State Revenue and Appropriations
1) The state appropriation includes the Court of Appeals, the Judicial Council, the Juvenile Courts, the Prosecuting Attorneys council the Superior Courts and the Supreme Court.
2) The increase includes greater costs for employee health benefits and the employees’ retirement system.
3) The FY13 budget includes additional money to fund e-filing in the Court of Appeals.
Funding Principles for Judicial Administration
Steps Taken to Address Tough Economic Times
Staffing Levels and Operating Expenses: Over the past four years, the number of judges has remained the same. The number of central office staff persons has been reduced. In FY13, the number of judges and central office staff persons will remain the same.
Compensation: Over the past four years, the Georgia courts have furloughed court staff.
Service Reductions: Over the past four years, the Georgia courts have had staff layoffs and have reduced the use of retired judges.
Efficiency Measures: The Georgia courts have been implementing e-filing in the Court of Appeals.
Restructuring: The Georgia courts have reallocated staff. They use part-time and off-hours workers.
Business Processes: The Georgia plan in FY13 to begin, as a pilot project, remote videoconferencing of interpreters for persons with limited English proficiency.
Outsourcing: The Georgia courts plan in FY13 to outsource the provision of language access service and also to outsource some legal services to replace a full-time staff attorney.
The State Bar has created the Next Generation Courts Commission which has as one of its charges to make recommendations on how to promote adequate funding for Georgia’s courts.
The Georgia courts are in a worse position than four years ago to provide access and timely justice. If the budget situation improves, additional monies will be used on new technologies and new staffing needs for current projects.
Reports and Articles
Gavel to Gavel