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Bar Association Critical of County Cuts to Clerk's Office

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – The Bar Association of Erie County is weighing in on the county budget crisis. The bar is expressing concerns about the impact of Legislature-approved cuts on the legal system.

Erie County Clerk David Swarts sustained significant cuts to his office. The most visible manifestation of that so far are the long lines at auto bureaus after the Northtowns and Orchard Park offices were closed last week. But Bar Association President James Shaw says the cuts will also affect the Swarts' ability to carry out his duties as chief clerk of the courts.

"The filing of motions, orders, applications by order to show cause, certifying judgements, etc. are all going to be backed up to the point that it will have a significant impact on the legal rights of the public," Shaw said.

Shaw says the Bar Association passed a resolution that calls for restoration of county funding.

"Member attorneys are being asked to call the county executive and their respective county legislators to explain the significant impact the cuts will have on consumers," Shaw said.

Shaw echoes Swarts' argument that the clerk's office is a money-maker for the county. He says the Registrar's Office alone clears as much as $3 million a year in revenue.