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General Laws

Section 10D. (a) Each applicant for initial appointment as a court officer within the trial court shall pass a written examination established and administered by the court administrator, after consultation with the personnel administrator, who shall determine the form, method and subject matter of such examination. The examination shall test the knowledge, skills and abilities which can be objectively and reliably measured and which are required to perform the duties of the position of court officer. The court administrator, in consultation with the personnel administrator, shall establish a uniform minimum score needed for further consideration of the applicant for consideration as a court officer.

(b) The name of each applicant for initial appointment as a court officer within the trial court who has successfully completed the examination under subsection (a) shall be forwarded to the court administrator or a designee who shall objectively screen the applicant to determine whether the applicant meets the minimum criteria for appointment as a court officer.

(c) Those applicants who have passed the examination under subsection (a) and were deemed by the court administrator to have met the minimum criteria for appointment under subsection (b) shall be subject to an investigative and interview process which shall include, but not be limited to: (i) inquiry into and review of the applicant’s education, prior work history, related work history in the trial courts and other accomplishments to ensure that the applicant is well suited for the culture of the organization and will further the organization’s stated goals; (ii) behaviorally-based interviews; and (iii) candidate assessments, including case study, presentation and writing assessments; provided, however, that the candidate assessments shall focus on the specific requirements of the position.

(d) Recommendations for employment submitted in support of candidates applying for employment by the trial court shall not be considered by a hiring authority until the applicant has passed the examination under subsection (a), been deemed by the court administrator to have met the minimum criteria for appointment under subsection (b) and has successfully completed the interview and investigative processes under subsection (c); provided, however, that the hiring authority may, in accordance with the trial court’s regular practice for conducting reference checks, contact and speak with a reference provided to it by a candidate, or contact and speak with any person who has submitted a written recommendation on behalf of a candidate.

(e) Notwithstanding any general or special law, rule or regulation to the contrary, recommendations for employment submitted in support of candidates who are hired as court officers shall be considered public records under section 7 of chapter 4 and chapter 66; provided, however that this shall not apply to internal communications.

(f) Those applicants who have passed the examination under subsection (a) and were deemed by the court administrator to have met the minimum criteria for appointment under subsection (b), and who have successfully completed the interview and investigative processes under subsection (c) shall be eligible for appointment by the court administrator. The court administrator may appoint court officers to the several sessions of the trial court as the court administrator deems necessary, in consultation with the chief justice of the trial court.

(g) A court officer seeking a promotion within the trial court shall pass a written examination established and administered by the court administrator, after consultation with the personnel administrator, who shall determine the form, method and subject matter of such examination. The examination shall test the knowledge, skills and abilities which can be objectively and reliably measured and which are required to perform the duties of the position being applied for. The court administrator, in consultation with the personnel administrator, shall establish a uniform minimum score needed for further consideration of the applicant for consideration for promotion.

(h) The name of each applicant for promotion who has successfully completed the examination under subsection (e) shall be forwarded to the court administrator or a designee who shall objectively screen the applicant to determine whether the applicant meets the minimum criteria for promotion.

(i) Those applicants who have passed the examination under subsection (g) and were deemed by the personnel administrator to have met the minimum criteria for promotion under subsection (h) shall be subject to an investigative and interview process which shall include, but not be limited to: (i) inquiry into and review of the applicant’s education, prior work history, related work history in the trial courts and other accomplishments to ensure that the applicant is well suited for the culture of the organization and will further the organization’s stated goals; (ii) behaviorally-based interviews; and (iii) candidate assessments, including case study, presentation and writing assessments; provided, however, that the candidate assessments shall focus on the specific requirements of the position.

(j) Recommendations for promotion submitted in support of candidates applying for a promotion by the trial court shall not be considered by a hiring authority until the applicant has passed the examination under subsection (g), been deemed by the court administrator to have met the minimum criteria for appointment under subsection (h) and successfully completed the interview and investigative processes under subsection (i); provided, however, that the hiring authority may, in accordance with the trial court’s regular practice for conducting reference checks, contact and speak with a reference provided to it by a candidate, or contact and speak with any person who has submitted a written recommendation on behalf of a candidate.

(k) Notwithstanding any general or special law, rule or regulation to the contrary, recommendations for employment submitted in support of candidates who are promoted as court officers shall be considered public records under section 7 of chapter 4 and chapter 66; provided, however that this shall not apply to internal communications

(l) Those applicants who have passed the examination under subsection (g) and were deemed by the court administrator to have met the minimum criteria for appointment under subsection (h) and successfully completed the interview and investigative processes under subsection (i) shall be eligible for promotion by the court administrator.

(m) All court officers of the trial court shall devote their full time and attention to the duties of their office during regular business hours.

(n) all personnel standards developed under this section shall ensure that all appointments, promotions and increases in compensation of personnel within the trial court are merit based and maintain internal and external integrity with regard to their processes. Such standards shall be made available to the public and promulgated prominently on the website of the trial court.

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