Long Island man evades eviction for 20 years

first_img Message* Email Address* foreclosurehamptons-weeklyHousing Marketlong islandResidential Real Estate Tags Full Name* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink 2468 Kenmore Street in East Meadow (Google Maps)For more than 20 years, a Long Island man has been living in the house that he had long lost to foreclosure.Guramrit Hanspal, 52, bought a 2,081-square-foot home in East Meadow for $232,000 in 1998, according to the New York Post. He made just one mortgage payment of $1,602.37 before defaulting on the loan. Washington Mutual, which had issued the loan, foreclosed on the home in 2000.Read morehttps://therealdeal.com/2021/04/26/lawmakers-to-extend-eviction-foreclosure-protections-through-august/Next up: Coalition pushes for good cause evictionPending home sales rebound Share via Shortlink After Washington Mutual went down in the Great Recession, its assets — including the house — were taken over by JPMorgan Chase, which eventually sold the Long Island property to Diamond Ridge Partners.ADVERTISEMENTAnd through it all, Hanspal stayed on, filing bankruptcy petitions and transferring the home’s deed to friends, who also filed for bankruptcy to avoid eviction.“It’s really a group of people that are more than willing to use the courts and abuse the courts to whatever extent they need to extend their illegal occupancy,” Jordan Katz, an attorney representing Diamond Ridge Partners, told the outlet.Hanspal did not return the outlet’s messages seeking comment.New York State’s foreclosure process is among the longest in the nation. Still, this case seems extraordinary, and at least one judge, Nassau District Court Judge Scott Fairgriee, acknowledged it.“The history of this case going on for approximately 20 years must come to an end,” he wrote in a housing court proceeding in December 2019. Three months later, homeowners and tenants got shielded from the evictions and foreclosures under the Covid-19 emergency moratorium.[NYP] — Akiko MatsudaContact Akiko Matsudalast_img read more

Indian, Singapore navies to start SIMBEX 2018

first_img View post tag: SIMBEX View post tag: Republic of Singapore Navy View post tag: Indian Navy The 25th edition of Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) will be held off Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal from November 10 to 21, 2018.The 2018 edition marks the Silver Jubilee of SIMBEX. To mark the historical occasion, both navies are undertaking drills over extended geographical scope, according to Indian defense ministry.This year, the Indian Navy is being represented by the Ranvir class destroyer – INS Ranvijay, two Project 17 multirole stealth frigates – INS Satpura and INS Sahyadri, the Project 28 ASW corvette – INS Kadmatt the Project 25A missile corvettes, INS Kirch, the OPVs INS Sumedha and INS Sukanya, the Fleet Support Ship, INS Shakti, a Sindhughosh Class submarine, INS Sindhukirti, aircraft and helicopters.The Republic of Singapore Navy is being represented by two Formidable Class stealth frigates – RSS Formidable and RSS Steadfast, one Littoral Mission Vessel – RSS Unity, two Missile Corvettes, RSS Vigour and RSS Valiant, an Archer class Submarine, RSS Swordsman, ‘Swift Rescue’ a Deep Sea Rescue Vehicle (DSRV), aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial systems.SIMBEX 2018 will be the largest edition since 1994 in terms of scale and complexity. The initial harbour phase will be held at Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands from November 10 to 12 followed by sea phase from November 12 to 16 in the Andaman Sea.The second harbour phase from November 16 to 19 will be held at Visakhapatnam. Additionally, the final sea phase would be held in the Bay of Bengal from November 19 to 21.As explained, the 25th edition will witness a diverse range of exercises at sea. The number of missiles and torpedo firings may be the largest the Indian Navy has undertaken with any foreign navy till date. This year would also witness the highest numbers and variety of platforms fielded by both sides, the Indian Navy said.center_img Share this article Photo: Illustration. INS Ranvijaj in Srikakulam. Photo: Indian Navylast_img read more

