MIDDLEBURG — Snyder County commissioners recently realized the court budget was over budget by about $25,000, and estimated that number will grow to $40,000 by the end of the year. When commissioners presented those numbers to Snyder County judges, the judges took action.
“We cancelled jury selection, which was scheduled for October 7-9, so yes, there would be no jury trials for the rest of this year,” Judge Michael Hudock said.
Snyder County Judge Michael Hudock said postponing trials will save the county around $10,000. Officials say jury costs are one of the reasons the court system is over budget. Another reason is public defenders.
“We have to pay those bills. It’s the right for everyone to have an attorney and when people don’t have the means, it falls on the taxpayers to pay for that defense,” Commissioner Malcolm Derk said.
Snyder County commissioners and judges say they already met to come up with a plan so this doesn’t happen again next year.
“We are in the process of switching legal research providers, which would result in a substantial savings,” Hudock said.
Since there are no trials until 2014, no one will be called for jury duty until next year. Dave Schlieder says that is good news. He believes the judges did what they had to do.
“Just like your household budget, I’m sure that when you’re at the end of your paycheck, you change your spending plans. I think it’s reasonable and responsible for the county to do this,” Schlieder said.
Despite the trials being postponed, other projects are not, including the restoration of the county clock. Money for that is coming from a different fund.