Delaware’s best-court-in-the-nation ranking could vanish soon as more criminal cases swamp Superior Court judges, the state’s top judge told legislators yesterday, reports the Wilmington News Journal. Supreme Court Chief Justice Myron Steele asked committee members to fund two additional judges for the next budget year — that’s two more than the two new judges Gov. Ruth Ann Minner had recommended.
The four additional judges would help bring down the criminal caseloads and allow judges to devote more time to civil cases, which have earned the court a top national ranking by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for six years in a row. “We worry that we are reaching a breaking point and that our customers will suffer from our inability to deliver our core services,” Steele said. Steele also asked for three Justices of the Peace and staff to make that court’s videophone service a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week operation. The videophone court, which allows police to present a defendant to a judge without having to leave the police station, functions 16 hours a day, five days a week.