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More judges needed for Pinellas, Pasco says Sixth Circuit Chief Judge

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Judges are needed in Pasco and Pinellas counties, says 6th Judicial Circuit Judge J. Thomas McGrady.

The Pinellas-Pasco Chief Judge is calling for more magistrates to adequately serve the region, reports LobbyTools. The 6th Judicial Circuit is the third-largest in Florida.

“We can build additional courtrooms but nothing’s going to happen unless we have more judges to oversee them,” McGrady told the meeting of the Hillsborough County Commission. “We haven’t had a new judge in 10 years. Get the (state) Legislature to give us more judges.”

The conversation on the need for more judges came during a county commission meeting on a proposal to build a new court complex in Pasco County.

LobbyTools writes that recent figures estimate 20 Pasco judges heard 24,069 circuit court cases and 41,733 county cases, numbers that will only increase with time.

Commission chair Kathryn Starkey agreed with the need. “Judge (Linda) Babb said it can take a year to get a hearing on a divorce,” Starkey told commissioners during the meeting.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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