Carbon County Justice Court garners state award
By handling more than 100 open cases at any given time and providing efficient and judicious service, the local Carbon County Justice Court has been named the justice court of the year by the Utah State Courts Judicial Council.
"Our court has had many compliments from others as to how friendly and efficient it is," said presiding Judge Elayne Storrs. "This is due to a great staff that takes the initiative to make sure all is in order, while supplying great customer service and integrity.
Justice courts are established by counties and municipalities to have the authority to deal with class B and C misdemeanors, violations of ordinances, small claims and infractions committed with their territorial jurisdiction. Justice court jurisdictions are determined by the boundaries of local government entities such as cities or counties, which hire the judges.
The Carbon County Justice Court services county issues along with those in Price city and area small claims. It has been headed by Judge Storrs since 1991.
According to the judge however, the court runs as smoothly as it does because of its extraordinary clerks and personnel.
Gloria Flemetakis, the chief deputy court clerk has been with the justice court since its inception in 1991.
"She has been a valuable asset to the court and county since her employment, serving the county as well as the state while being on education committees for the clerk's education," said Storrs."
The judge reported that conscientiousness is one of Flemetakis's many qualities as she has implemented various accounting procedures under the accounting guidelines outlined by the state for security in money management for the courts. Additionally, she makes sure legislative updates are adhered to and put into effect each year.
Ellene Verde has also been with the court from the beginning and brings something special to her work environment, according to the judge.
"She adds a flavor of friendliness and is extremely accommodating to those she assists," said the Carbon County official. "Her patience with difficult people has truly kept volatile situations to a minimum."
Janeyl Breinholt joined the court in 2000 and has proven to have an obsession with accuracy, according to Storrs.
"She makes sure every department that works with the court is her full time quest," quipped the judge. "Janeyl has spent numerous hours with BCI (Bureau of Criminal Identification), going over glitches in the reporting and recording system which has been a help to the state as a whole."
Breinholt, also serves on the clerks education committee.
Pat Laulu, is described by Storrs as the peaceful staple that binds the office together, adding a tranquil atmosphere to a stressful environment.
"Her soft spoken manner and willingness to help others tones down a ruffled atmosphere," explained the county magistrate. "Gloria and Janeyl in particular have demonstrated great service and dedication to the court and maintaining its efficiency in the past six months. Due to surgeries, unexpected illness and tragedy in our office, Gloria and Janeyl had to maintain the facility for nearly eight weeks when two of our clerks were not able to be at work. They completed the work of four individuals with little complaint.
Storrs reported that during her service the court has processed more than 7500 cases making sure that each individual was given the best opportunity to improve themselves while paying their debt to the community.
"I see so much potential in my court everyday," said Storrs. "It's hard to see it wasted, so we do everything we can to make people accountable for what they have done."
The judge is in favor of multiple reviews for those under her charge, asking that they show steady improvement as they move through the system.
"I am so proud of the way this court is run," concluded Storrs. "And we will continue to insure that the county has an efficient court while doing all that is necessary to reduce recidivism in the community."