LABETTE COUNTY, Ks. — Starting this week, a Labette County Judge will hear cases in a new location and county officials may have to spend money outside the budget to accommodate the change.
The 11th Judicial District has moved Judge Fred W. Johnson’s docket from the Labette County Judicial Center in Parsons to the courthouse in Oswego.
The change came from the direction of 11th Judicial District Chief Judge Oliver Kent Lynch of Columbus, who did not give a reason for the change.
County leaders say moving the judge’s docket will cost the county and the city money.
Stephen Jones, Labette County Attorney, said, “My budget was set, we went over it with the county commissioners in August and it was approved for the beginning of January to the end of December and it did not include the expenses that will now be incurred by my office from having to do essentially two courtrooms, one in Oswego, one here in Parsons.”
Jones says they will need to hire more staff to run two courtrooms and update their technical capabilities in Oswego to ensure it is equivalent to Parsons.
He also says when county leaders spoke with Judge Lynch he could not say if the move is temporary or permanent.
We reached out to the County Commissioners and Judge Lynch but they were not available for comment.