Judiciary only received 60% of allotments - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Judiciary only received 60% of allotments

Posted: Updated:

by Mindy Aguon

Guam - Awhile back the Judicial Council authorized court management to pursue litigation to get what is owed to the courts as only a percentage of the allotments actually make it into the Judiciary's coffers. While it was considered an option of last resort, as a result, the island's court system just may have reached that point.

For years, the Judiciary of Guam has gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to getting their allotments. "$5.5 million out of $9.2 million that's owed, so were told that we are going to get another release this week but that's competing with the general fund payday and the doe payday, so we'll see," noted Court Policy, Planning and Community Relations Director Joshua Tenorio. He says this fiscal year is no different than previous years, as the courts have only received 60% of their allotments, adding, "We're trying to figure out how to survive in the near future like this."

While they wait for more than $4 million that's owed, Tenorio says the lack of funding has impacted operations.  Without the full allotments, the bills are piling up.  From paying for court appointed attorneys to paying marshals and probation officers the remaining part of the law enforcement incentive pay, Tenorio says there's just not enough cash coming in and the Judiciary can't fill vacancies.

"Right now," he stated, "we are in a situation where we are short in clerks in the Courts and Ministerial Section. We would like to have a full-time staffing level for some of the therapeutic courts. We're running month-to-month on the Family Violence Court right now. And also having longer term contracts with therapists, psychiatrists and counselors."

Tenorio explains that the Judiciary is running on an as-needed basis, which has resulted in delays in court-ordered counseling and assessments. "It's no longer the exception that we are going to have a budgetary shortfall or an allotment shortfall. It seems to be the norm," he said.

As a result, the court has been aggressive in getting federal grant money and has been successful in obtaining $12 million in grants to help the judicial infrastructure. Tenorio confirms that administrator of the courts Perry Taitano is expected to meet with Department of Administration director Benita Manglona later this week to determine if there's a likelihood that the Judiciary will be caught up on their allotments.

"Depending on the outcome of that meeting, I would say that it is something that would be considered for the first time. You're right to take this matter and perhaps get a judgment on it," Tenorio said. "We understand the fiscal situation of the whole government but t the very least, without justice we don't have a good business environment that attracts people to invest in the island and on top of that we have to handle these criminal cases to protect our public."

  • NEWS HEADLINESMore>>

  • Inmate Found Dead at Mangilao Prison

    Inmate Found Dead at Mangilao Prison

    An inmate is found dead at the Department of Correction prison overnight. Corrections officers reported inmate Luis Hocog was found unresponsive inside his Post 16 cell around 11 pm on Friday. The officer contacted the platoon commander of the situation and requested for medical assistance, a news release stated. 

    More >>

    An inmate is found dead at the Department of Correction prison overnight. Corrections officers reported inmate Luis Hocog was found unresponsive inside his Post 16 cell around 11 pm on Friday. The officer contacted the platoo

    More >>
  • Alleged armed robber begs judge for less time

    Alleged armed robber begs judge for less time

    "Nobody's dead. Nobody died." Those were words from defendant Jeremy Allen Evaristo in court today as he reasoned why the government should give him less than the 15 year jail term outlined in his proposed plea agreement. Evaristo is charged in a string oMore >>
    "Nobody's dead. Nobody died." Those were words from defendant Jeremy Allen Evaristo in court today as he reasoned why the government should give him less than the 15 year jail term outlined in his proposed plea agreement. Evaristo is charged in a string oMore >>
  • Public welcomed to the first Korean Festival at Ypao today

    Public welcomed to the first Korean Festival at Ypao today

    More than 4,000 people make up Guam’s Korean community and after decades of making this island their home, they’re ready to celebrate. Today, residents and visitors are invited to the first Korean Festival at the Joseph Flores Memorial Park atMore >>
    More than 4,000 people make up Guam’s Korean community and after decades of making this island their home, they’re ready to celebrate. Today, residents and visitors are invited to the first Korean Festival at the Joseph Flores Memorial Park atMore >>
Powered by Frankly