MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) – Judges and lawyers in a southwestern Oregon county are asking for at least one more judge to help ease the growing demand on the area’s court system.

The Mail Tribune reports Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Martha Walters has asked lawmakers for an additional $4.5 million to fund an additional 14 judges with support staff across the state, including one new judge for Jackson County.

The Jackson County Circuit Court currently has nine judges who handled about 26,000 new cases in 2018.

Judge Tim Gerking says the court system is “running at a breaking point” as demand increases.

He says the court has had the same number of judges for 15 years despite the area’s growth.

Information from: Mail Tribune,

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