Probate court impacted by cuts

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Jefferson County's financial crisis has many departments suffering, including the Probate Office.

Probate Judge Alan King said Monday his office is maintaining right now, but said things could soon be difficult for matters handled in probate court, like adoption cases.

"It's my fear that adoptions will be delayed, if this goes on much longer as our other judicial cases there will be a delay," said King. "We don't have the staff to do everything we need to do to process and hear the cases."

King said if layoffs last longer than a few weeks, it could begin to take its toll. He said fewer employees could eventually delay the recording and updating of land records, which could then have a negative impact on the real estate market in Jefferson County.

King's staff was cut from 42 to 13 people after business on Friday as part of the county's commission's effort to balance its budget, which lost millions of dollars in revenue earlier this year after a judge declared the county's occupational tax illegal.