45 Days – Nationwide impacts of budget cuts to courts state by state

Posted on August 2, 2011

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Unlike the other 49 states, California’s judicial branch has an ample source of funding and ways to reduce costs to deal with budget cuts that are having a detrimental effect to justice nationwide.

The idea that court executive officers like Roddy (San Diego) and Turner (Marin) are unwilling to accept fiscal realities and attempt to preserve access to justice, choosing instead to push through with cutting court budgets to send a message to a cash poor Sacramento is ample reason to call for their resignations as well as good reason to toss all elected officials voting for those cuts out of office.

Expanding a post from AOC Watcher on nationwide budget cuts, we updated the impact nationwide based on recent news reports. In essence, we are not alone in California’s judicial branch. Such cuts are nationwide. We just happen to be the only judicial branch with the ability to mitigate those cuts.  In all, 44 states experienced budget cuts and it appears 41 were impacted.

Here is the roundup of maneuvers employed by states nationwide to contend with their own judicial branch budget cuts:

Alaska – Delays in filling all court vacancies & reduction in hours of operation

Washington –  Delays in filling all court vacancies, increases in fees and fines, reduction in hours of operation, furloughs & pay reductions

Oregon –  Delays in filling all court vacancies, increases in fees and fines, reduction in hours of operation, furloughs & pay reductions, staff layoffs, reduced use of retired judges

Montana – Delays in filling  judicial support vacancies, salary freeze

Idaho – Delays in filling clerk and judicial support vacancies, increase in fees and fines, salary freeze

Nevada – Delays in filling clerk and judicial support vacancies, salary freeze, reduced use of retired judges, reduced hours of operation

Arizona – Delays in filling all court vacancies, increases in fees and fines, salary freeze, reduction in hours of operation, furloughs, pay reductions, staff layoffs, reduced use of retired judges

Utah –  Delays in filling all court vacancies, increases in fees and fines, salary freeze, staff layoffs, reduced use of retired judges

Wyoming – No impact

Colorado – No impact

New Mexico –  Delays in filling all court vacancies, increases in fees and fines, salary freeze, reduction in hours of operation, furloughs, pay reductions, staff layoffs

Texas –  Delays in filling all court vacancies, salary freeze

Oklahoma –  Delays in filling all court vacancies, increases in fees and fines, salary freeze, salary reductions, staff layoffs, reduced use of retired judges

Kansas –  Delays in filling all court vacancies, increases in fees and fines,  reduction in hours of operation, furloughs (including furloughs of judges), pay reductions,  reduced use of retired judges

Nebraska –  Delays in filling all court vacancies, reduced use of retired judges

South Dakota – No impact

North Dakota – No impact

Minnesota –  Delays in filling all court vacancies, increases in fees and fines, salary freeze, reduction in hours of operation, furloughs, pay reductions, staff layoffs, reduced use of retired judges

Iowa –  Delays in filling all court vacancies, increases in fees and fines, salary freeze, reduction in hours of operation, furloughs, pay reductions, staff layoffs, reduced use of retired judges

Missouri –  Delays in filling all court vacancies, salary freeze,  reduced use of retired judges

Arkansas – Across the board salary reductions for everyone

Louisiana – Delays in filling clerk and support staff vacancies

Mississippi – Salary freeze, delays in filling judge vacancies, reduced use of retired judges

Alabama – Delays in filling clerk and support staff vacancies, across the board salary freeze

Tennessee – Delays in filling judge & support staff vacancies, across the board salary freeze, staff layoffs

Kentucky –  Delays in filling all court vacancies, increases in fees and fines, across the board salary freeze, staff layoffs

Indiana – No Impact

Illinois – No impact

Wisconsin – Reduced hours of operation, reduced use of retired judges, judge furloughs and salary reductions

Michigan –  Delays in filling clerk and support positons, salary freeze, reduction in hours of operation, furloughs & pay reductions, staff layoffs

Ohio – Across the board salary freeze, reduced use of retired judges

West Virginia – No impact

Virginia – No impact

North Carolina – No impact

South Carolina –  Delays in filling clerk and judge vacancies,salary freeze, reduction in hours of operation, reduced use of retired judges

Georgia –  Delays in filling all court vacancies, increases in fees and fines, salary freeze, reduction in hours of operation, furloughs of everyone including judges, pay reductions, salary reductions, staff layoffs, reduced use of retired judges (appears to be the hardest impacted state)

Florida – delays in filling clerk and support vacancies, increased fees and fines

Maryland – delays in filling clerk and judicial support positions, furloughs of support staff with pay reductions, salary freeze, across the board salary reductions

Delaware – delays in filling all vacancies, increase in fees and fines, across the board salary reductions

Pennsylvania – delays in filling judicial vacancies, increased fees and fines

New York – delays in filling judicial vacancies, increased fees and fines, reduced use of retired judges, layoffs

Connecticut – delays in filling judicial vacancies, increased fees and fines.

New Jersey – delays in filling clerk vacancies, across the board pay cuts for everyone

Rhode Island – delays in filling all vacancies, across the board salary reductions, increased fees and fines

Massachusettes – Across the board salary freeze, furloughs of judicial officers

Vermont – Delays in filling clerk and judge vacancies, across the board furloughs and pay reductions

New Hampshire – Delays in filling clerk and judge vacancies, increased fees and fines, across the board furloughs with pay reductions, reduced hours of operation, reduced use of retired judges

Maine – Delays in filling clerk and support positions, increased fees and fines, across the board salary freeze

Hawaii –  Delays in filling all court vacancies, increases in fees and fines, salary freeze, reduction in hours of operation, furloughs & pay reductions, staff layoffs,across the board salary reductions

Sources: NCSC Dec 2010 report + updates from newspapers from around the country