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. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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