Sunday, August 17, 2014

Is a New Heber City Justice Court NEEDED?

At the recent Public Hearing for the proposed Heber City Public Safety building, some officials reportedly indicated 'that the county justice court is already heavily used and that city cases must wait too long in many cases.'   

That's possibly true and within a 'few' years that may likely be true.
But the actual current schedule does not seem to demonstrate that. Here's an analysis of the schedules (obviously from an "outside" view)from the Utah Court Calendar 
  • Currently, Heber Justice Court operates Thursday and Friday only
  • Wasatch Justice averages a bit over 3 days a week
  • The District Court is NOT close to fully scheduled
  • Cases schedules two weeks out are only 20% of current schedules ( in other words, there generally does not appear to be a long wait.)
  • Wasatch County has about  40 cases per week, 
    • Most cases are Traffic, 50-60% (?)
    • Heber appears to average 80 cases a week and is only scheduled 8 days a month
    • A large number of cases are traffic - 80% (?) 
  • (raising speed limit on Center St and other locales where it would be safe to do would probably decrease case numbers by 10% )
  •  Is Heber Justice more efficient?  
Does that few days justify $2 Million in new construction which is proposed for a quarter(?) of the building?   If, when a new Heber office are built, could not the Council chamber be also used as a court - as it is now?

    Can the courts also not be used more efficiently?   Saturdays, more hours per day?  It might be cheaper, and more efficient, to hire more people.   Has an analysis been done to determine that?

Raw Data:
Heber City Justice court     (only Th and Fr)  (mostly traffic cases)
    8 days scheduled in next 30 days    
thu aug 14    60 cases
Fri aug 15    32
thu aug 21    60
fri aug 22    20
thu aug 28    18
fri aug 29    2
thu sep 4    3
fri sep 12    6

Wasatch Justice Court   (mostly traffic cases)
    21 days      7 with Nothing scheduled,
wed Aug 13        19  cases 
thu Aug 14       18 cases
mon Aug 18       32
tue Aug 19      12
wed Aug 20        3
mon Aug 25        35
tue Aug 26    19
wed Aug 27       8
Thu Aug 28    17
Tues  Sep 2    8
Wed Sep 3    1
Thu Sep 4    8
Fri Sep 5    15
Mon Sep 8    8
Wed Sep 10    1
Thurs Sep 11    1

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