential
policies and to "suggest" these to the chief judge. Through
this management technique the chief judges hope to assure
coordination and control within the circuit. Moreover,
the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court requires that all
court rules established by the circuit courts be submitted
to the Supreme Court for review approval. Therefore,
continuity both within the circuits, and within the state
judicial system as a whole, is facilitated.
However, the activities of the chief judges and
administrative judges are severely restricted by the
courts' dependence upon the local officials. Any adminis
trative decision which involves the expenditure of


28
adjust to its environment.57 Consequently, unless mechan
isms are developed to secure compliance to the formal
goals, internal dissention could conceivably inhibit the
attainment of organizational efficiency and institutional
ized reform.
The importance of examining the non-goal oriented
aspects of judicial organizations is related to the
courts' systemic goal of justice. In the American judi
cial system the process used to reach a specific decision
is as important as the nature of the decision itself.
Justice acquires meaning in a normative and legal context
only when operationalized in terms of procedure. Responsi
bility for most of the procedural aspects of jurisprudence
have now arrogated to thesupport structures in response
to the increasing amount and complexity of litigation.
Therefore, if inefficiencies exist in the service and
maintenance organs of a court, the litigant's chances of
receiving a fair hearing are reduced. For example, Ernest
Friesen states:
If the court lacks the resources to perform
its functions, loses control over its pro
cedures, or contributes to the inadequacy
of presentation, the individual will not
receive justice. The rationale that justice
will prevail in a majority of cases even if
some money is saved here or there, some
space is reduced, or some staff is displaced
57For a discussion of conflict and its relation to
the environment of organizations, see Paul R. Lawrence and
Jay W. Lorsch, Organization and Environment (Homewood:
Richard D. Irwin, Inc., 1969), pp. 203-95.


287
filing of a formal proceeding and upon request of the
commission, the supreme court may suspend the justice or
judge from office, with or without compensation, pending
final determination of the inquiry.
(e) The power of removal conferred by this section
shall be both alternative and cumulative to the power of
impeachment and to the power of suspension by the governor
and removal by the senate.
SECTION 13. Prohibited activities. All justices
and judges shall devote full time to their judicial duties.
They shall not engage in the practice of law or hold
office in any political party.
SECTION 14. Judicial salaries. -- All justices and
judges shall be compensated only by state salaries fixed
by general law. The judiciary, shall have no power to
fix appropriations.
SECTION 15. Attorneys; admission and discipline.
The supreme court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to
regulate the admission of persons to the practice of law
and the discipline of persons admitted.
SECTION 16. Clerks of the circuit courts. -- There
shall be in each county a clerk of the circuit court who
shall be selected pursuant to the provisions of Article
VIII section 1. Notwithstanding any other provision of
the constitution, the duties of the clerk of the circuit
court may be divided by special or general law between
two officers, one serving as clerk of court and one


2
American justice today.^ The lack of centralized direction
allows antiquated procedural, structural, and administrative
practices to persist and flourish. Utilizing such outdated
techniques, the courts have shown themselves to be unable to
meet the demands imposed by the "law explosion" of the twen
tieth century. Although the administration of justice is
one of the most important public functions, the judicial
branch of government has recently been accused of being the
least efficient and the least economical governmental organ.^
The "slowness" of the law, its unequal application to the
rich and the poor, and its inability to meet the demands
placed upon it have caused such authors as Leonard Downie to
label the state trial courts the "stagnant backwater of the
country's legal profession."6
The concensus among both legal and academic scholars is
that the shortest route to court reform is through the elim
ination of the administrative anarchy that exists.^ Conse-
^See, e.g., Jerome S. Berg, "Assumption of Administra
tive Responsibility by the Judiciary," Suffolk University
Law Review 6 (Summer, 1972), 796-854; Warren E. Burger,
"Deferred Maintenance of Judicial Machinery," New York State
Bar Journal 43 (October, 1971), 383-90; Joseph D. Tydings,
"Improving Archaic Judicial Machinery," American Bar Associ
ation Journal 57 (February, 1971), 154-57.
^Alfred F. Conard, "The Crisis of Justice," Washburn
Law Journal 11 (Fall, 1971), 1-9.
^Leonard Downie, Jr., Justice Denied (Baltimore:
Penguin Books Inc., 1972), p. 159.
7 . ...
For a lucid discussion of the growing realization that
the courts cannot be managed until they are administratively
unified, see Ernest C. Friesen, Edward C. Gallas, and Nesta
M. Gallas, Managing the Courts (New York: Bobbs-Merrill
Co., 1971).


