NEWS  

1101 Market Street, 11th Floor • Philadelphia, PA 19107

Phone: 215-238-6300 • Fax: 215-238-1267 • www.philadelphiabar.org

06/22/2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


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PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION CALLS ON LEGISLATURE TO PROVIDE ESSENTIAL FUNDING FOR STATE JUDICIARY IN 2009-2010 STATE BUDGET

As the deadline to approve the Pennsylvania state budget nears, the Philadelphia Bar Association urges legislators to provide essential funding for the state judiciary – a system integral for the preservation of Pennsylvanians’ lives and livelihoods.

“There is not one aspect of our lives that is not touched by the law,” says Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Sayde Ladov.

Currently, the state judiciary budget represents just 0.6% of the total Commonwealth budget. The proposed budget would cut judiciary funding six percent from current funding levels – resulting in a $34 million gap in fiscal year 2009-2010.

“An open, operating and fully-funded court system does more than keep our towns safe by prosecuting criminals and holding businesses accountable when their actions harm people,” Ladov says. “The courts have a hand in many day-to-day issues.

Below are matters that would be impossible to resolve without the help of the courts.

  • Problems with a hunting, gaming or boating license
  • Problems with a building permit
  • Restoring a suspended driver’s license or resolving a traffic citation
  • Child custody and divorce disputes
  • Collecting delinquent child support payments
  • Settling landlord/tenant and lender/debtor disputes
  • Bankruptcy issues
  • Mortgage issues

“Delaying access to the courts is denying access to the courts,” Ladov says. “Cutting the state judiciary’s budget could prevent citizens from the timely resolution of life’s important matters and have a ripple affect on police forces and other emergency personnel who sit in on trials. A reduced budget could lead to trial delays, which would keep these important people in court, rather than on the streets where they are really needed.

“We call on the state legislature to provide adequate funding to the state judiciary in order to preserve our essential court system.”

(Go here to send a letter to your legislators calling for a fully-funded Pennsylvania judiciary.)

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