D.C. Family Court: Progress Has Been Made in Implementing Its Transition

GAO-04-234 Published: Jan 06, 2004. Publicly Released: Jan 06, 2004.
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The D.C. Family Court Act (P.L. 107-114) mandated that GAO examine the performance of the D.C. Family Court. GAO addressed the following objectives: (1) What procedures were used to make judicial appointments to the Family Court and what effect did qualification requirements have on appointment timeframes? (2) How timely was the Family Court in meeting established timeframes for transferring and resolving abuse and neglect cases, and what impact did magistrate judges have on the workload of judges and other personnel? (3) What progress has the D.C. Courts made in procuring permanent space? And (4) What progress have the Superior Court and District agencies made in sharing data from their computer systems? To address these objectives, GAO analyzed court data on its timeliness in resolving cases, reviewed the Family Court Act, applicable District laws, and reports required by the act; reviewed documents regarding the Family Court's progress in acquiring permanent space and those related to sharing data from the computer systems of the Superior Court and the District; and interviewed relevant District, Superior Court, and Family Court officials. In commenting on this report, the Superior Court agreed with our conclusions and cited additional progress. The Deputy Mayor for Children, Youth, Families, and Elders clarified the roles and responsibilities of various District offices.

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