Cobb commissioners fund Magistrate Court docket workers to reduce COVID-relevant situation backlog

In a 4- vote (with Commissioner Keli Gambrill absent), the Cobb County Board of Commissioners accredited a request from Cobb County Chief Magistrate Decide Brendan Murphy to use $1,778,430.05 of the county’s allocation from the American Rescue Program Act of 2021 to fund staff members positions and part-time judges to apparent the backlog of conditions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This very first agenda item would fund momentary clerk positions and extra section time decide hours by means of the end of 2024,” Murphy mentioned although producing the request. “It’d be funded via federal ARP money to mitigate the effects of COVID-19. This funding has been vetted by the county attorney’s office.”

He explained that whilst Justice of the peace Court docket stayed open up 24 hrs for each day during the pandemic, COVID-19 had an result on the court’s caseload.

“Certain hearings were being paused, top to a COVID developed backlog,” Murphy stated.

“On July 1 of this 12 months, the statewide judicial emergency ended,” he mentioned. “That was the judicial unexpected emergency put in place by our Supreme Courtroom. “

“When that ended, courts were being required to adhere to rule-primarily based and statutory deadlines,” he reported. “In order to do so this deal of short term positions is becoming requested.”

The prepared request to the Board of Commissioners described the positions Murphy asked for, and the duration of the funding, as follows:

(That) The Board of Commissioners authorize the extension of just one (1) Judicial Application Coordinator (Grade 20) #1965-021 the extension of element-time Choose hours the creation of the adhering to positions in the Justice of the peace Courtroom: one (1) Judicial Administrative Tech II, 4 (4) Judicial Administrative Tech IIIs, and 1 (1) JudicialAdministrative Tech IV, all by way of December 31, 2024 or earlier if the funding is no for a longer time readily available and theprovision of linked personnel technologies at a price of $1,778,430.05 authorize the corresponding funds transactions and even further authorize the Chairwoman to execute any needed paperwork to employ claimed function.

“The positions will decrease the backlog in three ways,” Murphy mentioned to the commissioners.

“Number one, by supplying enable to our new rental assistance division by way of Era1 funds, the board experienced the foresight to fund a non permanent position via the stop of this calendar year,” he reported. “This funding would prolong the situation by the conclusion of 2024, and give that particular person substantially-desired enable to support these rental guidance pounds get out the door more quickly.”

“Number two, it will help with a clerk to help in mediation. It is often greatest, (and) we only have a person posture,” he claimed. “Now this would supply a second momentary position, so the parties can get collectively and solve their instances to the mutual pleasure of equally sides, in its place of acquiring the court docket determine and make one particular aspect or the other have their working day that way.”

“Finally, (with) more courtroom hearings by having more clerks and a lot more aspect time decide several hours, we’ll be capable to obvious the backlog in a a lot quicker way,” he claimed.

BOC Chairwoman Lisa Cupid produced the motion to approve the ask for, and it passed 4-.