Courtroom backlogs persist on this state due to scarcity of attorneys; ‘the wheels of justice depend upon legal professionals’
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Georgia courts are having hassle addressing case backlogs as a result of the state has a scarcity of legal professionals, together with prosecutors and public defenders, the state’s chief justice mentioned this week.
Georgia Supreme Courtroom Chief Justice Michael P. Boggs mentioned he appreciated extra funding by the state to assist courts get better from the COVID-19 pandemic. However a lawyer scarcity is inflicting issues.
“As you effectively know, the wheels of justice depend upon legal professionals,” he mentioned.
The Associated Press and Law360 coated Boggs’s remarks, delivered to lawmakers as a part of his State of the Judiciary tackle in Atlanta.
Felony circumstances are impacted by the scarcity, resulting in extra folks being held in jail as they await trials, he mentioned.
As of December, the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council, which helps district lawyer’s places of work all through Georgia, counted 43 unfilled positions. In July 2020, there have been solely 11 vacant prosecution positions.
Public defender’s officers are additionally understaffed, regardless of a brand new regulation that places their pay on par with that of prosecutors, Boggs mentioned. In Gwinnett County, Georgia, about 80 legal professionals have been accessible to symbolize indigent defendants, in comparison with about 130 originally of the pandemic.
The lawyer scarcity can be affecting civil circumstances, equivalent to divorce and little one custody issues, Boggs mentioned. He famous that 67 of the state’s 159 counties have 10 or fewer training legal professionals. Seven rural counties don’t have any legal professionals.
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