Commentary: Roseanne And The Perils Of Free Speech

first_imgBy John KrullTheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Maybe Roseanne Barr should have run for president.There don’t seem to be many consequences these days for saying racist, mean or flat untruthful things from the Oval Office.Saying such things, though, from a perch on network television can lead to a long, hard fall.That’s what happened to Barr Tuesday.Just hours after she tweeted, among other things, that Valerie Jarrett, an aide to former President Barack Obama, was like the love child of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Planet of the Apes.That’s right.She suggested that Jarrett, an African-American woman, was both a terrorist and an ape.Lovely.The reaction was swift.Wanda Sykes, an African-American executive producer of the “Roseanne” revival, immediately said she was quitting the show. Other cast members started calling in their resignations when they learned that ABC had cancelled the program.The network did this even though “Roseanne” was a ratings giant, the top-rated show on television.Incurable optimists saw this as evidence that ABC and its parent company, Disney, have souls and that the corporate chieftains value decency more than they do money.Maybe.Maybe not.President Donald Trump could carve a path to the White House by speaking almost exclusively to the animosities of select demographic groups because our political wars have become so tribal.But mass-media entertainment and communications companies such as ABC and Disney cannot afford to do that. They do not want to reach the segment of the population “Roseanne” spoke to – however significant a minority share it may be – at the exclusion of all others.Those companies want to sell to everyone.They need to sell to everyone.Anyone who makes that difficult – as Roseanne Barr had done – goes from being an asset to a liability faster than Donald Trump can say, “You’re fired.”Barr’s response to her firing has been almost schizophrenic.She’s veered from offering abject apologies to complaining that she’s the real victim in this situation to vowing to leave Twitter to returning to Twitter with still more inconsistent and often incoherent utterances.This is not surprising.Barr always has been about as stable as the volcanoes in Hawaii now are.Also not surprising is the defense some of her fans and fellow Trump supporters have mounted that she’s just another victim of “political correctness.” She’s just an entertainer, they say, and she has a right to speak her mind.Please.These, by and large, are the same folks who have mounted a long campaign to have former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick denied a spot on any NFL roster because he knelt during the national anthem to protest police shootings of unarmed black men.They are also the same people who cheered, lustily, when the president said that NFL players who knelt during the anthem should be run not just out of the league, but out of America.What’s good for the goose….This is a free speech issue, but not in the way Barr’s and Trump’s advocates think.No one is stopping Roseanne Barr or Colin Kaepernick from speaking. But ABC, Disney and the NFL have chosen not to associate themselves with what Barr and Kaepernick are saying, primarily for business reasons.ABC and Disney seek a worldwide, inclusive audience. The NFL, for good or ill, draws a heavy share of its fan base from Trump supporters.Advocates and partisans on either side of America’s great political divide may decry the network’s or the league’s decision not to support certain kinds of speech, but ABC, Disney and the NFL are within their rights to make decisions not to say certain things.And, as for the nonsense about “political correctness” – well, that’s exactly what it is.Nonsense.What Barr, Trump and their followers want is the privilege – not the right – to say offensive and antagonistic things without ever offending or angering anyone. They want this even though they cry like branded calves whenever someone looks crosswise at them.That’s not the way it works.We have a right in this country to say what we think, but that carries with it the responsibility to be held accountable for what we say.In the NFL.On network TV.And maybe, someday, once again, even in the White House.FOOTNOTE: John Krull is director of Franklin College’s Pulliam School of Journalism, host of “No Limits” WFYI 90.1 Indianapolis and publisher of TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.FOOTNOTE: The City-County Observer posted this article was posted without opinion, bias or ending.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Carlisle miller Carr’s grows profit despite obstacles

first_imgCarr’s Milling Industries said it has weathered storms and fire as it delivered annual results ahead of expectations last month.The Carlisle-based agriculture and food company said its Silloth flour mill lost three months’ sales due to damage left by the local McVitie’s biscuit factory in floods in January, as well as the fire that destroyed the New Rathbones bakery in Carlisle in February. But the acquisition of the Meneba mil-ling business, which has two mills in Kirkcaldy, Fife, and Maldon, Essex, has been successful, doubling the size of Carr’s flour milling operation.Carr’s also bought various assets from the administrators of animal feed firm W & J Pye in 2005. This allowed it to rationalise and close mills at Black-burn, Penrith and Shrewsbury. Prospects for further growth are good, with flour trading strongly and the group’s engineering division continuing to improve its performance, chairman Lord Inglewood said.The company said pre-tax profits in the year to Septem-ber 3 were up by 19.8% to £6.14 million on turnover ahead by 23.4% at £192.1m.last_img read more

