Pinching Pennies in the Minnesota Courts
April 17, 2009
The economy is affecting everyone in one way or another. Even if you still have your job, you might be having a hard time making the house payment. Even if you still have your house, you might be having a hard time buying groceries. Something is getting cut along the way for everyone, and sometimes this has a greater impact than you might originally expect.
Minnesota Court Budgets
In the Court system, the situation is the same. The budget that the Courts need and the budget that the Courts get are two different things, and the Courts have to make decisions about where to cut back. Articles in the publications, including http://mnbar.org/benchandbar/2008/dec08/court.html in “Minnesota Bench & Bar” and http://www.growthandjustice.org/Fewer_clerks_shorter_hours_Budget_cuts_slow_wheels_of_justice.html in “Growth and Justice”, have addressed the problems facing the Courts. The Court websites themselves have posted bulletins about the budget cuts’ impact http://www.mncourts.gov/district/4/?page=3278 and how funding cuts threaten public safety http://www.courts.state.mn.us/district/0/?page=NewsItemDisplay&item=44518
The Impact on Family Law in Minnesota
The impact of the budget cuts on your family law matter could include the following:
- Delay in filing matters and scheduling hearings and trials.
- Delay due to lack of law clerks and court administrators to handle the work, and potentially less informed judicial officers.
- Delay in filing due to courts being closed on Wednesday afternoons.
- Lack of services such as arbitration and appointments of Guardians ad Litem.
Until the economy turns around and more money is available for Court services, you should expect a longer delay in having your family matter resolved. Consider hiring an attorney help guide you through the process and explain the frustrating delays to help you through this difficult time.
Emily M. Matson, Esq.