The reorganization and downsizing plan for the state’s judiciary is drawing complaints from those who’ll have to travel greater distances to conduct court business. For example, Grinnell-area residents may have to travel to Newton rather than their nearby county-seat of Montezuma. Poweshiek County Attorney Mike Mahaffey says magistrate court and district court trials would still be held in Montezuma, but he still isn’t excited about the prospect. He says many cases would likely be filed in Jasper County.He understands the budget reasons, but contends the proposal was put together hastily. Mahaffey questions whether cutting back or consolidating county services is a good long-term situation to the state’s budget problems. The first phase of the plan could be implemented as early as the end of the year. The judicial council is looking for written comments from the public. You’re welcome to send them to the Iowa Judicial Council at 700 Third Street, Upper Level, Des Moines, 50319.
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