Like the rest of Oregon's state court offices, the Wallowa County Circuit Court office will be closed every Friday in March through the end of June this year, by order of Oregon Chief Justice Wallace Carson.

The measure is being taken to address budget shortfalls in the Oregon Judicial Department's 2001-03 biennial budget. They were announced ahead of time to take effect if the Measure 28 tax increase measure failed at the polls, as it did.

The cut will affect circuit court full-time employee Jary Homan whose time and pay is being cut 10 percent from March through June. She said the office will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday, while she will plan on working an extra hour a day while the office is closed to try to make up for the Friday closure.

Two part-time employees, Klista Steinbeck and Traci Hall, will continue to work 24 hours a week each but will take a two-grade demotion and subsequently a 10 percent pay cut. According to Steinbeck, they had the option of working 10 percent fewer hours instead for the same 10 percent pay cut.

Homan said that judicial activities such as trials will not be scheduled during the four-month time period.

According to Carson's order, all state circuit courts will defer processing certain case types, beginning with small claims cases and nonperson misdemeanor cases.

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