New York Judges Told to Close Courtrooms a Half-Hour Earlier to Scale Back Costs

To reduce overtime paid to court staff, New York judges were told Wednesday to close their courtrooms a half-hour earlier every day.

The state’s chief administrative judge Ann Pfau made the request to shut down courtrooms by 4:30 p.m. in a two-page memorandum, the New York Times reports. The request came days after the state budget cut $170 million in funds for the judiciary, the paper notes.

“The memorandum also calls for the end to a long-standing practice of having juries deliberate through the lunch hour, because that too requires staff members to work, and collect overtime,” the Times says.

The time change doesn’t necessarily mean court proceedings won’t continue past 4:30 p.m. According to the Times, that can still happen, but before it does, a judge now has to receive the consent of that court’s administrative judge.

The change affects both state and local courts, the Times says.

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