Budget cuts threaten court procedures in Lake County

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LAKE COUNTY, Ill --A right to a speedy trial could be slowing down in Lake County starting next week.

The Illinois budget crisis is squeezing the courts this time with court reporters facing furloughs and courtrooms could come to a screeching halt.

Lake County Circuit Court Chief Judge John Philips tells WGN News the furloughs will impact 22 court reporters working the three courthouses in Lake County.

"As of Monday, we are going on 50% furlough. They are going on half time,” he said.

Phillips says this year Illinois is short between $14 and $17 million to pay for the critical court reporters required to be in the courtroom for every felony, child custody case, juvenile hearing and mental health commitment case.

Lake County has eight felony courtrooms that could become crippled if Governor Rauner and lawmakers in Springfield don't come up with money fast.

If the county doesn't get it, in order to keep cases moving, the judge could have to borrow court reporters from other jurisdictions and beg for money from the county.

Court reporters are only funded through the end of the month.

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1 Comment

  • do without court reporters then

    Maybe the court should re-think their process and try to do without court reporters. Perhaps technology could be of some help in situations like this.

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