Judiciary could be better served with another judge

by Sonya Artero, KUAM News
Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Calling on all candidates interested in becoming a trial court judge: after an intense evaluation, the National Center for State Courts informed Guam's judiciary that the island needs at least one more judge on its staff in order to handle its current caseload. After dissecting and analyzing the time each of Guam's seven trial court judges spend on each of their cases, it was determined by the foremost authority on judiciaries that the island could better maximize its judicial resources by hiring at least one more judge.

The court's director of policy and planning, Dan Tydingco explained, saying, "There's a greater population increase since the last time we've expanded the bench which incidentally was back in 1994, over a dozen years ago. Since that time, there are greater needs and more people to have to service and we've outlived the current resources we need to handle those people."

To determine the perfect candidate, the Judiciary will be collaborating with the chairman of the Legislative Judiciary Committee, Senator Bob Klitzkie (R), and the Guam Bar Association. And once the advice and consent process is completed, Governor Felix Camacho must give his final approval. The National Center for State Courts also warns that with the impending increase in military, Guam should consider hiring even more judges. Guam judges, who rank among the lowest paid in our nation, make $104,000 a year.

And given their budget limitations, Tydingco says they're going to have to make do, adding, "The chief justice has ordered us to look within our own current and existing budget but at some point and time, given the case load that is going to be increasing, we're going to have to request somewhere down the line for the resources."

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