AL Judge Says Layoffs Could Shut Down Court System

By: AP
By: AP

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- A top judge says criminal prosecutions and most juvenile proceedings in Jefferson County will stop late this month because county layoffs will eliminate most security screeners at courthouse entrances.

Circuit Judge Scott Vowell, presiding judge in the 10th Judicial Circuit, says that without adequate security, all criminal cases, most juvenile court proceedings and some traffic cases effectively will be on hold in the county starting June 27.

Most employees in the circuit are paid by the state.

But the county supplements some salaries and services and is the
court system's landlord.

Screeners at courthouse security stations are paid through the county's General Services department.

Vowell says the county's job cuts will leave four of the five courthouses in Jefferson County with no one to screen visitors.

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