Effects of judicial branch furlough

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

PINEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Kentucky Judicial Centers were closed Monday for a furlough day. It was one of three planned this year. The Chief Justice says they are needed to balance the budget.

The shut down affected people from paying fines to inmates not getting bonds set.

In Bell County, people came to the Judicial Center all day Monday, but were met with locked doors.
Johnny Reynolds came to pay a fine.

"I didn't know they were closed. Yeah, I was kind of shocked," Reynolds said.

Due to budget cuts, the court system is shutting down three separate days this year to save money. Monday was the first furlough.

"It's unfortunate, first and foremost for the community that they can't access the court system they depend on each and every day," Bell County Circuit Court Clerk Colby Slusher said.

Non-elected court employees were off without pay.

"It's unfortunate for the employees who depend on the court system for their means of income," said Slusher.

It also affected the county jails. Bonds for inmates could not be set.

"It fills us up. We can't get bonds for people arrested over the weekend, during the daytime and during the evenings. The families get aggravated at us because when they call, they ask for a bond and we can't tell them, we don't have one," said Rex Miller, Bell County Jailer.

The Judicial Centers will be open on regular schedule on Tuesday. Officials say they will be busy playing catch-up.

"This backs up court dockets. We'll be busier than normal for a couple of months to come," said Slusher.

Those with business to take care of at the judicial centers say making another trip is inconvenient.

"Yes, it is because of the price of gas, gasoline," said Timothy Brock who came to the Bell County Judicial Center on Monday to pay a fine.

Officials hope the furlough will help the budget crisis in the future.

The other two furlough days will be Tuesday, September 4th and Monday, October 15th.

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