Report 2009-109 Recommendations and Responses in 2012-041

Report 2009-109: Sacramento and Marin Superior Courts: Both Courts Need to Ensure That Family Court Appointees Have Necessary Qualifications, Improve Administrative Policies and Procedures, and Comply With Laws and Rules

Department Number of Years Reported As Not Fully Implemented Total Recommendations to Department Not Implemented After One Year Not Implemented as of Most Recent Response
Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento 1 41 17 9

Recommendation To: Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento

To ensure that its Family Court Services (FCS) mediators are qualified, the Sacramento superior and family courts should update the current mediators' official personnel files with any missing information.

Response

The Court fully implemented this recommendation as referenced in our letter and materials provided to BSA on July 20, 2011. Subsequently BSA acknowledged the completed implementation on page 141 of their report entitled Implementation of the State Auditor's Recommendations for Audits Released in January 2010 through December 2011, Report Number 2012-406, issued March 2012.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: September 2012
  • Response Date: September 2012

Recommendation To: Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento

To make certain that the FCS evaluators are qualified, the Sacramento family court should develop processes to ensure that it signs all FCS evaluator declarations of qualifications annually.

Response

As indicated in the Court's July 20, 2011 response to recommendation 2, due to budget reductions Sacramento's Family Court Services (FCS) is no longer conducting custody evaluations making the need to sign FCS evaluator declarations of qualifications unnecessary.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Will Not Implement
  • Response Date: September 2012

Recommendation To: Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento

To make certain that the FCS evaluators are qualified, the Sacramento family court should ensure that its unlicensed FCS evaluators complete the licensing portion of the annual declarations of qualifications.

Response

As indicated in the Court's July 20, 2011 response to recommendation 3, due to budget reductions Sacramento's Family Court Services (FCS) is no longer conducting custody evaluations making the need for unlicensed FCS evaluators to complete the licensing portion of the annual declarations of qualifications unnecessary.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Will Not Implement
  • Response Date: September 2012

Recommendation To: Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento

To make certain that the FCS evaluators are qualified, the Sacramento family court should identify the training each of the FCS evaluators need to satisfy the court rules' requirements and ensure that they attend the trainings.

Response

As indicated in the Court's July 20, 2011 response to recommendation 4, due to budget reductions Sacramento's Family Court Services (FCS) is no longer conducting custody evaluations making the need to implement the recommendation regarding training of FCS evaluators unnecessary.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Will Not Implement
  • Response Date: September 2012

Recommendation To: Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento

To make certain that the FCS evaluators are qualified, the Sacramento family court should develop processes to ensure that evaluator declarations of qualifications include all relevant information, such as the evaluator's experience.

Response

As indicated in the Court's July 20, 2011 response to recommendation 5, due to budget reductions Sacramento's Family Court Services (FCS) is no longer conducting custody evaluations making the need to implement the recommendation regarding qualification declarations of FCS evaluators unnecessary.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Will Not Implement
  • Response Date: September 2012

Recommendation To: Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento

To make certain that the FCS evaluators are qualified, the Sacramento family court should take all reasonable steps to ensure its FCS evaluators meet the minimum qualifications and training requirements before assigning them to any future Family Code Section 3111 evaluations. If necessary, and as soon as reasonably possible, the court should require the FCS evaluators to take additional education or training courses to compensate for the minimum qualifications and training requirements that were not met.

Response

As indicated in the Court's July 20, 2011 response to recommendation 6, due to budget reductions Sacramento's Family Court Services (FCS) is no longer conducting custody evaluations making the need to ensure that FCS evaluators meet the minimum qualifications and training before assigning them to cases is unnecessary.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Will Not Implement
  • Response Date: September 2012

Recommendation To: Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento

To verify that its private mediator and evaluator panel members meet the minimum qualifications and training requirements before appointment, the Sacramento family court should obtain any missing applications and training records for private mediators and evaluators on its current panel list before appointing them to future cases.

Response

As indicated in the Court's response of January 7, 2011, the use of Judicial Council form FL-326 assures that private mediator and panel members meet minimum qualifications and training requirements. In light of recent staffing reductions the Court does not have the resources to search for and review all previous training records.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Will Not Implement
  • Response Date: September 2012

Recommendation To: Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento

To verify that its private mediator and evaluator panel members meet the minimum qualifications and training requirements before appointment, the Sacramento family court should reinstate its local rules for private mediators and evaluators to provide a minimum of three references, and for private evaluators to provide a statement that they have read the court's evaluator guidelines.

Response

As stated in the Court's letter of January 7, 2011, Judicial Council form FL-322 obviates the need to implement this recommendation.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Will Not Implement
  • Response Date: September 2012

Recommendation To: Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento

To make sure that the minor's counsel it appoints meet the additional standards required by the superior court's local rules, the Sacramento family court should obtain any missing applications for minor's counsel before appointing them to any future cases.

Response

As a result of reduced staffing, the Court does not have the resources to search for and review all previous training records. As stated in the Court's letter of January 7, 2011, Judicial Council form FL-322 obviates the need to implement this recommendation.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Will Not Implement
  • Response Date: September 2012

Recommendation To: Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento

To strengthen its accounting process for California Family Code Section 3111 evaluations, the Sacramento Superior Court should update its accounting procedures related to billing FCS evaluation costs to include steps for verifying the mathematical accuracy of the FCS summary and the proper allocation of costs between the parties.

Response

As indicated in the Court's July 20, 2011 response to recommendation 10, due to budget reductions Sacramento's Family Court Services (FCS) is no longer conducting custody evaluations making the need to update its accounting procedures unnecessary.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Will Not Implement
  • Response Date: September 2012

Current Status of Recommendations

All Recommendations in 2012-041