Idaho Supreme Court: More administrators, judges needed

January 11, 2022 GMT

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Supreme Court says additional court staffers are needed across the state to help the courts handle growing caseloads and the demands of operating during a pandemic.

As the head of the judicial branch, the Idaho Supreme Court presents its budget priorities to the legislature each year. This year, the high court hopes to add deputy trial court administrator positions to each of Idaho’s seven judicial districts, a security worker for the Idaho Supreme Court, a new district judge, two new magistrates and a court reporter.

In a report detailing its budget priorities released Tuesday, the high court said trial court administrators perform complex and time-intensive work. Adding deputy trial court administrators to each district would cost just under $900,000 a year.

“Even before the additional demands of the pandemic, it became clear that a single person cannot accomplish all of the necessary tasks including work in each count within a district,” the Idaho Supreme Court wrote in the report.

A new district judge and court reporter in Elmore County and two new magistrate judges in Ada County would help address the region’s growing caseloads, the Idaho Supreme Court said. During fiscal year 2021, magistrate judges in the district averaged more than 1,600 cases each.

The judicial branch is also requesting increased spending authority for substance abuse treatment and services related to family and domestic violence courts, as well as some additional staffers to work in human resources, security and accounting.

The Legislature’s budget writing committee is scheduled to review the Idaho Supreme Court’s budget request on Feb. 4.