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Clerks v. Judges

March 9th, 2009 by flanews

Pending legislation at the state capitol would transfer some court clerk duties to the states circuit judges to save money.

Sponsors say the state could save 200 million dollars by allowing circuit judges to handle fees and filings instead of the states 67 clerks. Clerks say taking the duties away from them would destroy the checks-and balance system thats been in place for more than 170 years. Sarasota County Clerk Karen Rushing said the system is working well the way it is, and theres no guarantee moving the duties to the circuit courts would save money.

“Well were saying, not only if its not broke don’t fix it, but if there’s no credible argument that its going to save money. Taxpayers right now need their elected officials to work to reduce expenses and to collaborate together and this will not reduce the taxpayers dollars coming into the office, and it won’t reduce the expenses. In fact there’s credible arguments to be made that it will increase expenses,” said Rushing.

Florida’s Clerks receive funding from the court-related revenue they collect. If the revenue duties are moved to the circuit judges, clerks fear theyll lose funding.

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