Courts in Crisis

Courts in Crisis

Courts in Crisis Featured Articles Law and the Courts

Beleaguered court officials try to find the bright side in a modest state budget

Expectations are so low when it comes to funding the state’s court system that a budget without obvious cuts is now lauded as a victory. “We are pleased that the budget as proposed by the General Assembly recognizes ...
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Courts in Crisis

In Greensboro redistricting case, questions about who’ll defend the challenged law

Asheville filed first, suing in May 2013 to keep control of its water system. Charlotte followed shortly after, trying to hold on to its airport. And now it’s Greensboro, hoping to wrest control of its government from the ...
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Courts in Crisis Law and the Courts

Down one judge and deserving another

The federal courts in eastern North Carolina have been operating under a state of judicial emergency for years now, though you wouldn’t know it given the lack of a sense of urgency exhibited by the state’s United States ...
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Courts in Crisis Law and the Courts

Suing for support? Cash-strapped courts ponder next move

The legislative session may be young, but already some state lawmakers are talking about making state court funding a priority. Certainly that’s news, given how the judicial branch has been passed over during budget negotiations in recent years. ...
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Courts in Crisis Law and the Courts

State courts head into the 2015 budget session stripped to the bone

At just about this time last year, John Smith, the director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, approached state lawmakers hat in hand with modest requests for court funding. His budget had been slashed repeatedly since the ...
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Courts in Crisis Law and the Courts News

Justice system in state budget crosshairs

No matter how you read them, the Senate budget released in late May and the House budget released yesterday offer little salvation for the justice system in North Carolina. The Senate budget guts funding for legal aid to ...
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Courts in Crisis Law and the Courts

Justice suffers again in Senate budget

There’s plenty to parse in the Senate budget proposal released last night, but when it comes to the fiscal concerns affecting justice and public safety, here are the themes looming large. Starve the courts In February John Smith, ...
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Courts in Crisis Law and the Courts

Silencing the court reporters

State court reporters must have looked like easy prey for senators cutting corners and slashing costs. No money for judges. No money for drug treatment courts. No money for attorneys to represent prisoners. No money for technology upgrades ...
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Courts in Crisis Law and the Courts

Legal Services kiosks in the jails?

Moving the State Bureau of Investigation from Attorney General to Department of Public Safety oversight may have been one of the lead stories coming out of the Senate budget released on Monday, but there’s several other head-scratching and ...
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Courts in Crisis Law and the Courts

State court system: Unified in name only?

Someone forgot to remind legislators hell-bent on slashing judicial budgets in recent years that a unified court system does not call for one-size-fits-all funding. Rural districts have different concerns than those in the cities, especially those that span ...
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Courts in Crisis Law and the Courts

Groundhog Day for NC courts

It could be a scene from the movie “Groundhog Day.” Every long session as the budget is being negotiated, judges and other state court employees head down to the legislature to plead their case for more money for ...
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Courts in Crisis Law and the Courts

Budget cuts leave justice hurtling towards a tipping point

How many bodies does it take to get a new date for a case on the Durham County court docket? At least three. And that’s no joke to court officials there. “Our system is archaic right now,” said ...
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Courts in Crisis Law and the Courts

Courting trouble – Budget cuts push Wake County courts back in time

“Must know DOS.” That’s a “help wanted” job description Wake County Superior Court Clerk Lorrin Freeman might post for staff in her office, if she could hire – an infrequent occurrence these past few years. Remember DOS? That’s ...
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Courts in Crisis Law and the Courts

Budget cuts, recession batter NC courts, threaten justice

Most people don’t think about what it costs to run the courts, or appreciate just how deep the slashes to the judicial budget have been over the past few years, until they find themselves roaming the halls of ...
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