Successfully Navigating Specialty Courts and CPC

June 2010
By Judge Youlee You, Multnomah County Circuit Court.

Here is the latest news and some tips on Specialty Courts and CPC.

1. New DUII first-time expedited plea program

First-time DUII defendants may now take advantage of a new expedited plea program. Defendants who have no prior DUII convictions are eligible for the program. (Prior diversion does not count as a conviction.) Defendants who plead guilty to DUII at their first pre-trial conference will receive two years of enhanced bench probation and 60 days in which to complete an alcohol evaluation and begin treatment, complete victims panel and complete 25 hours of community service. Defendants who comply with those conditions within 60 days will receive no jail sanction but must perform 55 additional hours of community service. Defendants who fail to comply will receive a 30-day jail sanction. Other conditions and exclusions apply. Defendants who are interested in the program must attend orientation, which is scheduled on Friday mornings. Pleas are taken on Friday afternoons. Contact Judge Michael McShane's staff for more information.

2. New CPC Setover Procedures

In April, the court implemented new setover procedures for CPC. A chart is available outlining the new policies. One of the biggest changes is that only one stipulated second setover is allowed per case, regardless of which side requests it.

3. Tips for START, STOP, and DISP

START: The Success Through Accountability, Restitution and Treatment (START) Program began in March 2010. Defendants convicted of certain property offenses and whose criminality is influenced by substance abuse are eligible. The program is primarily for defendants who are eligible for presumptive probation, but some defendants facing presumptive prison sentences may qualify. The program includes drug/alcohol treatment, frequent court sessions, random drug testing and supervision by a probation officer. Contact Judge Eric Bloch's staff for more information.

STOP (Drug Court) Sanctions, Treatment, Opportunity, Progress (STOP): Before entering your client into STOP Court, find out whether he/she has other legal matters, e.g., pending charges, active probations, post prison supervision, DHS matters, employment matters regarding licensing, etc., that might be affected by completion of or declining of the opportunity to participate in the program. Keep in mind that treatment court is a team atmosphere. Please stress with clients that honesty is vital. Contact Judge Chris Marshall's staff for more information.

DISP DUII Intensive Supervision Program (DISP): This is a voluntary program for DUII defendants. Defendants must attend orientation before enrolling. Judicial settlement conferences are available for more complicated cases. The DISP office, which is in Room 710 and staffed by court personnel, is open for defendants and their attorneys to obtain more information about the program. More information is also available at courts.oregon.gov/Multnomah.

4. Tips for Mental Health Court

Participants must have a primary Axis 1 diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder or major depression to be eligible. Other limitations also apply. Defense counsel should promptly confer with the DA's Office and schedule a settlement conference with Judge Dick Baldwin. Counsel also should provide Heidi Grant, the Mental Health Court coordinator, at 503.988.6320, x24508 with documentation to support the eligible diagnosis as soon as possible.