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Performance Measures (CourTools)

General Information

In 1970, then Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger wrote:
"A sense of confidence in the courts is essential to maintain the fabric of ordered liberty for a free people and three things could destroy that confidence and do incalculable damage to society: that people come to believe that inefficiency and delay will drain even a just judgment of its value; that people who have long been exploited in the smaller transactions of daily life come to believe that courts cannot vindicate their legal rights from fraud and over-reaching; that people come to believe the law - in the larger sense - cannot fulfill its primary function to protect them and their families intheir homes, at their work, and on the public streets."

It is thus a court’s duty to be accountable to the public it serves for the fair, effective, efficient, and timely execution of its constitutionally mandated functions. National associations of legal professionals and court managers, including the American Bar Association (ABA), the National Association for Court Management (NACM), and the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA), led the way by establishing performance standards for courts. The Maryland State Judiciary has also developed its own set of timeliness and disposition standards using these models as a base, and all the state’s trial courts perform annual assessments to assess their performance against these statewide performance goals. Like many other institutions, challenges exist for courts to develop meaningful performance measures, regularly collect data, and use the results to inform strategic planning and resource allocation. To overcome such challenges, the National Center for State Courts along with court leaders and experts have developed a set of measures that demonstrate a court’s performance. These measures, known as CourTools, allow courts to evaluate their own performance and compare themselves with other courts, as well as manage their resources in a way that identifies and addresses the public’s needs for court services. In designing the CourTools, the National Center integrated the major performance areas defined by the Trial Court Performance Standards with relevant concepts from successful performance measurement systems used in the public and private sectors.

  • Measure 1: Access And Fairness
  • Measure 2: Clearance Rates
  • Measure 3:Time to Disposition
  • Measure 4: Age of Active Pending Caseload
  • Measure 5: Trial Date Certainty
  • Measure 6: Reliability and Integrity of Case Files
  • Measure 7: Collection of Monetary Penalties
  • Measure 8: Effective use of Jurors
  • Measure 9: Court employee satisfaction
  • Measure 10: Cost per Case

The Circuit Court for Montgomery County has developed many of these measures to examine the Court’s performance and the results may be found using the links to the various measures and the Court has committed to updating these measures annually. Further development of the measures already in production, as well as measures not yet addressed, will be implemented as resources become available. Your feedback to the measures would be helpful in allowing the Court to respond to the information needs of the public it serves. Please send any suggestions, comments, or inquiries to: webmaster@mcccourt.com

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