The Iowa Supreme Court is bringing back full time hours in the clerk of court offices of Iowa’s 99 counties. Court spokesperson, Steve Davis, says a 3.5-percent increase in the court budget for the new fiscal year that begins in July is allowing the change.
“Clerks of court offices in all 99 counties and the appellant clerks’ office has been closed on Tuesday afternoons from 2:30 to 4:30 so that the clerks can catch up with the backlog. With the new budge that was approved by the legislature and signed by the governor, those offices are now going to be open full time from 8 (a.m.) to 5:30 five days a week,” Davis says.
The increase in hours means they’ll be adding some staff. “There’s several different types of positions in the clerk’s office, there’s a total of 40 positions that are going to be open,” Davis says.
He is not sure yet how many people will be hired in each office.”Each of the different judicial districts are looking at the best use of positions and where they are needed most,” Davis explains. “Moving forward, they are going to begin advertising those positions.”
The plan is to have 29 offices in northwest Iowa open by July 15th, with the remaining offices open full time by September third. The court system will also add 13 new juvenile court officers.
“One of the goals of the Supreme Court was to have enough juvenile court officers so when a juvenile enters the court system the young offender is able to sit down face-to-face with a juvenile court officer so they can find the best matches for the services in the community that may be able to help that child,” Davis says.
The budget also includes four new information technology positions that will help implement electronic filing in the state. Only half of the state now has the electronic filing available. Davis says everyone in the court system is happy to be able to add staff after undergoing cutbacks for several years.
“It’s nice to look forward and look to the future of the court,” Davis says, “we’ve been talking about the chief justice’s goal of being the best, most advances, and most responsive court system in the nation this entire year, and this is a step toward reaching that goal.”
Davis says those who use the court system should notice fewer postponements. The clerk of court offices to open full time on July 15, 2013 are: Boone, Buena Vista , Calhoun, Carroll, Cherokee, Clay, Crawford, Dickinson, Emmet, Greene, Hamilton, Hardin, Humboldt, Ida, Kossuth , Lyon, Marshall, Monona, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Pocahontas, Sac, Sioux, Story, Webster, Woodbury, and Wright.