New Federal Courthouse Plans for More Judges

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POSTED: Wednesday, September 8, 2010 - 6:30pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, September 8, 2010 - 6:53pm

With four extra courtrooms, .U.S. District Judge Phillip Martinez says that this new courthouse could help alleviate the workload that current judges have.

"We need many more judges. The case load is a crushing case load," Martinez said.

At the moment, there are four U.S. District judges and three Magistrate judges.

The new building will make room for more judges, who are badly needed to help spread out the number of cases each judge takes on.

"250 to 300 criminal cases per district judge and we'll have a cycle of 70 to 100 civil cases and we'll have a cycle of 70 to 100 civil cases," Martinez said.

Court officials say besides working misdemeanors, judges have been working more cases here on the border than in other parts of the country.

More and more cases have been flooding in because of issues like securing the border, and having seven courts just wasn't cutting it. Congressman Silvestre Reyes, says this new courthouse would be very beneficial to El Paso.

"This gives us more space, we can now make the argument that we need additional judges because of the case load that exists now," Reyes said.

A total of nine judges should be working at the new court house in the next year, something that will benefit El Pasoans.

"It benefits our system of justice because you have additional capacity to schedule trials. It's a great step forward for our community," Reyes said.

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