Kern County courts will be handling thousands of extra cases starting this summer due to prison realignment. That's because parole violation hearings will now be held in court rather than in the jail.
Some said this could slow down the judicial process for those with civil cases like divorce or child custody hearings.
Parole violation hearings used to be held at the county jail but because of prison realignment they will be held at the courthouse.
"Certainly it's something new and it's going to be an impact," said Terry McNally, Court Executive Officer for Kern County.
Kern County files 37,000 criminal cases each year. Come July they'll handle an estimated 4,500 to 6,000 more cases, 12 to 16 percent more.
"That's a significant workload if they all end up in hearings," said McNally.
The court isn't sure how they'll handle the influx yet. They do have a budget to hire a separate judicial officer but not courtroom staff.
"The primary concern is do we or will we have enough resources to be able to handle it," said McNally.
If they don't have the resources McNally said "then you rob Peter to pay Paul and then we would have to pull from the civil law family law probate area to man those courts for the criminal cases."
That's because by law criminal cases take priority.
"I'm concerned for my clients getting the answers that they need to the problems that they have and getting it in a timely matter," said Bobby Cloud, family law attorney.
Cloud said budget cuts have doubled judgement periods on civil cases and guesses this will only make things worse.
"It will have a direct impact on family law civil and all the other courts," said Cloud.
However the court said a negative impact at this point is only speculation.
"I think we probably won't know until well into the fall of next year how this impacts Kern County," said Cloud.