News story: Universities Minister calls for a better deal for students

first_img The clutch of underperforming degrees is a problem for students – it is likely they include many of the courses whose students feel they are not getting value for money. I believe mass participation in higher education is here to stay and is key to our economic future. But for this vision to be realised in full, universities need to focus relentlessly on value for money. Speaking at the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) conference today (7 June) Sam Gyimah said there are courses on offer that do not lead to rewarding careers and made clear that all students deserve an excellent university experience.The Minister was speaking ahead of the publication of new analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), commissioned by the Department for Education, which confirms a vast difference in earnings potential for graduates – emphasising the fact that where and what you study really matters and can significantly affect future earnings and career prospects.The IFS analysis shows that women who study one of the bottom 100 courses have earnings up to 64% (approximately £17,000) less than the average degree after graduation. For men, it can be up to 67% (approximately £21,000).Universities Minister Sam Gyimah said: The Minister went on to challenge universities to review their offer to students: Today’s publication has important and far-reaching ramifications for the debate on value for money in Higher Education. These findings demonstrate that studying the same subject at a different institution can yield a very different earnings premium. The choices that students make about what and where to study does matter. We must build a system where everyone with the ability to benefit from a university education has the opportunity to attend, the information they need to make the right decision, and that when they go to university, they receive a first-rate education that delivers real value for money. In addition to commissioning the IFS data, the government has introduced a number of measures to increase transparency in higher education including The Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) to shine a light on standards of teaching at our universities.It is going further than ever before by requiring all universities to publish applications, offers and acceptance rates broken down by gender, ethnicity and socio-economic background.The Office for Students (OfS) is also playing a vital role championing the interests of students, promoting choice and helping to ensure that they are receiving a good deal for their investment in higher education.In the coming weeks, Sam Gyimah will launch an Open Data competition – the first of its kind in the UK Higher Education sector – allowing tech companies and coders to use government data on universities to help students decide where to apply.The findings today support the government’s ambition to ensure all students get a good deal for their investment on higher education and have access to the information they need to make decisions about their future.Earlier this year, the Prime Minister announced a major review of post-18 education and funding that is looking at how students and taxpayers are getting value for money, helping young people make the right choices and ensuring we have a joined up tertiary education system.last_img read more

Umphrey’s McGee Extends 2018 Tour With Marcus King Band, BIG Something, Organ Freeman, & More

first_imgGearing up for their 11th studio album, it’s not us–due out January 12th–Umphrey’s McGee will hit the road hard in 2018, heading to west for their newly-added second leg of the band’s 20th anniversary tour. The previously announced January/February dates include a 3-night residency at New York City’s famed Beacon Theatre, and multiple 2-night runs in Philadelphia, PA and Cincinnati, OH with back-to-back arena shows in Kalamazoo, MI and Asheville, NC. Committed to rocking through more territory, Umphrey’s McGee will charge through February and March with multi-night runs across the mid-west and west coast.Umphrey’s McGee Releases New Single “The Silent Type”, Track List For ‘it’s not us’After taking a year off, UM will return to Aspen for a triple-header at Belly Up Aspen and the tour continues through Salt Lake City, Missoula, Seattle, and two nights at Crystal Ballroom in Portland, culminating with four nights in sunny California. Aspen will host a umVIP program, complete with elevated viewing, a pre-show band meet-and-greet, and more. 2018 is shaping up to be a huge year for the band as they celebrate their 20th Anniversary and bring new music to their legions of fans, and we can’t wait.Along for the ride on the it’s not us tour are several up and coming bands for select dates, including eclectic six-piece powerhouse Big Something, the sweet retro-soul sounds of Nicole Atkins, upbeat Americana energy boosters Hayley Jane & The Primates, young psychedelic southern rock torch holders The Marcus King Band, NOLA genre-defiers The Russ Liquid Test, and LA funk trio Organ Freeman.Pre-sale tickets (through Umphrey’s Ticketing) and Aspen umVIP tickets (through umVIP) will go on sale tomorrow, Wednesday, November 15th, at 10:00 am PT/1:00 pm ET, with public on sales Friday, November 17th at 10:00 am PT/1:00 pm ET. For ticket info and upcoming announcements, please visit the band’s website.UMPHREY’S MCGEE TOUR DATES:December 1-5                  Punta Cana, Dominican Republic @ Dominican HolidazeDecember 15                   Chicago, IL @ Park West **NON-UM: 15th Annual Brendan & Jake Holiday ShowDecember 29                   Denver, CO @ Fillmore AuditoriumDecember 30                   Denver, CO @ Fillmore AuditoriumDecember 31                   Denver, CO @ Fillmore AuditoriumJanuary 11                        Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AEJanuary 12                        Cincinnati, OH @ Taft TheatreJanuary 13                        Cincinnati, OH @ Taft TheatreJanuary 19                        New York, NY @ The Beacon TheatreJanuary 20                        New York, NY @ The Beacon TheatreJanuary 21                        New York, NY @ The Beacon TheatreJanuary 25                        New Haven, CT @ College Street Music HallJanuary 26                        Philadelphia, PA @ The FillmoreJanuary 27                        Philadelphia, PA @ The FillmoreJanuary 28                        Jim Thorpe, PA @ Penn’s PeakFebruary 1                        Columbus, OH @ Express Live!February 2                        Kalamazoo, MI @ Wings Event CenterFebruary 3                        Kalamazoo, MI @ Wings Event CenterFebruary 15                     Washington, DC @ The AnthemFebruary 16                     Asheville, NC @ ExploreAsheville.com ArenaFebruary 17                     Asheville, NC @ ExploreAsheville.com ArenaFebruary 18                     Tampa, FL @ WhigFest Music & Arts FestivalMarch 7                             Aspen, CO @ Belly Up AspenMarch 8                             Aspen, CO @ Belly Up AspenMarch 9                             Aspen, CO @ Belly Up AspenMarch 10                          Salt Lake City UT @ The ComplexMarch 14                          Missoula, MT @ The WilmaMarch 15                          Seattle, WA @ The ShowboxMarch 16                          Portland, OR @ Crystal BallroomMarch 17                          Portland, OR @ Crystal BallroomMarch 22                          South Lake Tahoe, CA @ Harrah’s Lake TahoeMarch 23                          Oakland, CA @ The Fox OaklandMarch 24                          Los Angeles, CA @ The WilternMarch 25                          San Diego, CA @ The Observatory North Parklast_img read more