Diagram 2.2
ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESS OF A
TYPICAL JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
cn


21
judicial system was intentionally designed to avoid the
routinization endemic to complex organizations so that
adversarial proceedings would not assume the complexion
of bureaucratic "process." Although the merits of this
argument are obvious, few scholars now question the
validity of the conception of courts as organizations.
Viewing courts as simply another group of government
bureaucracies provides several advantages not found in
more traditional treatment of such institutions. An
organizational analysis expands the legitimate areas of
inquiry. Typical concerns of researchers examining govern
ment agencies include: (1) the interrelationships between
the formal and informal systems; (2) the nature of the
values, roles, and individual goals exhibited by organi
zational members; (3) the nature of the organization's
environment; (4) the level and complexity of the technology
employed to attain specific goals; and (5) the number and
types of organizational goals. Each of these factors is
pertinent to an analysis of court organization and the
effects of reform on that organization.
The formal system is commonly defined as the rational,
"legal" set of rules and structures which prescribe
behavior within an organization. Conversely, the informal
system is composed of the spontaneous, unplanned components
such as beliefs, values, prejudices, and unprescribed
social structures. Although behavior within organizations
is shaped by a variety of factors, the relationships


162
is seldom related to administration, existence of such an
appointment mechanism in Florida would surely exert advan
tageous effects on chief judges' management capabilities.
*3 *1
In addition to removing administration from "politics,"
merit selection screens potential candidates on the basis
of their qualifications and would provide the opportunity
to implement a simplified mechanism by which incompetent
and/or corrupt judges can be removed from office. Thus,
the general quality of the judiciary is potentially up
graded. The selection system which has been most widely
advocated is termed the "Missouri Plan. "32 The President's
Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of
Justice best characterizes the four elements of this
plan:
1. The nomination of a panel of judicial
candidates by a nonpartisan commission composed
of conscientious, qualified laymen and lawyers.
2. The requirement that the executive
appoint judges only from the panel submitted by
the commission.
3. The review of the appointment by the
voters after a short probationery term of
31
The writer recognizes that political factors inevi
tably influence judicial selection, regardless of the
procedures employed. However, merit selection offers the
promise of at least reducing the impact of politics.
32This method of judicial selection has been imple
mented in a number of cities and states. Among the various
national professional and governmental bodies that have
urged its adoption are: the American Bar Association, the
American Judicature Society, the National Advisory Commis
sion on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals, and the
President's Commission on Law Enforcement and the Admini
stration of Justice.


180
strative direction within the circuits. Moreover, the Chief
Circuit Clerks would possess fewer responsibilities than
chief judges and would thus have adequate time to evaluate
the performance of Deputy Administrators. Since their
continued tenure would depend upon the proper performance
of their subordinates, Chief Circuit Clerks may be expected
to represent an effective control over the actions of non
judicial administrators.
Systemic Reforms
Redefinition of the court managers' roles is a neces
sity if Florida's judicial system is to be reformed effec
tively. When Administrative supremacy is successfully
granted to the judiciary, the negative effects of fragmenta
tion, localism, and non-professionalism should dwindle.
However, two major reforms must be instituted before altera
tions in the court managers' roles can be achieved. Spe
cifically, the state government must assume responsibility
for the courts' budget and personnel systems. It is
entirely illogical to contemplate the judges' assumption
of administrative direction when they do not command these
two essential elements of their organization.
Unitary Financing
The maleficent consequences of locally-controlled
court budgets appear throughout the present study. Dis
parate levels of court financing, inadequate application
of technological innovation, and inconsistent procedures


128
the instruction of new employees, but the two individuals
who occupy these positions are inexperienced with court
procedures and thus have been compelled to independently
develop expertise in the field. Moreover, several clerks
report that they "move the deputy clerks around" into
every possible position so that all personnel will acquire
the "flavor" of the office.51 This procedure proves to
be beneficial in instances where one deputy is absent and
a replacement is needed. However, such feeble attempts
to train deputy clerks are grossly inadequate, and their
use is hardly prevalent.
The vast majority of deputy clerks receive only on-the-
job training. Consequently, many learn their duties from
personnel who already occupy similar positions within the
court. This training technique is potentially hazardous
because it increases the opportunity for incorrect and/or
inefficient clerical practices to be transferred from one
employee to another. The slogan "we've always done it this
way" is used to legitimize and rationalize practices which
have not been formally evaluated according to efficiency
criteria. Moreover, a sizeable number of other deputy
clerks do not even receive the simple luxury of being
"broken in" by a colleague. Several court clerks report
that the only training their deputies receive consists of
"Training packages" have been developed by the state
government to instruct deputy clerks in new traffic pro
cedures. However, this is the only area in which there
exists any type of state sponsored training for court per
sonnel .


35
executive assistants and sixty-seven court clerks, 82.3%
(N = 14) and 86.6% (N = 58) responded respectively.67
This high return rate was rather unexpected inasmuch as
the research instrument was of a relatively lengthy
nature.68 Moreover, many of the court personnel who had
been contacted during the design of the questionnaire had
expressed chagrin and open hostility toward the increas
ing amount of forms, questionnaires, and "red tape" which
accompanied the implementation of Article V. This fact
dictated the omission of several questions that were per
ceived to be relevant but which would have increased the
size of the questionnaire to a prohibitive level.69
Research techniques developed by Herbert Jacob,7^
67efensiveness on the part of one circuit judge
resulted in the loss of five respondents who would ordi
narily be expected to reply.
^The high return-rate may be attributed to the fact
that if a member of the sample failed to respond to both
questionnaire mail-outs, efforts were then made to inter
view that individual personally. Moreover, the question
naires included a "cover letter" which listed a large
number of state judicial personnel who have endorsed the
present study. Among these individuals are: The president
of the Florida Clerks's Association, and several circuit
judges and court administrators.
69jy[any researchers argue that a shortened question
naire is less dangerous to the validity of a study than
is the reduced return-rate that can be expected when
lengthy questionnaires are utilized.
70see Herbert Jacob, "Black and White Perceptions
of Justice," Law and Society Review (August, 1970),
69-89.


