The economic crisis has definitely hit home. The Oregon Judicial Department faces a current budgetary shortfall of more than 11 million dollars. As a result, all courts statewide will be CLOSED all day every Friday beginning March 13, 2009. These days will be treated as a court holiday for purposes of calculating time in custody, filing deadlines, etc. Marion County Circuit Court has been directed by the state office to scheduled nothing on a Friday until further notice, even beyond June 30, 2009. Courthouse hours of operation will also be changed. Starting Monday, March 16, 2009, the Marion County Court House will be open to the public between 7:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Within those parameters there are still many difficult decisions to be made. Presiding Judge Jamese Rhoades has been in contact with the MCBA Board and the Court Practices and Procedures Committee to seek their input. If you have any ideas, comments or concerns please contact any member of the Board or Committee.
These will be trying times. The Marion County Bar has always had an excellent relationship with court staff. Now, that relationship is all the more critical. Please be understanding of the stress that these dedicated public servants are being required to endure over the coming months. They appreciate and need our support!
With the assistance of the Presiding Judge and the Trial Court Administrator, the Bulletin and the Marion County Bar Web-site will begin to run a recurring column, “Straight from the Courthouse Steps,” that will provide up-to-date budget and courthouse closure information. Please look for the column in our next issue or online at www.marioncountybar.org.