The Iowa Supreme Court which oversees the state court system, is closing all court offices on February 16th, and court employees will take the day as unpaid leave. Communications officer, Steve Davis, says the closing will help the court system deal with budget cuts.
Davis says the governor’s across the board budget cut doesn’t impact the court system, as the legislature sets their budget, but Davis says they are anticipating a budget cut and are being proactive. Davis says budget cuts in past years were taken on federal holidays to try and lessen the impact and that’s why February 16th was chosen as it is President’s Day — a federal holiday.
Davis says they anticipate the savings will be more than $335,000 and it will affect 1,600 non-judicial branch officers. Davis says court employees will lose a day of pay and the shut down will also impact cases. Davis says under Iowa law, if a deadline for commencing a court action, filing a motion or pleading, falls on a day the courts are closed, the deadline is moved back and everything is rescheduled.
Davis says they don’t know yet if the court will have to shut down the system for any more days. Davis says they are waiting to find out from the legislature what the cut will be for the judicial branch before they know if there will be any more unpaid leave days needed. All court personnel except judges and magistrates will take the unpaid leave on February 16th.