232
chief judges stated that they favor merit appointment over
present selection procedures.55 This orientation is similar
to a trend that has been evidenced among the judiciary
throughout the nation: judges already in office want to
insure that the professional quality of their colleagues
is high. This attitude is one of the most reassuring
indicators of the potential for reform discovered by this
investigation.
Acceptance of court administrators
Proper management is a time-consuming task which
requires patience and careful attention to organizational
problems. Moreover, communication must be maintained up
and down the judicial hierarchy in order to guarantee pro
cedural and managerial conformity. As one author states:
The courts have to know the facts and
respond to them in a way that will engender
confidence with the legislature and the
public. The courts will never find them
selves in full control of their own admini
stration until they can show that they can
do the job appreciably better than counties
or the legislature.57
550f course, these individuals assume that whatever
merit selection procedures are implemented will not affect
judges who are already in office.
-*5see, e.g., R. Stanley Lowe, "Voluntary Merit Selection
Plans," Judicature 55 (November, 1971), 161-67; Charles H.
Sheldon, "Judicial Recruitment: What Ought to Be and What
Is," Judicature 51 (May, 1968), 386-88; Charles H. Sheldon,
"The Degree of Satisfaction with State Judicial Selection
Systems," Judicature 54 (March, 1971), 331-33; and Richard A.
Watson, "Judging the Judges," Judicature 53 (February, 1970),
283-88 .
^Berg, supra note 47, p. 255 .


including inconsistent procedures, forms and applications
of technology.
The most important factor contributing to the chief
judges' reluctance to administer is seen as being their
inability to control judicial personnel and budgets.
Various suggestions and proposals which conceivably would
solidify the judges' management position are noted. It
is suggested that the most expedient method to improve
court administration in Florida would be to institute
state assumption of all judicial fiscal and personnel
responsibilities. However, the data suggests that .the
court managers' support of this proposal is minimal.


87
"worthless," and "incompetent" were often used to describe
the court executive. Among some of the more forceful (and
humorous) comments were the following: "He simply collects
his checks;" "I haven't been able to find out anything he
does;" "He doesn't know nothing (sic] about the courts;"
"I know of little that he does that we [the clerks] do not
or cannot do, and at less expense to the taxpayer;" "The
clerks and sheriffs can do this [the administrator's
duties], especially in small or medium size counties;" "He
does nothing a good secretary can't do." Despite these
negative sentiments, twenty-nine (50.0% adjusted frequency)
of the clerks did state that the administrator performs
some type of useful function. However, sixteen of those
respondents remarked that the data collection activities
of the court administrator are what they perceive to be
the most beneficial "useful function."^9 The remaining
comments indicate that many clerks are perfectly content
with the status quo, that is, with the court administrator
as he is currently utilized. For example, eight respondents
mentioned the court executive's duties as a "go between"
and "assistant" to the chief judge as being worthwhile.
Not surprisingly, when the court clerks were asked to
state whether the court administrator's office should be
strengthened, weakened, abolished, or left untouched,
the responses closely paralleled their perceptions of the
49lt is interesting to note that there is no statis
tically significant correlation between county size and/or
the educational level of the clerks and their attitudes
toward the court administrators.


TABLE OF CONTENTS (Continued)
Page
CHAPTER
VI SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 251
APPENDICES
A THE QUESTIONNAIRES 25 9
B SELECTED SECTIONS OF ARTICLE V 279
C POSITION DESCRIPTIONS: COURT
ADMINISTRATORS 289
D COURT EXPENSES BY FUNDING SOURCE 295
E STATUTORY DUTIES OF CHIEF JUDGES 297
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 299
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 316
iv


202
cognitive factors may prove to be insurmountable obstacles
to their acceptance. Court reform may be typified as a
battle against tradition. Court clerks, judges, and all
other aspects of the judicial system are greatly influenced
by traditional procedures, mamagement practices, and dis
tributions of responsibility. Chapter V examines these
variables in light of their inhibiting effects on admini
strative and systemic judicial reform.


