Friday, September 25, 2009

Judges vote to work without pay to keep court open

ATLANTA -- Fulton County Superior Court judges have voted to work three days without pay in response to the state’s fiscal crisis.

Chief Judge Doris Downs said the court’s judges will voluntarily reduce their salary by one day each month for the rest of this year.
“This is not a furlough, it is a voluntary reduction in pay” explained Chief Judge Downs. The Courts will remain open for business as usual.

“It is important to this bench that the public see no cuts in service,” she said. “The only cut will be in the judges’ salaries.”

The Fulton Superior Court bench adopted this cost-saving measure because the Georgia Constitution forbids judges’ salaries from being cut, but it does not prevent them from returning a portion of their pay.

Downs said that the Fulton Superior Court judges hope their action will prevent further cuts which will impact the Court’s ability to hear and decide cases.

The days that the judges are forfeiting their pay are October 9; November 25 and December 23.

Those days were selected because they coincide with furlough days adopted by some other jurisdictions.

Fulton Superior Court is the state’s largest and busiest trial court with more than 30,000 cases filed annually.

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