Houston County Circuit Clerk Carla Woodall said constant cuts to the state's judicial system have finally given way and now the clerk's office will be closed on Wednesdays, starting March 20th. "Clerk's offices have continued to take a beating, and a beating, and a beating year-after-year-after-year. We're down to the bones. We can't be beat anymore," said Woodall.
The closing is about funding cuts, but it's also about getting work done. Closing on Wednesdays will allow clerks get caught up on their work without being interrupted by the public."You're constantly having to answer the phone in between those transactions and waiting on people as they come in, so the fear of the accuracy level rises. We're dealing with people lives, their freedom, and their money so accuracy is very important," explained Woodall.
Woodall said even with the state's electronic E-Filing System the work is still piling up. The Houston county office is only staffed at 43 percent making it even difficult to stay on top of all the work that's coming through the office."It's now got unbearable for clerks offices state wide," continued Woodall.
Legislation passed last year that raised court fees. It provided new money for circuit clerks and district attorneys' offices, but it wasn't enough to keep the doors open. She said,"The projection of what that would bring into the court system wasn't enough. We experienced a shortfall of those projections because case filings are down this year. While everybody may think if case filings are down, then you must not have as much work to do, but that's not the case."