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Chief Judge: Budget Cuts Could Slow Justice Process In Fairfax

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By Jonathan Wilson

In Virginia, looming budget cuts are forcing some people who normally stay out of the political arena to speak out. That includes the chief Judge of the Fairfax Circuit Court.

One of the many cuts in the county's proposed budget is a $253,000 reduction to the Fairfax Circuit Court budget eliminating 5 of 15 law clerks.

Chief Judge Dennis Smith says losing a third of the court's law clerk would be a serious obstacle to providing relatively swift resolutions to cases.

"We can provide that to 86 percent of our cases within a year because of our law clerks," Smith told the county's Board of Supervisors. "Without that you're looking at a year and a half to two years. That's a significant problem."

Smith spoke at the first of three public hearings on the Fairfax County budget scheduled this week.

The county needs to close a $257 million budget gap.

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