Friday, June 6, 2008

Statement by Judges in June 11, 2008 Comet


We are thankful that an understanding has been reached with the Carroll County Council that provides the funds necessary for the courts to remain fully open. The courts will have the staff required to handle the caseload which has been undiminished by the recent financial crisis. Without the funding now in place, the courts would have been unable to adequately handle the 750 criminal cases, 118 dissolutions (divorces), 89 estates and guardianships, 50 paternity case, 1600 traffic infractions, 400 small claims, 62 protective orders, and a large number of other civil cases we anticipate will be filed in 2008.

Funds have also been appropriated to meet the state and federal constitutional requirement of providing attorneys for indigent criminal defendants. Without the ability to provide counsel to those defendants, their cases cannot go forward.

The full text of the agreement can be found at:

After a scrivener’s error in the original agreement is corrected, we anticipate that the agreement will be signed by the County Council and Judges on June 17, 2008.

We have taken these budgetary matters seriously and consider it our duty to keep the courts open for business. It certainly has not been a laughing matter. However, having averted a crisis through the agreement with the Council, we have now included a lighter look at what our courts might have been like without adequate staffing through an I Love Lucy video on our Blog. We hope it will cause you to smile too.

Thank you to the many supporters and to those who have taken the time to become more fully informed regarding the responsibilities of the judiciary in Carroll County. We plan to continue to use the Blog to post information about the courts from time to time and will also include links that may be helpful to the citizens of Carroll County. After the agreement is signed, we may post our concluding thoughts, if appropriate.

Paid for by Donald E. Currie and Jeffrey R. Smith