Judge expects cutbacks at justice court after ruling by Douglas commissioners | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Judge expects cutbacks at justice court after ruling by Douglas commissioners

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Tahoe Justice Court Judge Richard Glasson said he will likely have to reduce the hours of five full-time court staff or close the court once a week following a decision by the Douglas County Commissioners on Thursday afternoon.

Commissioners unanimously denied Glasson’s request to augment the Tahoe Justice Court’s 2010-2011 budget by $62,400.

Glasson said he has always maintained a tight budget during the 10 years he has overseen the court and said he wouldn’t be able to fulfill the court’s legal requirements without the money.

The judge said he wasn’t sure whether he could legally close the court one day a week and said the switch to part time employees will lead to disruptions in the justice system.

But commissioners were not swayed.

Commissioner David Brady questioned whether the Justice Court needed five full-time court staff, pointing to the East Fork Justice Court, which handles more than twice the non-traffic related caseload of the Tahoe Justice Court with only one more staff member.

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Commissioner Nancy McDermid said the board didn’t relish requiring cuts to the court, but said the state of the county budget necessitates additional belt-tightening.

“Everyone has to help and share in these reductions,” McDermid said. “We don’t have the money to fund it. It’s just not there.”