Governors Ball Organizers Address Sunday Cancelation, Announce Reddit AMA

first_imgLive from #GovBallNYC #govball … riots and getting shoved into the storm! Having a blast. Thanks for the hospitality @GovBallNYC. Wish I saw you guys @thestrokes pic.twitter.com/BmioXf3px5— hels ❂ (@xHelenhu) June 3, 2019 This year’s Governors Ball Music Festival didn’t quite close out as planned on Sunday. Severe weather forecasts in the New York City area forced event organizers to delay the start of Sunday’s performances until 6:30 p.m. Just three hours after gates opened, more bad weather forced a complete cancelation and evacuation of the grounds around 9:30 p.m., causing disgruntled fans to take the sad walk back across the R.F.K. Bridge back into Manhattan.Related: Governors Ball Music Festival 2019: The (Shortened) Weekend In Photos [Gallery]On Monday, event organizers sent out an email addressing and somewhat defending their decisions to delay and ultimately cancel the final day on Sunday.“First off we want to sincerely express how sorry and upset we are that the festival had to delay opening and then eventually evacuate yesterday. We work all year round on the festival, and yesterday’s chain of events was the very last thing we ever wanted to occur,” it read to start out a lengthy statement shared. The statement goes on to clarify how the festival’s production teams work closely with the NYC Parks Department, the Mayor’s Office of Citywide Special Events, and New York Police Department to make for a strong, communal effort in hopes of running the large event as smoothly as possible.”“At 9pm, we were alerted by our weather service that two weak weather systems had formed in New Jersey, and while weak, they needed to be monitored closely in case they intensified,” the statement continued. “While on the phone with them at 9:20pm, the two systems combined to create a very strong and very severe threat. There were reported sustained winds of 50+ MPH, a very strong likelihood of thunder and lightning (including cloud to cloud lightning & cloud to ground lightning), and the threat was moving in our direction. We immediately spoke with City officials and began to implement the part of our emergency management plan that calls for evacuation.”All Sunday ticket buyers and 3-Day ticket buyers who purchased their passes through the event will be refunded pro-rata.The email also included plans for a Reddit AMA scheduled for today (June 4th) at 1 p.m. EST, where fans will presumably be allowed to air their grievances.It’s wonderful that the festival organizers are taking initiatives to strengthen the community of fans which Founders Entertainment has spent nearly a decade building since launching “Gov Ball” back in 2011, and it’s a testament to their commitment to that community that they’re opening the floor for questions and grievances at all. After all, there’s nothing anyone can do about the weather, and Gov Ball has made every effort to explain the situation and accommodate the inconvenience to their fans in every way possible.Then again, sometimes people just like to pitch a fit. It will be interesting to hear what some fans have to say about Sunday’s storm via the AMA—after the cancelation of nearly all Sunday’s performances, perhaps a little post-festival entertainment is just what the music doctor ordered. Until then, enjoy the shared social media videos below of Gov Ball attendees freaking out when the Sunday festivities were canceled.last_img read more

