An Independent snapshot: Scottsdale City Court

An outside view of the Scottsdale City Court building at (photo by Melissa Fittro)

An outside view of the Scottsdale City Court building at 3700 N. 75th St. (photo by Melissa Fittro)

Scottsdale City Court — the fourth largest municipal court in Arizona with 10,534 criminal cases filed last year — collected $18.7 million in court fees during fiscal year 2014-15, records show.

The municipal court typically handles misdemeanor criminal, criminal traffic, civil traffic, protection orders, injunctions against harassment and city ordinance violations including parking.

For the city of Scottsdale, civil traffic and criminal driving under the influence cases are the most frequent type of cases.

Scottsdale’s justice center is at 3700 N. 75th St. Out of the total revenue collected, the city received $10.5 million. Additional funds went to the state of Arizona, Maricopa County and $200,000 to victims.

During the 2014-15 fiscal year, 10,534 criminal cases breaks down to be 220 new cases per criminal courtroom, per month. Over one year, this adds up to 2,640 cases per judge.

“This does not include current, open cases or cases that have been adjudicated but come back to the court due to non-compliance of court orders,” said Court Administrator Julie Dybas in an Aug. 18 statement. “Additionally, there are 1,609 civil and parking per month and 4,164 photo enforcement per month.”

The four criminal judges are Presiding Judge Joseph Olcavage, and associate judges Orest Jenjna, James Blake and Statia D. Hendrix. Additionally, the city employees a hearing officer, Herbert Pierpan.

The four judges declined being interviewed by the Scottsdale Independent, siting personal safety.

“Profiling them as individuals raises concerns, and at this point none are really interested in it,” Scottsdale Communications and Public Affairs Director Kelly Corsette said in an Aug. 10 statement.

The four judges have all been verbally threatened in-person and through third parties, according to Ms. Dybas.

“No physical incidents have happened in the past due to excellent security at the court and privacy in terms of the judge’s personal information. Judges do not seek exposure and are bound by codes of conduct to not engage in political activities.”

Presiding Judge Olcavage, contracted through the city of Scottsdale, makes $174,865.60 per year. The associate judges salaries are $160,492.80. Hearing Officer Pierpan makes $107,619.20.

While the presiding judge has a contract, the others are appointed by city council.

According to Scottsdale’s City Charter — the municipality’s constitution — the council determines the compensation to be paid to all city judges, including the presiding judge, and may remove them for cause.

The court operates under a $5.9 million budget, and they came in 5.6 percent under budget last fiscal year. The budget is used for salary of the city’s 58.5 full-time employees, and operation expenses including public defender fees, staff training and jury fees according to Ms. Dybas.

The city court expects to have the 2015-16 fiscal year report in November.

Northeast Valley News Services Editor Melissa Rosequist can be e-mailed at mrosequist@newszap.com or can be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/mrosequist_.

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