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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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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