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The Florida Supreme Court released its annual certification opinion on February 25. It called for 53 more county judges and 37 more circuit judges, citing rising caseloads around the state. The justices said the court system desperately needs the restoration of the 10 percent of its budget that was cut over the past three years, leading to 290.5 job cuts among supporting staff.
“The budget reductions and loss of positions sustained by the State Courts System over the last two fiscal years continue to be felt in every judicial circuit,” Chief Justice Peggy Quince wrote for a unanimous court. “We cannot overstate the causal relationship between the loss of supplemental resources and the increases in case processing times. When judges must absorb the workload of case managers, staff attorneys, or hearing officers, case processing times inevitably worsen. The net result is court delay.”
In county courts, the loss of traffic court hearing officers means that county judges have to handle nearly an extra 500,000 civil traffic cases a year.
Read more at the source, the Florida Bar News.