The State of the Judiciary, 2009

(2009) The State of the Judiciary, 2009. Judicial Branch


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Thank you for inviting me again this year to talk with you about the condition of Iowa’s judicial branch. As your partner in government, we look forward to working with you on issues affecting the administration of justice. If I could capture the condition of our courts, indeed the condition of our state, in a few words, it would be: “We live in challenging times.” No one knows the true meaning of this phrase better than those Iowans hit by natural disasters. But my focus today is, of course, on the courts. Ensuring the delivery of equal, affordable and accessible justice is always challenging work, but it will be especially so this year and the next in light of the State’s budget problems. Given the magnitude of this challenge, it is even more imperative that we work together in the spirit of unity, candor and cooperation. And I address you today in this spirit. We are deeply concerned, as you are, about the present financial situation and its effect on individual Iowans. Naturally, we are particularly troubled about its impact on the delivery of justice to our citizens. Even in good economic times, the administration of justice is difficult to fulfill given the sheer volume and complexity of problems Iowans bring to their courthouses. Because of the effects of the nation’s economic downturn, people will need access to justice now more than ever. We already see this happening. The number of mortgage foreclosure cases in Iowa rose 14% in the past year. Debt collection cases increased 20% in the same time. An increase in these types of cases is predictable in tough economic times, but other types of problems may escalate as well. Some experts fear that a recession may also give rise to more crime, child abuse, domestic violence, and substance abuse. Naturally, for the sake of the people who may be harmed by these problems, we hope they do not occur. If they do, however, these matters will demand our immediate attention.

Item Type: Departmental Report
Keywords: Judicial, Courts, court
Subjects: Law enforcement and courts > Courts > Iowa Supreme Court
Law enforcement and courts > Courts
Law enforcement and courts > Courts > Judges
ID Code: 6998
Deposited By: Margaret Barr
Deposited On: 06 Mar 2009 14:20
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2009 14:20