Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Probate System Going Bankrupt

Top officials in the state's near-bankrupt Probate Court system will offer the first step toward major reforms that would eventually close down the state's small, under-performing courts.

A draft plan would make it less lucrative for judges in smaller towns to run for the elective office, thus defusing the political minefield that has challenged Probate Court reforms in recent years.

Probate Court Administrator Paul Knierim, who is also the Simsbury probate judge, said the plan that will be presented to lawmakers this week would drastically change the way judges are paid.

"What we're trying to do with judicial compensation is move away from a system in which pay is based on the court's revenue and replace it with a system in which pay is based upon work performed."

The changes to the current 117 courts could be in place in time to discourage candidates from running for judgeships in 2010, especially in money-losing probate courts.

Statewide, 50 courts ran deficits last year.

Rep. Michael P. Lawlor, co-chairman of the legislative Judiciary Committee, which will review the Probate Court administrators' proposals:"If we do nothing, the Probate Court system is bankrupt the following year."

Full Article and Source:
Officials propose Probate Court reforms

More information:
Conn. probate court reform ideas to be presented

Probate Judges Want a Government Bailout

See also:
Probate Losing 20K Daily

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