(Editor's note: The Illinois Senate on March 26 approved a budget fix that addressed a shortfall in funding for court reporters).
To the Editor:
I am the president of the St. Clair County Bar Association. The men and women of our association represent indviduals and corporations in all varieties of cases, including adoption, criminal, personal injury, workers' compensation, real estate and business transactions.
Recently, we received a memo from the Chief Judge of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit that indicated funding was being cut for court reporters and court specialists as of April 1, 2015.
There will be only five court reporters to cover the five counties and eight court facilities of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit. In these five counties there are 25 judges. Each judge has a full docket with hearings and trials being conducted every day.
Without the court reporters, the business of the courts will come to a grinding halt. Without court reporters and court specialists there can be no access to justice for the vast majority of people using our court system. This simply cannot be accepted.
We strongly encourage people to contact their legislators and the Governor and ask that they fund the court system appropriately so that every individual or corporation who has business in the courts of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit can have their matters heard in a timely manner.
The citizens and corporations of the State of Illinois deserve access to justice.
St. Clair County Bar Association, President