ILNews

Judge: Courts can't trim budget and function

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2008
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Faced with the possibility of cutting even more from the Carroll County's courts budget this year, that county's judges stood firm against Carroll County Council requests to again slash the court's budget. The judges sent a letter to the council stating if the Indiana Supreme Court would relieve the courts of some duties, then the court's budget could be further reduced.

The letter was sent to point out the absurdity of the requested cuts, said Carroll Superior Judge Jeffrey Smith. Cutting the budget again would not allow the courts to function properly.

"If in fact the Supreme Court would tell us we wouldn't have to do divorce cases or criminal cases, we might be able to function within the budget," he said.

The County Council is asking the Carroll courts to trim an additional 37.7 percent from its budget held in three different accounts; the courts have already cut approximately $90,000 by shifting to user fees, the judge said.

The County Council requested all departments go back to their 2003 budgets, which was the last time all the budgets were in balance.

"After we made those reductions, all three of our budgets were below the 2003 budget. Then approximately a week ago we were summonsed to a council meeting and told to cut an additional $90,000 without any direction," Judge Smith said.

The letter was sent in response to the additional cuts request. Judge Smith said the letter and the budget issues will be discussed during the April 15 council meeting.
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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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