In its November 2015 recap and rankings, the Washington D.C. based Center for Public Integrity gave the State of Connecticut an overall C-grade, which for some may not seem too bad. Look closely at the numbers and categories however and it reveals an unfortunate reality that will surprise few with any personal experience dealing with the Connecticut Judicial Branch.
In the category of 'Judicial Accountability,' Connecticut got an F-grade. Yes, an F. A score of just 49 and a ranking of 41 of the 50 states ranked. The top-line categories used as a basis for relative comparison include the following:
- Can members of the judiciary be held accountable for their actions?
- Is the process for selecting state-level judges transparent and accountable?
- Are there regulations governing conflicts of interest for the state-level judiciary?
- Are the regulations governing conflicts of interest for the state-level judiciary effective?
- Can citizens access the asset disclosure records of members of the state-level judiciary?
Equally disturbing in this same report is a D-grade for Ethics Enforcement Agencies. Sure, that's better than getting an F, but the 64 is certainly nothing to brag about. Categories in the ethics section include:
- Are there laws and regulations to promote and protect a professional ethics enforcement agency (or set of agencies)?
- Are the laws and regulations to promote and protect a professional ethics enforcement agency (or set of agencies) effective?
- Are there regulations governing conflicts of interest by the ethics enforcement agencies?
- Are the regulations governing conflicts of interest by the ethics enforcement agencies effective?
- Can Citizens access asset disclosures and ethics entities reports?
Rather than try to re-purpose the content from the Center's web site, and risk introducing an unintended bias, you can review the findings for yourself at the below link:
Do you have a personal experience with the Connecticut courts that supports or refutes the findings of the Center? Have you been in Criminal Court, Family Court (another name for divorce court), or perhaps it was Probate Court, or a Civil or Small Claims matter. Share your experience.