Our courts are under attack.
The Florida Legislature, The Governor’s Office and others are all working together to choke the life out of our state’s court system.
How can we as a nation credibly talk about the co-equal branches of government when Florida’s entire civil court system is funded by less than 1% of the state court budget?
A nation without strong, and properly funded courts is a nation ruled by tyrants….and in this modern day, the tyrants are the corporate oligarchs that have “our” government on puppet strings.
Now, more than ever we need our ELECTED CIRCUIT COURT JUDGES TO STAND UP AND FIGHT FOR OUR LAWS, OUR COMMUNITIES, OUR NEIGHBORS.
Our state’s elected circuit court judges are open and accessible to the people that elected them. They are, in nearly every case, thoughtful and concerned about what’s happening in this nation and they are uniquely positioned to do affect real change, to impose real stability and sense in a world gone mad.
There are extraordinary numbers and statistics that cannot be avoided.
NUMBERS DO NOT OFTEN LIE AND IN THIS CASE THE NUMBERS TELL A DISTURBING TRUTH…..OUR JUDGES ARE BEING BURIED UNDER THE WEIGHT OF THE GARBAGE DUMPED ON THEM BY BANKS.
The banks that are wreaking such havoc all across this nation are still working furiously to jam through new cases, all the while showing total disregard existing laws while at the same time showing that they are totally unable to manage the existing inventory of cases and properties they have abandoned.
Take a close look at the attached statistics that show hour our circuit court judge’s caseloads have EXPLODED to absurd numbers….now keep in mind that at the same time their case loads have exploded, court staff, court resources, including salaries and benefits have been slashed.
THIS IS SIMPLY NOT SUSTAINABLE. A PROPERLY FUNCTIONING SOCIETY, RULED BY LAWS REQUIRES A PROPERLY FUNDED COURT SYSTEM
Now, I field my fair share of complaints and criticisms of our judges and court system, and I frankly have my own complaints, but you have no business opening your mouth to complain about what’s happening in our courts if you don’t take the time to first understand how our courts are funded then next, take time to go see our courts first hand.
The courts in Pinellas County in particular are a model of a Constitutionally-proper court system…turn off your TV, take a day and visit your court system. Tell a bailiff you want to watch and ask them to point you to a courtroom. What you’ll find in any courtroom is staff and your elected judges working hard to fulfill their critical Constitutional service to the members of their community. Take a few moments and see your judges literally buried up to their heads with files all around. Put yourself in the shoes of that judge and ask yourself how that job can properly be done under the existing and increasing funding and staffing pressures.
And even more importantly, read the Florida Supreme Court Case Crist v. Ervin to understand the key tipping point that comes when our courts finally stand up boldly and admit that they are Constitutionally underfunded.
And finally, as you get down here and battle with us in the trenches in this battle to preserve and OUR courtrooms, please read carefully the letters of direction sent out to all courts by the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, making it absolutely clear in no uncertain terms that Florida’s Courts MUST REMAIN OPEN AND ACCESSIBLE TO ALL CITIZENS. read here
What you will find if when you take the time to visit your courts in Pinellas County is those highest principles are on full display, respect and service to the citizens our courts serve.
Keep that in mind as you see the burden our courts operate under…..