A backlog in cases in Pulaski Circuit Court has Judge Michael Shurn hiring a new part-time employee. The county commissioners voted Monday to let Shurn hire someone to help out the court reporter and front-desk attendant.
Shurn explained that Circuit Court staff are still dealing with an influx of 1,600 to 1,700 cases that cannot be heard in Superior Court, since Judge Crystal Brucker Kocher worked on them when she was chief deputy prosecutor. “All those cases have come to us,” Shurn told the commissioners, “and we have an obligation to try to cram them through as quickly as possible because, for example, if somebody is in jail for a year through no fault of their own, no delay, then they can be discharged and not held accountable. So it’s important that we get that process done quickly.”
Shurn added that he’s been working with the Pulaski County Prosecutor’s Office to streamline the process. But his current employees still typically have to work 10-hour days and some weekends to deal with the backlog.
He explained that he’s already used half of his overtime budget for 2018, but he does have some extra money in his budget for part-time help.