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Sarasota News Leader August 30, 2013 issue" is less than $15,000), as well as family hearings, divorces and domestic violence cases, notes 12th Judicial Circuit Court Administrator Walt Smith. Two full-time judges and one part-time magistrate work in the facility; Smith has been trying to figure out ways to redistribute resources to increase the Anderson building's capacity. One short-term proposal: bringing a judge to Venice to handle civil hearings during times when the courts there aren't occupied. Smith hopes to have that in place by January, when his office changes judicial assignments. The courts had installed a video linking system between Anderson and the Sarasota courthouse, but Smith says it was rarely used. Page 34 Robinson, a Venice attorney herself, says the video system "wasn't utilized a whole lot" because lawyers want face-to-face communication with judges. She chaired a task force on the issue of court access for the Bar's South County Division, so she's intimately familiar with the issue. Many lawyers "are of the opinion that a new facility should be located in the south county," says Korszen. During a facilities planning workshop held with the commission this March, Smith laid out one possibility for southern expansion: displacing other offices housed at the Anderson facility, such as those of the tax collector and the property appraiser. "We think we could deliver better service Judicial system facilities planning has focused largely on the courthouses and jail in downtown Sarasota. Image courtesy Sarasota Count

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