Brian d’Arcy James on Awards Show Highs, Meeting Hillary & More

first_img View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 1, 2017 Something Rotten! and Spotlight star Brian d’Arcy James stopped by Late Night on January 26 to chat with Seth Meyers about his wild year. As the Tony nominee says, he’s “riding on a high of caffeine, awards ceremony addiction and Broadway.” Of course, there have been a few speed bumps along the way, like his tuxedo snafu at the Golden Globes; fortunately, Mark Ruffalo and Melissa McCarthy were on the scene to lend a helping hand. Broadway life has also had its hiccups recently, thanks to snowstorm Jonas. D’Arcy James knows that the best activity during a blizzard is a good book, which is why he picked up what he thought was Moby Dick. (Spoiler alert: it wasn’t.) He also tells the tale of meeting Hillary Clinton (for the second time) after a performance of Hamilton at the Public, where the presidential candidate totally Miranda Priestly-ed him. Check out the clips below to hear what happened! Something Rotten! Related Showslast_img read more

U.S. shale producers still struggling to find a profitable path

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享OilPrice.com:The financial struggles of the U.S. shale industry are becoming increasingly hard to ignore, but drillers in Appalachia are in particularly bad shape.The Permian has recently seen job losses, and for the first time since 2016, the hottest shale basin in the world has seen job growth lag the broader Texas economy. The industry is cutting back amid heightened financial scrutiny from investors, as debt-fueled drilling has become increasingly hard to justify.But E&P companies focused almost exclusively on gas, such as those in the Marcellus and Utica shales, are in even worse shape. An IEEFA analysis found that seven of the largest producers in Appalachia burned through about a half billion dollars in the third quarter.Gas production continues to rise, but profits remain elusive. “Despite booming gas output, Appalachian oil and gas companies consistently failed to produce positive cash flow over the past five quarters,” the authors of the IEEFA report said. Of the seven companies analyzed, five had negative cash flow, including Antero Resources, Chesapeake Energy, EQT, Range Resources, and Southwestern Energy. Only Cabot Oil & Gas and Gulfport Energy had positive cash flow in the third quarter.The sector was weighed down but a sharp drop in natural gas prices, with Henry Hub off by 18 percent compared to a year earlier. But the losses are highly problematic. After all, we are more than a decade into the shale revolution and the industry is still not really able to post positive cash flow. Worse, these are not the laggards; these are the largest producers in the region.The outlook is not encouraging. The gas glut is expected to stick around for a few years. Bank of America Merrill Lynch has repeatedly warned that unless there is an unusually frigid winter, which could lead to higher-than-expected demand, the gas market is headed for trouble. “A mild winter across the northern hemisphere or a worsening macro backdrop could be catastrophic for gas prices in all regions,” Bank of America said in a note in October. [Nick Cunningham]More: Shale’s debt-fueled drilling boom is coming to an end U.S. shale producers still struggling to find a profitable pathlast_img read more

