10 July 2013

Sacramento County Superior Court Employee Discipline Policies and Administrative Procedures Posted by Sacramento Family Court News

Internal Court Records Reveal Employee Discipline Policies Not Being Enforced

Sacramento Federal Court Eastern District of California – United States Courts, US District Court Sacramento, Judge William B. Shubb, Judge Edmund F. Brennan, Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr, Judge Carolyn K. Delaney, Judge Morrison C. England Jr, Judge Gregory G. Hollows, Judge John A. Mendez, Judge Kendall J. Newman, Judge Troy L. Nunley, Judge Allison Claire, Judge Dale A. Drozd, Judge Lawrence K. Karlton, Judge Kimberly J. Mueller, United States Attorney Benjamin Wagner, Judge Robert Hight – Judge Bunmi Awoniyi – Judge Steven Gevercer – Judge Tami Bogert – Judge James Mize – Vance Raye - Victoria Henley CJP - Judge Thadd Blizzard -3rd District Court of Appeal – Sacramento -Justice Vance W. Raye - Justice Cole Blease – Justice Ronald B. Robie – Justice William J. Murray Jr. – Justice George Nicolson – Justice M. Kathleen Butz – Justice Elena J. Duarte – Justice Harry E. Hull Jr. – Justice Louis Mauro – Justice Andrea Lynn Hoch – Third District Court of Appeal California - Judge Kevin R. Culhane – Hon. Kevin R Culhane – Judge Kevin Culhane -
Sacramento Family Court News has obtained the internal employee discipline policies and administrative procedures for Sacramento County Superior Court. Click here to view the complete document.
Sacramento Family Court watchdogs and whistleblowers have for months charged that court administrators do not follow their own employee discipline policies and that accountability for employee misconduct is nonexistent. Discipline policies ensure that taxpayers receive the court services they pay for, and help maintain public trust in the court system. To maintain that trust, employees ostensibly are held to a higher standard of conduct than employees of other organizations, according to the court's own written policy

Court reform advocates have cataloged an array of employee misconduct, including clerks who file counterfeit paperwork for attorneys who are temporary judges and members of the Sacramento County Bar Association Family Law Section, clerks who illegally reject appeals filed by financially disadvantaged litigants without lawyers, and systemic state law violations by family court administrators and the family law facilitator office. Click here for our investigative reports. Instead of acknowledging and transparently addressing the misconduct, court oversight officials - including Court Executive Officer Christina Volkers - have adopted a code of silence and refuse to notify the public what corrective measures, if any, have been taken. 

Sacramento Family Court News has obtained and posted online the internal employee discipline policies and administrative procedures of the court. Click here to view the complete document. The continuing, institutionalized court problems documented by watchdogs and whistleblowers and reported by SFCN indicate that the discipline policies are not being enforced. An excerpt of the policy is posted below-the-fold:

Click Read more>> below to continue reading...


Discipline and Employment Protection

Policy: It is the policy of the Court that discipline of Court employees is imposed on an appropriate and consistent basis and that Court employees are provided employment protection as required by section 71650 of the Trial Court Employment Protection and Governance Act. It is understood that the Court has a critical role to play in the County's justice system. It is vital that the public maintain its trust in the Court system. As a result, trial court employees will be held to a higher standard of conduct than employees of other organizations.

When an employee engages in misconduct or when job performance is unsatisfactory in the judgment of the responsible supervisors, disciplinary procedures may be initiated. Discipline, up to and including termination, shall be for cause. Examples of conduct or performance deficiencies that may warrant discipline include:
• Any failure of good behavior either during or outside of duty hours which is of such a nature that it causes discredit to the Court or the individual’s employment.  
• Misstatement of facts during the hiring process

• Falsification of an entry on a Court document (e.g., time card, expense report)  
• Disclosure of confidential information

• Insubordination or willful disobedience

• Incompetence, inefficiency or unsatisfactory job performance

• Discriminatory, discourteous, or unbecoming behavior

• Theft, misuse or unauthorized use or possession of Court property  
• Dishonesty

• Misconduct, i.e., any behavior that brings harm or discredit to the Court   
• Being under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol or possessing illegal drugs while on Court property or on official business  
• Possession of a firearm, weapon, or hazardous or dangerous device while on Court property or permitting and/or causing this same activity to occur  
• Conviction of a felony or misdemeanor that involves moral turpitude, or any other conviction or plea of nolo contendere or diversion for such offense, which adversely affects, or brings discredit to, the Court  
• Excessive absence or tardiness

• Absence without approved leave
Disciplinary actions will normally be progressive, including one or more warnings before major discipline is imposed. However, under certain circumstances, immediate suspension or termination may be warranted.

Click here to view the complete document. Click here to view the Code of Ethics for the Court Employees of California.

Related content:  

  • Click here for the Color of Law series documenting serial employee misconduct in Sacramento Family Court
  • Click here for all articles about employee misconduct.
For additional articles about the people and issues associated with this post, click on the labels below.