Kansas court system works to improve efficiency

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Judges and court workers have completed the data-collection part of a study aimed at making Kansas' court system more efficient.

The Wichita Eagle reported that the data will be analyzed by the National Center for State Courts. That national nonprofit group works to improve the justice system and lobbies on behalf of courts at the federal level.

The results of the $200,000 consultant study of how judges and other court workers spend their time will go to a panel that will recommend changes if they are needed.

Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Lawton Nuss said the panel also is gathering public input on ways to improve the courts. The two initiatives are called "Project Pegasus," after the winged horse in Greek mythology.

The goal is to prevent situations like last year when courts were closed four days.

"When our budget is cut or when we don't have enough money, it is our people who suffer, they're the ones who have to get sent home," Nuss told members of the Wichita Pachyderm Club, a Republican group, this past week. "Unfortunately that also comes at the expense of Kansas citizens, because when we have no money and we have to close the courts, the citizens no longer have access to justice."

Nuss said most of the consultant study is being paid for mostly from salary and benefit savings accrued after appellate Judge Jerry Elliott died in April of last year and former Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Davis died last August.

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