Supreme Court calls for 88 new judges

first_imgMark D. Killian Managing Editor The Supreme Court has told the legislature that to “ensure the rule of law in Florida is not compromised,” 88 new judgeships need to be created this year.In its annual certification opinion, the court said Florida needs 51 new circuit, 33 new county, and four more appellate jurists.“The goal is to provide an effective and efficient justice system for Florida’s growing population that will ensure and protect the rule of law, the cornerstone of democracy in our state and our nation,” the court said in its per curiam opinion.The court said the key to the operation of the rule of law is the core belief that justice must be timely dispensed to truly be justice. This, in turn, implies a judicial system with sufficient resources to make timeliness possible, the court said. “We also stress that our certification is not a statement of what Florida state courts subjectively want,” the court said. “Rather, it is a statement of what the state courts objectively need to meet their workload, using accepted standards of measurement.”For the circuits, the court certified a need for: • Six additional circuit judges each for the Fifth, 11th, and 17th circuits; • Five additional circuit judges for the Ninth Circuit; • Four additional circuit judges for the 13th Circuit; • Three additional circuit judges each for the First, Sixth, 15th, 19th, and 20th circuits; • Two additional circuit judges each for the Fourth, Seventh, and 10th circuits; and • One additional circuit judge each for the Third, Eighth, and 14th circuits.For the counties, the court asked for: • Six additional county judges for Broward County; • Four additional county judges each for Orange and Hillsborough counties; • Three additional county judges for Palm Beach County; • Two additional judges for Pinellas and Brevard counties; and • One additional county judge each for Columbia, Duval, Lake, Marion, Pasco, Volusia, Dade, Bay, Seminole, Martin, St. Lucie, and Collier counties.At the district court of appeal level, the court requested two new judges for the Second DCA and one each for the Fourth and Fifth DCAs.Last year the Supreme Court called for 56 new judges and got none. Eighteen new judgeships were created two years ago.“Our analysis in past years—and again today—has not only been conservative but has strongly emphasized the need to use less expensive alternatives and to maximize efficiency before seeking more judges,” the court wrote. “We have steadily moved toward court models that rely heavily on alternatives and skilled support staff.”At the trial level, the court said, these efficiencies have included hiring case managers who screen and organize cases to ensure all legal matters are fully in order before they go before a judge, “guaranteeing the most efficient use of judge time.” Other efficiencies include the use of hearing officers and masters to hear matters such as disputes over child support and traffic tickets, and the use of mediation and other cost-saving measures that have reduced the need for certifying even more judges, the court said.“All of these measures ensure that preliminary organizational and ministerial work is done by administrative staff, freeing trial judges to do their essential and unique task — adjudication,” the court said.In the district courts of appeal, these models have included adding staff attorneys to conduct research and to do preliminary screening and analysis of cases, the court said, thus freeing the judges to devote “their important and more costly time to their most crucial duty—deciding appeals.”The court also noted the DCAs’ efforts are highlighted by a voluntary decision by the district court judges to increase their own recommended caseload by 40 percent, in lieu of adding more judges.“We also must acknowledge the very positive efforts of the legislature in responding to the needs of the judicial branch,” the court said. “We understand the competing priorities lawmakers face in every session. Despite these pressures, the legislature still has funded a number of new judgeships at the trial and appellate levels in recent years. It has also responded favorably to requests for additional resources that have greatly improved the efficiency of our courts.”Third Branch of GovernmentFlorida’s courts are nearing an historic crossroad in the months ahead — one that will determine the health and stability of the courts for decades to come, the court said.In 1998, the voters approved Revision 7 to Article V, shifting a greater portion of the costs of trial courts from the counties to the state by July 1 of this year.“There is much at stake for the residents of Florida as we make this shift to unified state funding of the courts,” the court said. “The most significant challenge is to ensure that the rule of law is not compromised in Florida’s communities, and, critically, that the level of services provided in Florida’s 20 judicial circuits not be reduced on July 1, 2004.”The court said “observant and respected groups” like the Florida Council of 100 have expressed concern that Florida’s court system has been under-resourced.“As the legislature assumes greater responsibility for the state’s courts, legislative support in providing adequate judicial resources and operating costs is vital to maintain the existing high quality of justice we have provided, and indeed that our citizens expect and deserve,” the court said. “We are fortunate that the legislature has a history over the last decade of providing many of the resources courts need.”The court said it fully understands the competing funding priorities that confront the legislature, but also recognizes the significant need for adequate funding of the third branch of government in the face of unprecedented growth in the nation’s fourth largest state.The court said backlogs of cases would become inevitable without enough judges to preside over and dispose of cases, and without sufficient operating costs and resources to support them.“In sum, justice itself would be delayed,” the court said, noting that preventing that from happening deserves priority.