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Have more questions? Please contact Greg Hurley at ghurley@ncsc.org or (800) 616-6164.


How can we manage this case with existing resources?

High-profile cases are extremely resource-intensive and can greatly strain court budgets, operations and facilities. If the resource demands are too great, the case should be transferred to another location.

High-profile cases are very expensive.  The court may need to hire supplemental security officers to meet increased security risks as well as crowd control for court hearings.  Additional costs may be incurred to modify the courtroom to accommodate larger numbers of media representatives and public spectators or to modify, to increase IT infrastructure to meet increased Internet traffic to the court’s website, to summon and qualify a substantially larger pool of jurors for trial, and possibly to sequester jurors.  Although the court may have budgeted discretionary funds for emergency use, those funds may not be sufficient to cover all expenses, forcing the court to seek supplemental funds from other sources.

The high-profile case may the one getting media attention, but the trial judge likely has hundreds of other cases on the docket that need the judge’s attention.  It may be possible for the judge to continue to manage the entire caseload for a limited period of time, but eventually those cases should be reassigned to another judicial officer so the trial judge can focus attention on the high-profile case and the other cases do not suffer from lack of attention.  Similarly, the court should take steps to minimize the impact of the high-profile case on other court users during court hearings or trial proceedings.

Different types of types of high-profile cases place different demands on court facilities, and not all courthouses can easily accommodate larger crowds or increased security needs.

Sometimes a high-profile case cannot be managed where it was initially filed.  A change in venue is most often granted when the court determines that an impartial jury cannot be empaneled from the community, but may also be necessary if the physical structure of the courthouse cannot accommodate the increased demands associated with the high-profile case.    

300 Newport Avenue, Williamsburg VA 23185     Phone: (800) 616-6164