By Scott Sherman
The Salt Lake Tribune
Reprinted with Permission of The Salt Lake Tribune
State court officials have released the list of 10 courthouses around Utah that could be shuttered if lawmakers were to cut up to 7 percent from the state’s public safety budget.
Filings at courthouses in Layton, Spanish Fork and Roosevelt would be consolidated into other buildings in the county. While the lone county courthouses in Randolph, Fillmore, Kanab, Manila, Morgan, Panguitch and Loa would be closed in July, according to recommendations obtained Friday by The Salt Lake Tribune under an open-records request.
Court operations in Layton would be consolidated into Bountiful and Farmington; cases in Spanish Fork would be shifted to Provo and American Fork; and hearings in Roosevelt would be folded into Duchesne, the report states. The Spanish Fork courthouse lease would still last through 2028.
In order to close the county courthouses, lawmakers would need to eliminate a requirement that each county seat have its own courthouse.
The closures are estimated to save about $3.16 million, with an additional $4 million saved by cutting about 75 jobs.
Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, said that closing rural courthouses is not an option for him. But Ray said consolidating courthouses in a place such as Davis County, where there are courts in Farmington, Bountiful and Layton, would only cause “a minor inconvenience.”