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Court survey says Utahns satisfied with access and fairness

Published October 25, 2011 2:17 pm

Government • People were quite positive on security, courtesy at the courthouses.
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An Administrative Office of the Courts survey conducted last summer shows Utahns have a high level of satisfaction with access and fairness in the state's courthouses.

The Access and Fairness Survey, conducted during June and July, polled people — including attorneys, litigants, victims, witnesses and others — in each district courthouse in the state for one day. The survey measured views in 20 areas, including ease of parking, safety in courthouses, language barriers, disability accommodation, business hours, the time needed to finish court business, treatment by court staff, and whether their hearing was fair.

In nearly all areas surveyed, 90 percent or more of respondents rated the courts adequate or better on a five-point scale. The highest rated categories related to court security. In answer to the question of whether court security officers treated court patrons with courtesy and respect, 98 percent responded with adequate or better. In response to whether court patrons felt safe in the courthouse, 97 percent responded as adequate or better.

The categories in which the court received the lowest marks were still relatively positive. In response to the question of whether court patrons finished their court business in a reasonable amount of time, 87 percent responded with adequate or better. When asked if both parties in the court proceeding were treated the same, 88 percent responded with adequate or better.

"It is gratifying to see such a positive response from the public, especially considering the downsizing and heavy work load the court system has faced the past few years," Utah State Court Administrator Dan Becker said in a news release. "The courts have worked to enhance services for the public even as our budget has been reduced."

The results of the annual survey can be found online at http://www.utcourts.gov/courtools/reports.asp?measure=access.




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