Madison County facing shortage of judges, requesting help from state

According to the court website, there are seven circuit judges, and four district judges currently employed.

Posted: Feb 21, 2020 8:34 PM
Updated: Feb 21, 2020 10:54 PM

The Madison County Commission has requested help from the state legislature because it says the courthouse is in need of more judges. 

It's a problem District One Commissioner Roger Jones says has been growing for the last four years. 

According to the court website, there are seven circuit judges, and four district judges currently employed.

"Madison County, the 23rd circuit, is over three judges short, for the last four years we've been short," Jones said. "If you don't have a sufficient number of judges to handle these cases, there's a backlog, and that's a disservice to the citizens of this county."

A case backlog is when a court case takes longer than initially anticipated to hear. Jones says the county had to hire two retired judges to come in and work some cases.

County leaders are reaching out to a state committee called the Judicial Resource Allocation Commission for help. They also ask the state to consider moving a surplus of judges in Jefferson County to Madison County.

Jones says growth of the county is a great thing, but it brings challenges like these with it.

"Madison County is growing by leaps and bounds, of course, more growth comes with more court cases and more of a need to handle these cases," Jones said.

Jones says right now there is no clear timeline of when the state commission will make a decision. 

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