Court officials in Pike County prepare for first furlough day

Some state workers will be off Friday for the first of the state's furlough days.

Officials with the court system say they are prepared.

The judges and their staffs will be here, but prosecutors and public defenders are off for the furlough day.

Court workers have spent the last several weeks preparing for Friday, the first of the state's workers furlough days.

"Difficult situations call for difficult decisions sometimes." Says Tommy Chamberlin, the Assistant Pike County Attorney.

Prosecutors and public defenders will be off, so Judges moved Friday criminal cases to other days.

"We just have to work around those as best as we can." Says Judge Darrel Mullins.

Judges are not furloughed and will be working, but district Judge Darrel Mullins does not know what to expect with the attorneys not available.

"I Think this is uncharted territory for everybody cause we don't know exactly what's going to happen. The only people not on furlough will be those who commit crimes, for crime does not take a furlough." Says Judge Mullins.

Mullins says they can still hold arraignments and set bond for people arrested Friday, but not much else.

"If someone has asked for a public defender, that's a Constitutional right. They are entitled to that under the Constitution. We can't go forward without them." Says Mullins.

Attorneys do not know if that will create a backlog.

"This is uncharted territory like the judge said, so we don't know how this will affect our dockets or things of that nature." Says Chamberlin.

While officials are uncertain what impact the furlough will have in the court system, they will not hurt the judicial process.

"You certainly don't want to compromise the court. That won't be done. I don't think anyone will allow that to be done." Says Mullins.

Chamberlin says anyone who needs to file a criminal complaint with the county attorney's office on Friday should call your local police department to respond or wait until the office opens on Tuesday.


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