Dozens of retired North Carolina judges are giving up their time to return to the courtroom as substitutes who fill in when full-time judges call in sick.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Tuesday that the state Legislature cut the budget for the Administrative Office of the Courts by 6 percent this year. That shaved $30 million from salaries and training for judges, prosecutors and clerks. Emergency judges stopped receiving the $400 a day they used to get.
So 44 retired judges have agreed to come back to the bench to work for free.
If not for the volunteers, most districts would have to cancel court sessions at the last minute, turning away citizens who expected to deal with their speeding ticket or divorce that day.