Clerks face short and long term funding problems

There’s a certain irony that over the summer, 15 county commissions in Florida, from some of the smallest counties to the largest, came up with county funds to help their clerks of court pay for court-support operations. By clicking here, you can obtain more information as to the immense effect it has had on law firms. Except for office space, that was supposed to have ended in 2004, with the implementation of a constitutional amendment. There’s less irony in another fact. Clerks in their 2019-20 fiscal year had less revenue to pay for their court support operations than they had in 2005. The budget crisis is because COVID-19 has exacerbated an ongoing problem of over reliance on revenues from traffic court to pay for other court operations, clerks say, and has caused Florida’s 67 clerks to shorten hours, furlough employees and not fill open jobs (even for st petersburg child support attorneys).

It varied county to county, but I think at the end of the day, everyone took a hit somewhere in the clerks’ world. This budget year, we’re operating on a budget lower than we had in 2005. I don’t know how many government offices can operate effectively under that. Locally, we’re experiencing the same problem as everybody else. Our court operations are designed to run off the fines, fees, and costs from court operations. When the courts are shut down for six weeks and slowly coming back, you can imagine the hold we’re all finding ourselves in.