It seems like all the cities in Ada county and the courts themselves can’t get along with each other and the battles are all over money and poor decisions.
Gone are the days of “putting the people first.”
A recent ruling by 4th District Court Judges simply fails the test of logic when it comes to deciding who pays the costs of justice…Unfortunately it arguably passes the test of law. Under the Idaho Code, the court is ordering Boise City to pay about $1 million annually because Boise is the “prime user” of the courts and judges.
WE ALSO PAY MORE TAXES TO ADA COUNTY! Yet, they want us to pay additional fees. (every Boise taxpayer is also an Ada County taxpayer) That’s like WalMArt charging higher prices to people who are repeat customers and spend the most money.
The decision of the court is an “administrative ruling,” but it can–and should–be appealed to the Idaho Supreme Court. Simple logic tells us a city with more population–and more criminals–will have more trials and hearings. The city also generates more fines and court costs for things like judges retirement funds and police training. The city’s arguments are hindered by an old City/County agreement–and state law that allows courts to order municipalities to provide magistrate court facilities and staff.
It all got murky when Ada Commishes in the late 1990’s consolidated all the courts into the current court house which was never approved by a binding vote of citizens. That put a lot of pressure on Ada County to find cash to pay for the new facility. Magistrate court was formerly at the City-County law enforcement building on Barrister–apparently provided by the city, according to court documents which acknowledge the line between city and county became blurred.
Meridian and Garden City do not pay for use of the courts and have ignored court orders to “provide magistrate court facilities.”
The Daily Paper quoted Ada Commish Fred Tilman as saying Eagle, Star and Kuna pay a fair court share “through an agreement with the county.” That statement is simply not true.
What Tilman was apparently talking about is the fact that Kuna, Eagle, and Star are “customers” of the sheriff who rents his badge to those communities. They do not have their own police forces and pay the sheriff to run their police services. HOWEVER, those contracts have nothing whatsoever to do with the cost and operation of the courts. Because the sheriff has three cities as customers certainly doesn’t relieve those municipalities of an obligation to pay their share.
The Ada County Prosecutor also provides (for a fee) criminal legal services to Eagle, Kuna, and Star, but that doesn’t cover the courts either.
To summarize: The Ada Sheriff rents his badge to Eagle, Kuna, and Star. Ada’s 4th District Judges want Boise to rent court rooms and clerks from the Commishes for their use. Boise’s City Attorney rents lawyers to Meridian (forgot to tell you about that one!) to prosecute misdemeanors and traffic cases simultaneously with Boise cases.
Depending on the political winds, Boise City and Ada County have combined some facilities and made “working agreements.” At present those winds are erratic at best and we all pay when they turn stormy.
All we can say is, “You are doing a heckuva job Brownie!”
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