More than a year after closure, courts are still dealing with overdue cases



WAUSAU, Wisc. (WAOW) – During the March 2020 shutdown, every industry suffered an impact, but the justice system still faces those consequences.

Court cases were delayed during the shutdown and most court proceedings were eventually halted.

For a little over a year, the Marathon County Attorney’s Office (DA) was unable to adjudicate cases at the same pace. The office had to move to zoom in and was unable to have hearings and jury trials. Some assistant district attorneys handle case charges 2-3 higher than the normal amount.

Kyle Mayo, ADA for Marathon County, said “Some of our attorneys are handling over 500 to 600 cases at any given time.”

The Portage County DA office said the number of hours worked and the number of cases made it more difficult to find new lawyers.

“At present, there are 15 assistant prosecutor positions open in state offices,” Louis Molepeske Portage County DA said. “We have an opening right now that we can’t fill, and that’s problematic.”

In an effort to reduce the backlog, Portage County has scheduled 32 trials until the end of the year. Molepske says it’s extremely high.

The office typically does not see more than ten trials per year.


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