A serious backlog of cases is still affecting the Vermont judicial system.
Data released in January shows Vermont’s court system had more than 13,000 active pending cases at the beginning of the year.
Pandemic-era safety measures amid a changing technological landscape are just some of the reasons why Vermont’s courts are backed up.
Counties across the state are affected, but Franklin County is especially affected. Franklin County District Attorney Bram Kranichfeld says he has about 2,400 cases waiting to go to trial.
Kranichfeld stepped into the role just six weeks ago, and has since been working on new policies to address a shortage of resources. One of his newest policies states that a case needs to have an offer for resolution at arraignment.
“What I have found is that when there’s an offer made early on a case there is a better chance the case will resolve earlier,” says Kranichfeld.
The district attorney said technological changes put in place during the pandemic have put an added strain on his office.
“More pressure on our administrators to process the cases and process the paperwork and the discovery and all the things that need to get done in a case,” he says.
Despite already low staffing, Kranichfeld is confident his team can get the job done – but it won’t happen overnight.
Kranichfeld says, “I know we’re doing the best we can. This team is incredibly dedicated and incredibly talented and we’re doing the best we can to serve the people of Franklin County.”