Monday, January 23, 2012

The line is open

Posted By on Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 4:46 PM

FORDYCE TORNADO DAMAGE: The Fordyce Country Club was among the casualties of a tornado that ripped through the area Sunday night.
  • Keith Gresham/U. Arkansas
  • FORDYCE TORNADO DAMAGE: The Fordyce Country Club was among the casualties of a tornado that ripped through the area Sunday night. It caused widespread damage, but no major injuries.

You're on. I leave with:

* SPECIAL COURTS: The attorney general's office today said — in response to a question from Judge Chadd Mason of Fayetteville — that it didn't think it was legal for a circuit judge to set up a pre-adjudication "work court" that would dole out money earned by those sentenced there. You'd have thought Willard Proctor's ill-fated probation program would have taught all judges a lesson about venturing into self-directed and supervised probationary programs. For that matter, you'd have thought Bill Watt's ill-fated truancy court would have caused some reluctance about having an underworked environmental court in Little Rock (Judge Mark Leverett) set up as the city's truancy court. The Supreme Court oversees court case assignment plans. It's too bad, for starters, we haven't rolled the little district (municipal) court fiefdoms — cash cows and political play pretties for cities and counties — into a unified state court system. Here's an idea though: There are some district court judges who can be assigned to general jurisdiction in Pulaski County. Let's have the state Supreme Court put THEM to use for truancy matters in a manner the supremes find suitable, not let City Hall and a judge beholden to City Hall for his pay and perks dream it up.

* JUDICIAL RACES: I hope to have a listing of judicial candidates before long. I do know that Appeals Court Judge Jo Hart formally announced for an open Supreme Court seat that also is being sought by Appeals Court Judge Raymond Abramson. I told you this more than a month ago, however.

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