Budget cuts affecting courts

December 1, 2011
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The organization released data this week showing that the economic downturn has led to considerably reduced court budgets in 42 states. Courts in 34 states have laid off court staff, 39 courts have suspended filing clerk vacancies, and 23 state court systems have reduced operating hours.

Indiana’s courts are primarily funded locally, with the state paying salaries of judges and prosecutors as well as partial reimbursements for public defenders and travel expenses. The money allocated by the state to our judiciary has decreased by nearly $1 million from fiscal year 2011 going into FY 2012. According to the NCSC, our courts have been able to keep the same number of judges but have cut the number of staff and amount spent on operating expenses. There have also been layoffs in technology staff.

The result of the data according to the NCSC is that the public’s access to courts is threatened by the budget cuts. Reduced staff, operating hours and funding have led to backlogs in handling civil cases in a timely manner.

Indiana overall is doing pretty good as compared to the rest of the country. It’s just one of 10 states that didn’t report budget shortfalls for their judicial branch for FY 2009 and/or 2010, according to NCSC. A look around the Midwest shows that most states are dealing with slightly reduced or stagnant budgets, and all are looking at ways of reducing costs – whether it’s through freezing salaries, staff layoffs or finding more ways to reduce spending and costs.
 

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  1. Don't we have bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

  2. Anyone who takes the time to study disciplinary and bar admission cases in Indiana ... much of which is, as a matter of course and by intent, off the record, would have a very difficult time drawing lines that did not take into account things which are not supposed to matter, such as affiliations, associations, associates and the like. Justice Hoosier style is a far departure than what issues in most other parts of North America. (More like Central America, in fact.) See, e.g., http://www.theindianalawyer.com/indiana-attorney-illegally-practicing-in-florida-suspended-for-18-months/PARAMS/article/42200 When while the Indiana court system end the cruel practice of killing prophets of due process and those advocating for blind justice?

  3. Wouldn't this call for an investigation of Government corruption? Chief Justice Loretta Rush, wrote that the case warranted the high court’s review because the method the Indiana Court of Appeals used to reach its decision was “a significant departure from the law.” Specifically, David wrote that the appellate panel ruled after reweighing of the evidence, which is NOT permissible at the appellate level. **But yet, they look the other way while an innocent child was taken by a loving mother who did nothing wrong"

  4. Different rules for different folks....

  5. I would strongly suggest anyone seeking mediation check the experience of the mediator. There are retired judges who decide to become mediators. Their training and experience is in making rulings which is not the point of mediation.

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