“If adequate resources are not provided, the courts would be required to shift resources from civil proceedings to criminal matters, thereby unavoidably delaying cases involving mortgage foreclosures, landlord-tenant matters, contract disputes, and other civil concerns that are essential to flourishing business operations and a prosperous economy in this state and to the well-being of its families.”Courts in other states have suffered devastating cuts in recent years, and their experiences demonstrate that inadequate funding can gravely impair court operations, the court said.In New Hampshire, jury trials were suspended for two months in 2002 and for three months in 2003. In Colorado, courthouses were recently forced to close one week per month, and court proceedings in Oregon were suspended one day per week last year.“It is critical that Florida avoid similar harm to its justice system, and the fact that we have avoided problems as serious as these is largely due to the legislature’s efforts,” the court said.Yet, Florida’s budget for the courts has consistently been less than 1 percent of the state’s budget.“In short, while bearing an enormous caseload, Florida’s courts have provided a genuine bargain to the people of Florida,” the court said. “Our judiciary’s continuing tradition of excellence will now depend on whether its current standards continue to be funded. We are confident the legislature will continue to provide these resources.”The court said judicial needs remains high for two primary reasons—the lack of funding for previously certified judgeships and caseload increases.Overall, county court filings, excluding civil traffic infractions, have increased 7 percent from fiscal year 1999-2000 to FY 2001-2002, and are projected to grow at a similar rate for the next few years. Total county civil filings, excluding civil traffic infractions, increased by more than 23 percent from 1999-2000 to 2001-2002 and are projected to increase another 22 percent from 2001-2002 to 2002-2003.“For those courts requesting county judgeships, one of the most significant increases at the county court level from fiscal year 1999-2000 to fiscal year 2001-2002 occurred in civil case filings,” the court said.The court said small claims filings for those courts requesting county judgeships have increased approximately 47 percent from 1999-2000 to 2001-2002, and those small claims are generally filed by unrepresented litigants who are often unfamiliar with court rules and procedures, and thus can require a considerable amount of judge time.Other factors impacting the workload of county courts, the justices said, include large increases in population, the necessity of judges and personnel traveling between branch courthouses in urban counties, the creation of branch courthouses in urban counties, and a lack of traffic infraction hearing officers.“Several circuit court chief judges have expressed concern to this court that judicial workload has been increased by the elimination of court staff in the budget reductions made during the 2003 legislative session,” the court said. “Among the more serious cuts were the elimination of the juvenile alternative sanctions coordinators and five model dependency courts throughout the state.”The court said those juvenile alternative sanctions coordinators were largely responsible for providing judges with effective and efficient alternative sanctions and other disposition techniques in delinquency proceedings. The elimination of all of these case managers and general masters effectively required circuit judges in those circuits to absorb the additional workload, the court said.“Simply put, it is far more cost effective to maintain our existing structure with its efficient utilization of supplemental resources than to either pay for a significantly higher number of judges or, conversely, to suffer the adverse consequences of delay and backlog if new judgeships are not sufficiently funded,” the court said.District Courts of AppealThe court also noted the workload at the DCAs has increased steadily over the last 10 years, yet, the districts have been “measured and modest” in their requests for new judgeships.“They have chosen to employ a variety of less expensive means of addressing increased workload. These have included the development of case management systems, the increased use of senior judge time, the increased use of information technology to assist with legal research, and the expanded use of staff attorneys.”In spite of these efforts, the court said, judicial workload in the districts is becoming too great.“In the face of this workload, the district court of appeal judges have voluntarily agreed to carry even higher caseloads before they seek additional judges on their courts,” the court said. “In 2002, this court directed the Commission on District Court of Appeal Performance and Accountability to conduct an in-depth study of workload and related policy issues for the district courts of appeal. That commission, with the support of district court of appeal judges, has recommended the adoption of a new and substantially increased appellate court workload standard—350 primary assignment case filings per judge. This recommended standard is 100 more than the current standard of 250 case filings per judge as identified in rule 2.035(b)(2), Florida Rules of Judicial Administration.”It thus requires appellate judges to shoulder a caseload burden 40 percent greater than before in determining the need for additional judges, the court said.“This new standard further underscores the benefits of cost-saving measures now being used in the courts,” the court said. “The infusion of support staff and other resources over the last decade has enabled the district courts to keep pace with rising workload increases by achieving greater efficiency.”But even under this increased standard, it is apparent that the Second, Fourth, and Fifth districts now require additional judges, the court said. In the district courts of appeal statewide, there was an average of approximately 389 case filings per judge in fiscal year 2002-2003. However, the Fourth and Fifth districts experienced approximately 423 and 420 case filings per judge, respectively, for the same time period. In fiscal year 2002-2003, approximately 430 cases per judge were filed in the Second District, the court said.“Florida’s state courts system is at a critical juncture. Much is at stake,” the court said. “This is a time of great risk and great opportunity. We must take every step to minimize the risk and invoke every measure to ensure that we do not miss the opportunity to maintain a fair and effective justice system worthy of public trust throughout Florida.” Supreme Court calls for 88 new judges January 15, 2004 Managing Editor Regular News Supreme Court calls for 88 new judgeslast_img read more