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Kentucky Courts Closed Today for 1st of 3 Furlough Days After Budget Cuts

Posted Aug 6, 2012 4:07 PM CDT
By Stephanie Francis Ward

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Kentucky state courts are closed today, in the first of three unpaid furlough days for judicial branch employees.

The time is in response to a $25.2 million state budget cut, according to Louisville’s WDRB News. The unpaid days allow the court to avoid layoffs, the station reports, but suspects arrested for minor offenses over the weekend might not be released until Tuesday.

Judges worry how the furlough days will clog the courts.

“People need their cases resolved, we need our laws enforced and now we’ve gotten to the point where we’re not going to have court three days. That’s a serious issue, “ Judge Angela M. McCormick Bisig told the station.

The issue was also mentioned at the American Bar Association’s annual meeting, at the Saturday evening opening assembly, by Kentucky lawyer and outgoing ABA president Wm T. (Bill) Robinson III.

"We would not consider closing a police station or a firehouse or a hospital emergency room one day a week for lack of funds. And our courts should be no different," said Robinson, the member-in-charge of the Florence, Ky., office of Frost Brown Todd. "Our courts are democracy's emergency room, the one safe place to seek custody of a child, request a protective order from an abusive spouse, fight foreclosure of a home or protect a small business."

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