Court Employees Fear More Budget Cuts, Layoffs

Tools

By Ashley Thompson

Chief Justice Roy Moore called the financial state of Alabama's courts dire, saying they're operating with 38 million dollars less than when he first took office back in 2001.

When you call the Autauga County Clerk's Office, you'll be forewarned that business may be slow. It's something Circuit Court Clerk Whit Moncrief says is the norm now-a-days. Moncrief tells us just a few years ago, he had nine employees but now he's only working with five.

"Work has been slower to get out," says Moncrief. "I have a very dedicated staff that helps me but we're still a little bit slow."

Montgomery County Deputy Circuit Clerk Teresa Allen says her office is also moving at a slower pace due to limited staff.

"Essentially, each clerk is having to do the work of two people and we're having to depend much more on temps and interns," she says.

Allen tells us recent budget cuts have created a more stressful workplace environment. She says she once had 54 employees but now her office only operates with 28.

"The volume and the number of cases does not decrease just because we have fewer people. The same amount of work has come in. If anything, the work is increasing."

Alabama News Network tracked down just how much work was done in 2012 in the Montgomery County Clerk's Office. 28 employees filed almost 30 thousand cases last year. Now legislators are proposing even more budget cuts to the state's court system.

"More cuts would be devastating," says Moncrief. "Not only to me but to every clerk statewide."

"We're at the bare minimum now and the deeper we cut, the slower the process is going to become," says Allen. "And justice delayed is justice denied."



This content requires the latest Adobe Flash Player and a browser with JavaScript enabled. Click here for a free download of the latest Adobe Flash Player.

Poll

Should Alabama Allow TV Cameras in Courtrooms?

  • Yes
  • No

What's onFull Schedule

Hot Video From AP

AP Video