Recorder, probation head issue annual reports
BACKUS — Cass County Recorder Katie Norby and Probation Director Jim Schneider presented their 2012 annual reports to the county board Tuesday.
Norby reported the number of abstracts, Torrens and uniform commercial code documents she recorded in 2012 rose for the first time in three years. Administrator Robert Yochum said this could be an indication of an improved real estate market here.
Document recording peaked in 2003 at 20,515 and declined down to only 10,915 in 2011. The number recorded in 2012 came back up to 13,140.
Recording fees receipted peaked in 2006 at $737,530 after a 2005 state-mandated recording fee increase and dipped to a low following that increase of $559,320 in 2010. Fees collected in 2012 ran $647,458.
Schneider reported despite some notable successes, like the diversion program for juveniles and wellness court for DWI adult offenders, the overall probation violation reports have increased in 2011 and 2012, compared with 2010.
In 2010, 133 juveniles and 231 adult probation violations were recorded, compared with 161 juvenile and 305 adult violations in 2011 and 213 juvenile and 302 adult violations in 2012.
Overall, the number of adults on probation for assaultive behavior and property offenses was up in 2012, but down for driving while under the influence and driving after license cancellation when compared with 2010 and 2011. Total adult cases (1,109) were up some from the 1,064 in 2011, but below the 1,117 in 2010.
Juvenile probation cases in 2012 (901) were up from the 866 in 2010 and 774 in 2010. Assaultive behavior was down 37 cases in 2011 and 2012 from the 300 in 2010 and burglary cases down to 58 in 2012 from 59 in 2011 and 73 in 2010.
Only 6 percent of those successfully completing wellness court have re-offended, Schneider said.
Diversion for juvenile offenders ages 10 to 18 who commit minor offenses is an alternative to going to court available to some first-time offenders. It focuses on wisdom, love, respect, bravery, honesty, humility and truth as the foundation for a good life. Of the 47 youth who participated in 2010 and 90 in 2011 and 116 in 2012, 65.1 percent have not re-offended since completing that program.
Both wellness court and the juvenile diversion programs are cooperative efforts between Cass County District Court and Leech Lake Tribal Court.