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home : opinions : opinions November 25, 2015

1/22/2013 11:28:00 AM
Guest column: New Year's update from the Williams Justice Court
From the bench
Judge Rob Krombeen
Williams Justice Court

After an encouraging budget meeting several weeks ago with Coconino County Court Administration officials, we are pressing on into this year and the next fiscal year optimistically.

Has Coconino County suddenly determined that revenues will be dramatically improving, giving rise to increased optimism? That is hardly the case. What we do see however, is that careful planning by county officials several years ago has reduced the financial "cliff" that so many governmental entities across the country are facing.

Although our budget will be flat and will not be increasing in the foreseeable future, the careful review and management of our budget continues to be a priority. Even with these fiscal challenges, the Williams Justice Court staff continues to find creative ways to improve efficiency, and expand cost effective programs to improve customer service and security at our court. We recently received our annual customer service review; we appreciate the positive support and feedback you gave us.

One of the challenges we are often confronted with at the court involves customers coming in to file various civil actions who are unprepared to properly file the necessary forms for the action they are seeking. Because of this, customers sometimes don't understand, and therefore get frustrated when court staff can't help them with their filing.

I recall a recent customer who was irritated with one of our staff members when she couldn't help her complete the necessary documentation for a suit against another party. Although our staff will gladly assist in answering procedural questions, they are prohibited from directly assisting or providing legal advice to either party appearing in our court. This is one of the most important tenants of our country's legal system: that the courts remain impartial to either side in a dispute, whether civil or criminal in nature.

Our staff will provide printed instructions and procedural guides to customers for their assistance. The court kiosk is also a helpful tool with internet links to the Coconino County Law Library and other helpful sites.

Speaking of civil actions, the state of Arizona recently overhauled the rules of civil procedure for the justice courts in our state. What this means is that the rules that govern civil claims and suits at the justice court level have been significantly reduced and simplified for the type of cases we see in our court. These changes will make it easier for those customers in our court who aren't represented by an attorney to review the rules relating to the type of action being sought. These rules can be obtained from the court kiosk or online at http://www.azcourts.gov/rules/Home.aspx.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Article comment by: Houndsman one

There will always be sore losers, or those that are jealous of what one has more of, then themselves. Take time to practice what u preach, especially if you dont have a large role in the City of Williams. Now Go look in the mirror.

Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Article comment by: Andrew H

Perhaps the judge should be concerned with his pending lawsuit, rather than other citizens.

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