Judiciary looking at 5% budget increase - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Judiciary looking at 5% budget increase

Posted: Jun 08, 2018 5:05 PM Updated:

The Judicial Branch of the Government of Guam is seeking a 5% increase in its operating budget for next fiscal year, from $34.7 million to $36.4 million. Much of the $1.7 million in added funding is for organic payroll growth of $700,000, and $190,000 in health insurance.

Court officials are also seeking a new 8th judge position. They say their dockets are backlogged by the rise in criminal cases.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Katherine Maraman said, "That takes the superior court judge away from the other cases because they usually go full time. Whether its two days, or some go six weeks, depending on the nature of the case. That prevents that trial court judge from addressing civil cases because under the law criminal cases must take priority. So civil and domestic cases get pushed back."

The court says the ratio of judges to cases, and the ratio of judges to the local population supports the addition of a new judge.

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