Archive for Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Budget cuts mean shorter hours at court clerk’s office

June 9, 2009

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The state budget crisis is about to make it a little more inconvenient to conduct business in Douglas County District Court.

Beginning Monday, the court clerk’s office will close from noon to 1 p.m., meaning people can’t just pop over to the judicial building, 111 E. 11th St., during their lunch break to pay a fine or apply for a marriage license.

“We regret to take this action, but budget limitations have cut into our staffing,” said Court Administrator Linda Koester-Vogelsang.

State leaders have reduced budgets for nearly all state agencies during the recession, including Kansas courts.

Koester-Vogelsang said Douglas County District Court has been under a hiring freeze since October, and the budget picture recently forced the state to cut into temporary worker hours, which had helped keep the court clerk’s office open from noon to 1 p.m.

The office had also staggered shifts before to help keep it open during lunch hour.

“We’re trying to maximize the people that we have available,” Koester-Vogelsang said.

Now the court clerk’s office will be open from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The lobby will remain unlocked from noon to 1 p.m., and people will be able to use public-access computers for court records.

The citizen review board office, which is home to the juvenile court clerk, will keep the same hours as the court clerk’s office.

The court trustee’s office, which handles child support payments, will continue to be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the court’s probation office will stay open from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The probation office closes at 5 p.m. on Friday.

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