Making my daily rounds at the Westchester County Courthouse, I’ve been noticing that fewer and fewer judges are posting their court calendars outside of their courtrooms anymore. For the uninitiated, court calendars are a list of the cases that are scheduled to appear before a particular judge. The list include the defendant’s name, the charges against him/her, what kind of court appearance it is (arraignment, sentencing, etc.), the assistant district attorney’s name and the defense lawyer’s name.
Needless to say, those calendars a pretty good source of information to a reporter.
I called Administrative Judge Alan Scheinkman to complain about the disappearing lists and, to my surprise, he said it was intentional: “It’s an effort to go green,” he said. “We’re really trying to discourage unnecessary paper.”
He noted that the court calendars were now listed on an electronic calendar on the first floor. Trouble is, the scrolling computer screen is hard to read, and it only lists the top charge of the indictment — if it lists any charges at all. I told this to Scheinkman, and he replied that I could always go to the individual court clerks and ask to see a copy of the judge’s daily calendar.
Yes, I can do that, I told him, and
when if the court clerks give me a hard time about it, he will be the first to know.