Process Flow and Scheduling in the Fairbanks County State Court

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Business Case Journal


The state court system is responsible for trying alleged violations of state law which occur within a particular county. Judge John Bernard and Solicitor Lee Palefsky run the Fairbanks County state court system on a part-time basis. The court process operates on a quarterly cycle. Similar types of offenses are scheduled together in half-day blocks, so that 40 or more cases may be scheduled for the same date and time. When court convenes, defendants, law enforcement officers, witnesses, and lawyers must all wait for their case to be heard. Multiple factors make the waiting time highly uncertain. The court would like to minimize both the frequency and duration of court appearances. However, actions which optimize one of these measures for one type of participant are likely to compound problems for others.

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