19
support to resist reforms which threaten their bureaucratic
position.40 In light of this fact, the suggestion that the
support personnel, as a collectivity, represent a formidable
power in state politics assumes added significance.
The literature thus reveals that certain aspects of
judicial organization exist which have not traditionally
been evaluated in terms of their impact on court administra
tion. Although the administrative influence of support
structures has been assumed for some time, the consequences
and dimensions of this influence are poorly understood.
The necessity of comprehending all factors which might
affect the nature of judicial administration generally,
and court reform specifically, cannot be underestimated.
As reform movements accelerate throughout the nation, con
sideration of these factors represents a particularly
timely issue.
Organization Theory
In the course of analyzing a state court system, the
present study assumes the validity of the concept of
organization as it relates to judicial structure. The
courts are characterized in terms of the theory of complex
organizations.41 An "organization" is viewed as an open
40Richard W. Gable, "Modernizing Court Administration:
The Case of the Los Angeles Superior Court," Public Admini
stration Review 31 (March-April, 1971) 133-4T!
41Ralph Stodgill identified eighteen different major
variations to the concept of organization. See his


156
presiding judge must have responsibility for accounts and
auditing as well as procurement and disbursing. He should
also prepare the court's proposed annual budget.This
power, more than any other, will enable the judges to
effectively coordinate and manage the judicial system.
Without budgetary control "chief judges are mere figureheads
limited to the clerical duties of assigning judges to
various departments."1^ The budget instrument is an inte
grating and coordinating mechanism that enables administrators
to plan for future contingencies and to consolidate their
authority. Moreover, situating total circuit fiscal control
in one office reduces the possibility that other political
entities in the courts' environment can influence the
judicial policy making process. Much of the chief judges'
reluctance to exercise the authority granted to them in
Article V, Section 2(d) is directly related to their inability
to control operating revenues. Judicial independence has
been severely eroded by the fiscal responsibilities of local
officials. Consequently, active administrative participa
tion by the chief judges may conceivably be promoted by
court budget control.
Increased judicial input into the budgetary process
is also viewed as a crucial factor in inducing chief judges
to more actively assert those powers which have already
been granted to them by statutes and Supreme Court Rules.
l^Report, supra note 16, pp. 180-81.
19Kenneth N. Chantry, "Effective Use of Present Resources,"
paper presented to the National Conference on the Judiciary,
Williamsburg, Virginia, November 12, 1971, 158.


314
"Overview of Court Administration: A Com-
~mentary." Paper presented to the Institute of
Court Management, American University, Washington,
D. C., July 8, 1974.
. "The Role of the Administrator in a Unified
Court System." Paper presented to the Second
Citizen's Conference on the Utah Courts. Salt Lake
City, Utah, December 8, 1972.
Manual for Clerks of the Circuit Courts of Florida. Legis-
Tative Reference Bureau. Tallahassee: Florida
Legislative Council, 1952.
McConnell, Edward B. "A Blueprint for Development of the
New Jersey Judicial System." Paper presented to the
Judicial Conference of New Jersey, Newark, New
Jersey, May 23, 1969.
. "Organization of a State Court System: The
Role of a State Court Administrator." Paper presented
to the National Conference on the Judiciary, Williams
burg, Virginia, March 14, 1971.
."The Role of the State Administrator." Paper
presented to the National Conference, of the Judiciary,
Williamsburg, Virginia, March 12, 1971.
National Survey of Court Organization. Law Enforcement
Assistance Administration. Washington, D.C.:
Government Printing Office, 1973.
Position Paper on Florida Supreme Court presented to the
Joint Select Committee on Judicial Personnel of the
Florida Legislature. Tallahassee, Florida, November
1, 1973.
Pringle, Edward E. "Fiscal Problems of a State Court
System." Paper presented to the Conference of Chief
Justices, Seattle, Washington, August 11, 1972.
. "The Role of the State Chief Justice." Paper
presented to the National Conference on the Judiciary,
Williamsburg, Virginia, March 14, 1971.
Report of the National Advisory Commission in Criminal
Justice Standards and Goals. Washington, D.C.:
Government Printing Office, 1973.
Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders.
Washington, D. C.: Government Publishing Office^ 1968.
Report of the National Conference of the Judiciary. Washing
ton, D. C.: Government Printing Office, 1971.


108
responsibility, a sizeable number recognize the difficulties
that ensue. For example, a recurring complaint of the
court clerks is that there are no administrative guidelines
to direct their judicial activities. Among the comments re
flecting this sentiment are the following: "My greatest
problem is trying to find an authoritative source;" "I am
continually plagued by the lack of set procedure;" and
"There is a total lack of uniformity in the duties expected
of me, and the procedures to be used, from one judge to the
next." Inconsistent management and procedural practices
are to be logically expected in any organization where
administrative authority is diffused among a large number
of actors.
The final aspect which potentially affects the chief
judge's willingness to perform administrative duties is
the degree of management ability present among the judiciary.
Most judges "have not been accustomed to developing pro-
1 r
ficiency or talent in the processing of litigation."
. . 17
Lacking formal administrative training and experience,
judges commonly resist both the concept and application
of management because of ignorance or misunderstanding.
Judicial independence and discreet aloofness thus take
precedence over the assertion of management authority.
l^Friesen, Gallas, and Gallas, supra, note 13, p. 873.
17
Chief judges m Florida are grossly undertrained in
administration. Several judges stated that an essential
aspect of "reform" in the judicial system should be the
establishment of comprehensive instructional programs for
incumbent chief judges.


