Our office is trying to use the standardized judgments from the Office of Court Administration. Can someone more computer literate than I am tell me how to make additions or ammendments to these forms? In particular, I want to add conditions of probation, but the stupid form won't let me. And I'm supposed to be the computer guru in my office. Makes you realize we do lots of work with pens and legal pads, doesn't it? :-)
Now, be careful about cussing out an inanimate object. Those forms have feelings, too.
The forms are offered in two formats: PDF files (which can't be changed because you essentially get a permanent image) and Word files (which can be changed if you unlock the document).
You can unlock the document under the Tools menu by choosing "Unprotect." In addition, the document may be locked under the Properties function. Simply choose unlock.
Then you can edit, save and relock the document. You also could call the office of court administration and talk to the very nice lady who formatted these nice forms. I bet, if you were very nice, she would walk you through any changes. Just tell her I referred you to her.
Stephanie: I unprotected the Order Imposing Conditions of CS form (on the tools menu), then saved 4 versions for use with different types of cases. There is (1)a basic form with conditions for non-drug, non-sex, non-assaultive offenses, (2) a form for DWI and other drug related offenses, (3) a form for sex offenses, and (4) a form with EVERY condition we could think of called "all" that we use for unusual cases (e.g. sex offender +drugs). This makes preparation and editing more efficient since we start with a form that has most or all of the conditions that we usually impose for a specific offense. I also set the forms up with file names ending with "Drug", "Sex", "Basic" and "All" so its easy to see which one to use, and formatted so that the paragraphs automatically re-number when we add or delete a condition.
One more note - be CAREFUL when changing the document to "protect" or "unprotect" - ALWAYS save before making that change or you can lose your changes.
E-mail me if you need anything else.
Thank you, John and Frank! I guess I could have spent a few hours researching articles on the MS website to find this answer. (Who am I kidding? I could have spent a few day before I figured out that the document was protected.) Looks like my homework this weekend will be working on the conditions of community supervision.
Okay, I have gotten the new forms from TJ online.
We did some modifications.
All is well, but . . .
In our old forms we placed the verdict form in the judgement:
"We, the jury, find the defendant , ---- guilty of the offense of ---- on or about the ----, as alleged in the indictment".
Foreperson of the Jury
Does / did anyone else do this?
Do the new forms cover this, or should we modify further?
The statute stills says the verdict should be entered on the minutes of the court. art. 37.04 CCP. But the new form seems to comply with 42.01 (7) and my guess is the foreman would prefer not to have his or her name memorialized. Exactly how the verdict should be spread on the minutes was never very clear to me. But, a direct quote in the judgment does not seem to be the only way to comply with 37.04.
I converted the Word state forms to a Word merge format that is degree and offense specific. It works far superior to the state forms. They also include all the warnings, waivers, confession, suspension and destruction orders appropriate for the offense.
The secretaries gripe all the time about the few forms that I didn't change because they are so much more difficult to use.
If you have about 5 or 6 weeks to spare it is worth the effort.
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