Alabama Courts Face Cuts

Mittie Chappell is the human resource director for the Alabama Court System. She's concerned about employees who could lose their jobs and the ones who would be left behind. "The people who stay will have to work harder," said Chappell.

The court system is already understaffed. In 2003, the department laid off 150 employees - many of those spots are still open. "If we were to have more layoffs, there would be no way the employees could process the paperwork quickly." said Administrative Director of Courts Callie Dietz.

Dietz says the finance office has asked the courts to cut 9% from its budget - a budget that's 97% personnel. Dietz says they've trimmed all the fat they can - employees are all that's left. That could mean 250 people will be unemployed. Dietz isn't giving up the fight just yet. She's working with the governor's office to try to find another way.

Worst case scenario, if the courts have layoffs, they may be forced to shut down civil jury trials or close clerk's offices for a day to allow them time to catch up on paper work...