289
APPENDIX C
POSITION DESCRIPTION: COURT ADMINISTRATORS
FUNCTION
This officer must perform his supervisory and manage
ment function at both the circuit court and the county
court levels. His chief judge, as the chief administrative
officer of all courts within the circuit, has complete
management responsibility for each county court in the
circuit. The administrator, therefore, can be expected
to be required to divide his efforts between the circuit
court and the county court levels.
Performs court administrative duties of a non-judicial
nature to relieve the chief judge of the circuit court of
various administrative and management functions in his
capacity as the chief administrative officer of the
circuit.
EXAMPLES OF WORK PERFORMED
Maintains a central circuit office for administrative
services and assistance on behalf of all courts and court
personnel in the circuit and employs such staff as neces
sary to assist him in the efficient performance of his
duties.
Serves as executive assistant to the Chief Judge of
the circuit court providing for the administrative needs
of the circuit court and county courts in the circuit.
Establishes and maintains a management information


302
Lawrence, Paul R., and Lorsch, Jay W. Organization and
Environment. Homewood: Richard D. Irwin, Incorpor
ated^ 1969.
Lindblom, Charles E. "Decision-Making in Taxation and
Expenditure." Public Finances: Needs, Sources, and
Utilization. National Bureau of Economic Research.
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1961,
pp. 295-336.
Mann, Floyd C., and Neff, Franklin W. Managing Major
Change in Organizations. Ann Arbor: Foundation for
Research on Human Behavior, 1961.
Merton, Robert K.; Gray, Ailsa P.; Hockey, Barbara; and
Selvin, Hanan C., eds. Reader in Bureaucracy.
Glencoe: The Free Press, 1952.
; Broom, Leonard; and Kartrell, Leonard S.
Sociology Today: Problems and Prospects. New York:
Basic Books, 1959.
Miles, Matthew B., ed. Innovation in Education. New York:
Bureau of Publications, Teachers' College, College
University, 1964.
Millett, John D. Organization for the Public Service.
Princeton: D. Van Nostrand Company, Incorporated,
1966.
Mosher, Frederick C. "Features and Problems of Federal
Service: The Management of Merit." People in Public
Service. Edited by Robert T. Golembiewski and Michael
Cohen. Itasca: F. E. Peacock Publishers, Incorporated,
1970, pp. 397-404.
National Bureau of Economic Research. Public Finances:
Needs, Sources, and Utilization. Princeton: Prince
ton University Press, 1961.
Nelson, Dorothy W., ed. Judicial Administration and the
Administration of Justice. St. Paul: West Publish
ing Company, 1974.
Neubauer, David W. Criminal Justice in Middle America.
Morristown: General Learning Press, 1974.
Packer, Herbert. The Limits of the Criminal Sanction.
Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1968.
Peltason, Jack. Federal Courts in the Political Process.
New York: Random House, 1955.


217
Legal profession
Many scholars attribute much of the judicial system's
"stand-pattism" to the nature of its personnel.Most of
the individuals with policy-making authority in the courts
are members of the legal profession. Consequently, almost
all significant judicial functions are directly controlled
by attorneys. It is doubtful that any other governmental
institution is so dominated by a single profession.
As a consequence of lawyer domination, courts are
staffed by individuals with similar attitudes and backgrounds.
Most attorneys are graduates of American law schools. Con
sequently, they have received training in legal doctrine
and legal method from a common set of case materials. Upon
entering practice, attorneys are generally subject to an
identical code of conduct and are admitted to the bar
association after passing analogous examinations. Since
most judges are also attorneys, lawyers and the judiciary
possess a common set of values and beliefs.29
emotional appeals, ingratiating attorneys, ignorance, pre
judice, and a myriad of other superfluous factors, the quality
of justice in jury trials is thought to be very poor. See,
e.g., Jerome Frank, Courts on Trial: Myth and Reality in
American Justice (Princeton: Princeton University Press,
1949), pp. 118-25.
28see, e.g., James A. Gazell, "State Trial Courts: An
Odyssey into Faltering Bureaucracies," San Diego Law Review
8 (March, 1971), 291-300; and Luvern V. Ricke, "Unification,
Funding, Discipline and Administration: Cornerstones for a
New Judicial Article," Washington Law Review 48 (1973), 829-31.
O Q
7See, e.g., James W. Hurst, The Growth of American Law
(Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1950), pp. 256-76; and Al
bert J. Harns, Legal Education in the United States (San
Francisco: Bancroft-Whitney, 1959) pp! 35-50-!


