Crisis looms as Florida judges face furlough as early as next week

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Broward County? chief judge has told staff that widespread furloughs could come as early as next week with a solution to a shortfall in the courts trust fund yet to come from Gov. Rick Scott? office, reports the News Service of Florida. The Daily Business Review reported Tuesday that Broward Chief Circuit Judge Victor Tobin said chief judges, who met Monday in Tallahassee with Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady, came away prepared for four-to seven-day furloughs this month. Canady told the judges that Scott has been slow to approve additional funding to ensure courts remain open. The courts trust fund that? filled by filing fees is out of money well short of the end of the fiscal year, a deficit blamed largely on a massive reduction in foreclosure filing fees. Meanwhile, Palm Beach County Chief Judge Peter Blanc emailed county judges there and said the court could see a two-week furlough of all employees as a worst case scenario, the Palm Beach Post reported. Scott spokesman Lane Wright told the Post that the governor is working with State Courts Administrator Elisabeth Goodner on a plan to keep courts open through the June 30 close of the fiscal year.

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