Judges and judicial staff in at least one Minnesota county have been evicted from their courthouse for non-payment of rent, according to lawyers familiar with the case. The eviction strikes a further somber tone to overall judicial funding in most states, coming just a few months after some state court systems turned to tip jars to augment drastic state budget cuts.
In Anoka County, one of the larger counties in Minnesota, judges said that they were unable to generate enough revenue from fines and contempt orders in the last few months to overcome cuts to their budgets.
“With growing budget shortfalls and cuts in the judiciary, we had no money to pay rent to the state, and we’re seeing the result of that today,” said a court spokesperson, currently officing from her car in a Park–n-Ride lot. Ironically, the court order for the eviction was issued by one of the judges being evicted “because no one else was around.”
State authorities had no comment on the eviction but did indicate that they plan to use the courthouse to host a new “Tax Cutting Department,” which is experiencing phenomenal growth in staffing and operational expenses.