292
Examines and reports to the Chief Judge at regular
intervals on the status of persons charged with crime.
Coordinates engagements, travel itinerary, and other
commitments of the Chief Judge in performance of his
administrative or other judicial duties.
Represents the Chief Judge of the judicial circuit
in the processing and approval of correspondence in areas
of assigned responsibility.
Responsible for the courts' budget and for budgeting
process.
Performs such additional duties as may be assigned
him by the chief judge of the circuit court.
REQUIRED SKILLS, KNOWLEDGE AND ABILITIES
Knowledge of the legal processes involved in civil
and criminal litigation; knowledge of clerical procedures
incidental to the operation of civil and criminal courts;
knowledge of the business and professional relationships
and ethics involved among courts, judges, attorneys, and
law enforcement agencies.
Skill in the principles of administration, office
management and systems analysis.
Ability to work smoothly and efficiently in a
cooperative atmosphere with the judges, attorneys, court
officers, public officials, and administrative staffs
functioning within the judicial circuit.
Ability to develop and implement administrative
procedures.


118
clerks of the circuit courts.Whereas these individuals
had previously been paid out of revenues collected by their
respec tive courts, their salaries are now the responsibility
of the county. Since the state government presently receives
an increased proportion of revenues collected by courts, local
financial resources have been further taxed by increasing
personnel expenditures. According to the Staff of the
Joint Select Committee on Judicial Personnel, "The situation
is extremely grave because the abolition of the special
courts requires the counties to assume added expenses, but
35
denies them the revenues these courts formerly generated."
Further, under authority of Article V, the Florida
Rules of Criminal Procedure allow every person accused of
a crime to demand a trial within sixty days.^ This pro
vision obviously places an additional burden on court
resources. Most courts have been forced to employ supple
mental personnel to insure that no criminal processing
exceeds the limit. Moreover, a variety of procedural
^Florida Statutes, Chapter 28.091.
3-^Staff Report of the Joint Select Committee on
Judicial Personnel, presented to the Joint Select Committee
of Judicial Personnel of the Florida Legislature, January
13, 1975, 14. A further problem is that recording revenues
are declining severely, while there has been a coinciding
escalation in recording costs.
36Rule 3.191 (the "Speedy Trial" rule) states that
every person charged with a misdemeanor must be brought
to trial within ninety days, and every felony case must
be tried within one hundred eighty days. Any accused
person has the option of demanding a sixty day trial,
unless the State is granted a continuance "because of
exceptional circumstances."


79
Table 2.3
BACKGROUND VARIABLES: COURT ADMINISTRATORS
VARIABLES
NUMBER
PERCENTAGE
ZUGE
31-40 YEARS
2
14.3
41-50 YEARS
6
42.9
51-60 YEARS
5
35.7
OVER 60 YEARS
1
7.1
SEX
FEMALE
0
0.0
MALE
14
100.0
RACE
CAUCASIAN
14
100.0
OTHER
0
0.0
RELIGION
CATHOLIC
1
7.1
JEWISH
1
7.1
PROTESTANT
10
71.4
UNRECORDED
2
14.3
LENGTH
1-5 YEARS
2
14.3
OF
6-10 YEARS
2
14.3
FLORIDA
11-20 YEARS
1
7.1
RESIDENCE
OVER 20 YEARS
9
64.3
EXTENT
SOME HIGH SCHOOL
1
7.1
OF
HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA
1
7.1
EDUCATION
2 YEARS OF COLLEGE
2
14.3
4 YEAR COLLEGE DEGREE
2
14.3
SOME GRADUATE WORK
4
28.6
MASTER'S DEGREE
2
14.3
LAW DEGREE
2
14.3
ATTENDANCE
YES
10
71.4
AT I CM
NO
4
28.6
SEMINARS
POLITICAL
REPUBLICAN
1
7.1
PARTY
DEMOCRAT
9
64.3
PREFERENCE
INDEPENDENT
2
14.3
UNRECORDED
2
14.3
IDEOLOGY
CONSERVATIVE
5
35.7
LIBERAL
4
28.6
MODERATE
2
14.3
UNRECORDED
3
21.4


271
64. How would you describe the working relationship
between the Chief Judge and the Circuit Court
Clerk?
65. Does the court have any noticeable problems with
external administrative agencies such as the
police department or the department of social
services?
1. Yes 2. No
Please Elaborate.
66. Do you often take the initiative to provide the
Clerk with information relevant to the efficient
operation of the court?
1. Yes 2. No
Please Elaborate.
67.Do you often take the initiative to provide the
Chief Judge with information relevant to the
efficient operation of the court?
1. Yes 2. No
Please Elaborate.
68.Is court delay a problem in your court system?
1. Yes 2. No
Please Elaborate.
69.What types of technological innovations (such
as data processing, computer coding, and the
like) have you utilized or do you plan to
utilize?
From the
list of choices at
. the right, specify
how
many
time s a
month you meet for
business with . .
(70-
-71)
70.
the Circuit Court
Clerk 1. None
4 .
11-15
2. 1-5
5.
16-20
71.
the Chief Judge
3. 6-10
6.
Over 20


