Two members of the Governor’s Council toured the court on friday.
Councilors met with the Clerk Magistrate John Gay and even with Judge William Boyle,”Springfield District Court is the busiest district court in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts so we need some help,” says Judge Boyle.
The staff shortage is being felt all the way to the bench says the clerk magistrate,”Four judges for a place that needs seven, there creates backlogs both criminally and civilly pushing cases way beyond what Judge Boyle and I would like,” says John Gay.
Councilor Michael Albano says the staff shortage in Western Massachusetts is causing a delay in the administration of justice and therefore a denial in justice,”They’re down 50 percent the clerk’s office, it’s here from 1:30 to 3:30 Monday, Wednesday and Friday just t0 catch up on the paperwork so there’s a serious shortage here,” says Albano.
In one courtroom there were complaints about moving cases along including those already slowed down by the drug scandals at testing labs in Amherst and Boston,”You could get a trial within 90 days , 120 days from arraignment, now that’s all stopped, now we have cases backing up and backing up because there’s no drug certs,” says Governor’s Councilor Robert Jubinville.
Governor’s councilors say they will write a letter to the legislature and Governor Patrick detailing their findings.