Juneau, Alaska (KINY) The Chief Justice of the Alaska Supreme Court included the request for an additional jurist during his State of the Judiciary Address.
Judge Craig Stowers said moving judges around to pick up the slack in Juneau does have a cost, "When we have a Ketchikan or Sitka based judicial officer come to Juneau, this creates a backlog for the traveling Judge in his home court. It also creates transportation and lodging costs."
Stowers said the Juneau position could be changed from a district court to a superior court judge that can hear more types of cases. A district judge is scheduled to retire in Juneau this summer. "We propose that you amend the statute that authorizes the number of superior court judges to convert the district court position to a superior court position."
Many lawmakers said they would support the change. Judge Stowers said there has been an increase in court cases in Juneau and the new judge would help alleviate the backlog of cases. "We are convinced that with a third Juneau court judge, the system can well manage the district court case load and better attend to the superior court needs that Juneau has."