69
Additionally, 35.4% of the clerks indicated that they have
received some type of administrative training or experience.
Finally, fifty-one clerks (89.5%) have attended Court
Management Training Seminars which are conducted periodically
by the State Clerk's Association.
However, closer scrutiny of the responses indicates
that the initial impressions of the clerks' degree of
professionalism were not particularly justified. A
majority of the administrative training and experience
received by the clerks has not been court oriented. Only
five clerks responded that they had received any court-
related training and experience prior to assuming office.
The remainder of the clerks realized their pre-entry
administrative training .primarily in private business
enterprises. Moreover, although almost all court clerks
regularly attend the Court Management Seminars, the
nature of instruction received at these gatherings is
rarely pertinent to court administration.^^ Rather, the
seminars constitute social and political convocations where
the clerks discuss mutual problems and political strategies.
The number of clerks who have attended the Institute
for Court Management is especially significant. The
Institute is the only major professionally-oriented
^The writer attended a Court Management Seminar
held at Naples, Florida in October, 1974. The conclusions
reached during that observation have since been verified
by a number of court clerks who openly acknowledge the
" on ter tainmen t" bri entati on off such meetings.




CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
The Problem
An interesting idiosyncrasy of the American system of
justice is that the courts within the states are almost com
pletely independent of each other.^ In most states, the
court structure is fraught by a multiplicity of trial courts
"without coherence and centralized administrative manage-
ment. Each court within the system constitutes a distinct
administrative unit without centralized direction or super
vision. Consequently, state justice is characterized by
an extreme form of fragmentation and local autonomy.
This decentralized nature of the state trial courts has
been cited as the single most influential factor contribut
ing to the administrative inefficiencies which plague
1-See, e.g., Herbert Jacob, Justice in America (Boston:
Little, Brown and Co., 1972), pp. 152-63; and Richard J.
Richardson and Kenneth N. Vines, The Politics of Federal
Courts (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1970), pp. 48-54 .
^Report of the President1s Commission on Law Enforce
ment and the Administration of Justice (Washington, D.C.:
Government Printing Office, 1968), p. 14.
^For a brief history of the development of the frag
mented court system in the United States, see Roscoe Pound,
"The Causes of Popular Dissatisfaction with the Administra
tion of Justice," in Judicial Administration and the Admin
istration. of_ Justice, ed. Dorothy W. Nelson (St. Pauli
West Publishing Co., 1974), pp. 10-15.
1


24
and (2) the degree to which consistent standards of
desiribility exist.48 Both aspects of the definition are
pertinent in examining the reaction of court personnel
to reform. If a large amount of consensus is present
concerning desirable standards and/or cause and effect
relationships, it can be assumed that externally imposed
innovations will be considered more legitimate.49 However,
a great deal of controversy surrounds the issue of tech
nology as it relates to courts. The types and levels of
technology employed by different judicial organizations
vary greatly, and proponents of any one technological
method are confronted by resistance from a number of their
colleagues.50 it would thus appear that there is great
disparity between court administrators concerning the
issues of desirable standards and cause and effect. The
resulting dissention and skepticism over the technological
alterations imposed by reform can thus be expected to
influence the perceived legitimacy of the reform program.
If change is not perceived as being either legitimate or
48see James D. Thompson, Organizations in Action (New
York: McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1970).
4^This reaction assumes, of course, that the imposed
innovation conforms to the notions and standards of
judicial personnel. If there is a pronounced lack of
consensus, no innovation would be universally acceptable.
50see, e.g., Robert L. Chartrand, "Systems Technology
and Judicial Administration," Judicature 52 (December,
1968) 194-98; and Ernest C. Friesen, "Constraints and
Conflicts in Court Administration," Public Administration
Review 31 (March-April, 1971), 121-247


211
many others. Courtrooms are designed and built to resemble
religious edifices. They usually are dark, paneled struc
tures with high ceilings.19 The entire design and operation
of most courtrooms is conceived in such a way as to invest
judges with a priestly character. Judges are stationed on
elevated benches and thus rise above other participants in
legal proceedings. Anyone employed by the court is not
allowed to sit or stand at the judge's level. Moreover,
judges are further sanctified by a special costume which
only they are permitted to wear during trials. All specta
tors and participants are required to exhibit proper respect
to the judiciary, including special modes of address and
behavior. Attorneys are regarded as "officers of the court"
and thus are subject to the judges' discipline; ordinary
citizens who are involved in litigation are also given
special labels, such as "defendent," "plaintiff," or "peti
tioner." It is therefore obvious that respect and reverence
for law and courts is potentially magnified by the archi
tecture, garments, behavior, and language employed by
judicial organizations.^0
Management Constraints
The legal tradition that has invested courts with sacred
19Traditional architectural designs utilized in most
court structures are currently being assaulted for their
dysfunctional characteristics. Critics are questioning
whether justice can be achieved in courtrooms where many
participants cannot see or hear what is occurring.
^For related discussions, see Thurmon W. Arnold, The
Symbols of Government (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World,
1962); and Jacob, supra note 16, p. 14.


