About one-third of the 750 employees in Alabama’s court clerks’ offices will be laid off effective Aug. 31, officials say, dealing another blow to a criminal justice system already hit by budget cuts. The layoffs are timed so the 255 workers will be off the state payroll before the court system’s new, leaner budget takes effect Oct. 1, reports the Birmingham News.
Elected court clerks may rehire some employees with money from the clerk’s restitution fund, a separate income stream from a court fee. Anne-Marie Adams, the elected top clerk in Jefferson County, said she will hire back eight people. The cuts will hamper the offices’ performance in processing documents filed in circuit, district and family courts, officials said. Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb has ordered clerks’ offices statewide to be closed to the public for 10 hours weekly starting this month to give the workers time to catch up on processing court documents.