Failure to retain court workers blamed on low pay

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Maine's chief justice is calling for more pay for trial clerks and marshals.
 
Justice Leigh Saufley made the case during her traditional State of the Judiciary address to lawmakers on Thursday.
 
Maine struggles to fill existing marshal positions, and Saufley said the courts quickly lose newly trained workers to better-paying jobs in the public and private sector.
 
The chief justice said the state courts are modernizing by improving and replacing aging courthouses, preparing to switch to an electronic records system and reducing criminal case backlogs.
 
But too often, litigants can't afford lawyers to help with legal problems and the system relies on Maine lawyers giving time and money.
 
She said the answers to the addiction crisis will be expensive, but vital programs addressing re-entry, diversion and housing.

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