53
obligated to perform the role of a politician as well as
that of an officer of the court. Consequently, many chief
judges still approach their jobs from a political posture.
The utilization of bureaucratic practices to attain organi
zational goals appears to be antithetical to the judges'
standards of "fair play." Thus, the use of constitutionally-
derived administrative power to accomplish objectives is
not considered to be an especially viable method of con
fronting problems. Instead, judges tend to deal with
administrative maladies on a personalistic level. Examples
of such behavior are numerous. Most of the judges stated
that, before they make a decision influencing the activities
of other administrative personnel in the system, they first
consult all the interested parties and determine which
course of action is most acceptable. In evaluating the
characteristics most beneficial to a good judge, a much
greater emphasis was placed on interpersonal skills than
on managerial or administrative capabilities.-*-^ Furthermore,
seven judges (43.8%) implied that the title "chief admin
istrator," as it relates to the chief judge, is simply a
pseudonym for their role as chief political officer of
the court.
Despite the pervasive degree of uniformity present
among the backgrounds and attitudes of the chief judges,
l^This fact is hardly surprising in light of the
chief judges' backgrounds. The anti-administration nature
of legal training, as well as the effects of a lack of
such training, will be discussed in the following chapters.


254
to two factors: their identification with, and loyalty to,
the judicial system; and the degree of professionalism
present. However, since the clerks are linked to the local
political environment by constituencies and budgetary ties,
their predominant identification as county officers is
virtually assured. Although most clerks perceive themselves
to be "vital" judicial officials, they also strongly identify
with local power structures. Thus, their concern with
limiting expenditures and with pleasing their electorates
and county commissions looms as a significant threat to
the judicial system. It was then hypothesized that: to
the extent that the clerks display the characteristics of
professionalism, the impact of the localistic orientation
could be expected to be buffered. Since chief judges have
been unwilling and/or unable to assert responsibility for
their support functions, professional standards of objectiv
ity represent the only effective control on the behavior
of clerks as it relates to court administration. The
variables used as indicators of the emphasis given to pro
fessionalism include: educational achievement, extent of
training programs, and recruitment and training requirements
of court employees. Unfortunately, court clerks were found
to be decidedly "unprofessional." Without the restraint
of professional standards, or close supervision by chief
judges, the clerks are essentially free of organizational
controls. They therefore occupy a position from which
their inaction, or their actions working in contradiction


270
55.Do you feel that you have adequate resources
and authority to effectively perform your
duties?
1. Yes 2. No
Please Elaborate.
56.What other powers and resources do you feel
should be granted to your office?
57.What problems do you confront most often in
carrying out your duties?
58.Which of these problems (#57) do you consider
to be the most important?
59.How would (or do) you go about alleviating
that problem? (#58)
(Note: For questions 60-64, please select the most appropriate
choice from those listed below and record the cor
responding number to the left of each question.)
1-Excellent
2-Very Good
3-Good
4-Average
5-Fair
6-Poor
7-Very Poor
8-No Opinion
9-Not Applicable
60. How would you describe your working relationship
with the Chief Judge?
61. How would you describe your working relationship
with the Circuit Court Clerk? (the one located
in your building)
62. How would you describe your working relationship
with the other County Clerks?
63. How would you describe the working relationship
between the Chief Judge and the Circuit Court
Clerk?


279
APPENDIX B
SELECTED SECTIONS OF ARTICLE V
SECTION 1. Courts. -- The judicial power shall be
vested in a supreme court, district courts of appeal,
circuit courts and county courts. No other courts may
be established by the state, any political subdivision
or any municipality. The legislature shall, by general
law, divide the state into appellate court districts, and
judicial circuits following county lines. Commissions
established by law, or administrative officers or bodies
may be granted quasi-judicial power in matters connected
with the functions of their offices.
SECTION 2. Administration; practice and procedure.
(a) The supreme court shall adopt rules for the
practice and procedure in all courts including the time
for seeking appellate review, the administrative super
vision of all courts, the transfer to the court having
jurisdiction, of any proceeding when the jurisdiction of
another court has been improvidently invoked, and a
requirement that no cause shall be dismissed because an
improper remedy has been sought. These rules may be
repealed by general law enacted by two-thirds vote of
the membership of each house of the legislature.
(b) The chief justice of the supreme court shall be
chosen by a majority of the members of the court. He
shall be the chief administrative officer of the judicial


159
top of any list of factors determining a court's effective
ness is the judge himself. The only way to insure good
judges is by giving judges now on the bench a program of
advanced courses on both the substance and administration
of their work."^ it is a widely held but mistaken belief
that a license to practice law equips a judge to administer
a complex organization.26 Fortunately, the legal community
is now beginning to recognize the absurdity of this situa
tion. Judicial educational programs in administrative
techniques and processes are now mandated by twenty-one
state legislatures.27 The establishment of a similar in
structional program in Florida is perceived as being
crucial in both enhancing the administrative ability of
chief judges, and in increasing their willingness to assume
management responsibility.
Another aspect of the chief judge's administrative
role which requires radical alteration is the present
system of rotating their terms of office every two years.
The establishment of an independently administer