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Cowlitz County Superior Court to launch criminal caseflow management study

Thad Scudder
Superior Court Judge
360 577 3085

Cowlitz County Superior Court to launch criminal caseflow management study

Kelso, Wash. (June 23, 2023) – Over the next few months, the Cowlitz County Superior Court will work with the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) to conduct a criminal caseflow management study. The study, funded by the State Justice Institute, offers an opportunity to help Cowlitz County Superior Court leadership identify opportunities for greater efficiencies in Superior Court criminal processes.

Courts nationwide have worked to address a backlog of criminal cases that significantly expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study supports an assessment of the current processes to assist the court to not only address the backlog from COVID-19, but to address staffing shortages, and to ensure lasting effective case management.

"Over the last few years our court has struggled to timely resolve cases. And we know that justice delayed is justice denied. With the increased challenges that we face, we need to change how we do business so we can achieve justice in a timely manner.With the help of the NCSC, courts who have implemented case management practices have reduced the time it takes to resolve cases without compromising a fair and just result. The Court initiated this study to help better our process, and we are committed to improving our system of justice."Thad Scudder, Superior Court Judge

NCSC has studied caseflow management for more than 50 years and considers a constellation of court rules, business practices, culture and governance, and staffing and technology infrastructure to help courts achieve timely, cost-effective, and procedurally fair justice. Through stakeholder interviews, courtroom observations, and process and data review, NCSC staff will develop findings and recommendations regarding improved caseflow management in Cowlitz County.

Patricia Gabel, NCSC Principal Court Management Consultant and Project Lead, stated, "While this is a court initiative, it is vital to receive input from all criminal justice partners to help us understand the impact of potential process and policy changes. A broader understanding of these perspectives will help position us for greater success."

Feel free to direct any inquiries to SCACRIMINAL@cowlitzwa.gov

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TELEPHONE: (360) 577-3085
TTY (800) 883-6388 OR 7115
Superior Court Administration Hours: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
KELSO, WA 98626
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