Meridian and County Courthouse Case Vacated Thanks to Legislation Supported by Both

A court order calling for Meridian to build a new magistrate court facility has been vacated. On Wednesday, June 27 the Ada County Fourth Judicial District Court issued a decision to vacate the 1994 and 2018 orders after a long-term solution, presented to Legislators during this past session, was approved.

The legislation piece, HB 643, creates a new funding source for counties by reallocating a portion of tax revenues that cities receive from the State Liquor Fund to counties in order to help cover the costs of magistrate court operations. It is effective immediately and will be phased in over a five year period. At the end of that time, Idaho Code 1-2218 will be repealed, so no city will be required to provide for magistrate courts.

“We are thrilled that the District Court order from 1994 has been vacated. It was a collaborative effort  across the state, working together to find a more equitable solution. I want to thank the Mayors, City Council members, County Commissioners, the Idaho Supreme Court Administrator and Legislators who worked diligently on this issue,” said Mayor Tammy de Weerd, City of Meridian. “We didn’t want to see our system decentralized and we all supported a solution that was focused on the needs of all and a system that is predictable. By working together and looking outside the box to find long term fixes we are all better off.”

As a result of the vacated order, Meridian is no longer required to build a courthouse.

“This has been an ongoing disagreement that involved numerous Boards of Commissioners. It’s wonderful to finally have a resolution. There are many people to thank who worked very hard on this case over the years. We’d especially like to thank the lobbyists who helped the Mayors, the City Council members, the Idaho Supreme Court and the Board of County Commissioners reach a positive conclusion, as well as the legislators who approved HB 643,” said Ada County Commissioner and Chairman Dave Case. “The true winners are the citizens of Ada County who will continue to benefit from a centralized courthouse.”

The legislation is the result of a work group of City and County elected officials as well as staff from the Association of Idaho Cities and the Idaho Association of Counties. 

PAST UPDATES:
Meridian and Garden City Appeal to Judges Regarding County’s Demand for Satellite Courthouses- Nov. 4, 2016

Courthouse Details You Need to Know - Mayor Tammy’s Blog, October 2016

Courthouse Issue Explained - Meridian Town Hall (7 minutes after start of the video)

Timeline of Events: 1994 - Present Day

Facts and Latest Updates- Sept. 2016

Minimum Needs Requested by Ada County for Satellite Court Facilities. These minimum needs are not found in any courthouse, let alone satellite facility, in the state of Idaho.

Cities Ask Judges to Agree that Consolidated Courthouse Complied with 22-Year-Old Order

Joint Proposal Submitted to Fourth Judicial District

News Updates:

Mayor Evans and Mayor De Weerd on KIDO with Kevin Miller - Nov. 3, 2016

“Why Should Taxpayers Pay Twice Over Courtrooms?” - Statesman Op-Ed by all Ada County Mayors

“I Serve Meridian Citizens and We Should Not Have to Pay Twice” - Mayor Tammy’s Blog

Letter to the Editor in the May 5, 2016 edition of the Idaho Statesman

Mayor Tammy and Mayor John Evans discuss the issue with Kevin Miller on 580 KIDO

Letter to the Editor in the May 2, 2016 edition of the Idaho Statesman

“Battle Over Ada County Courthouse Costs” - Viewpoint, KTVB

courthouse flyer - oct 2016

Infographic-courthouse