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PAROWAN, Utah (AP) -- The 5th District Court in Iron County will move most of its work from Parowan when Judge J. Philip Eves retires at the end of the year, Presiding Judge James Shumate said.
Shumate told the Iron County Commission on Monday that the court's space in the county courthouse will be vacated except for use once a quarter, which is necessary under state law because Parowan is the county seat.
The decision is based primarily on cost issues and security, he said.
Commissioners opposed the decision, and area residents began looking for ways to block the move because of its potential economic impact on northern Iron County.
Paragonah Mayor Constance Robinson volunteered to contact legislators, and said later Monday that the state representatives agreed the court should remain in Parowan.
"The legislators are backing us totally," Robinson said.
The state court pays Iron County $26,000 a year to rent the district court space in Parowan, and it will cost $100,000 to finish construction on the third court room in the Cedar City Hall of Justice.
Shumate said even if residents could get the money from the Legislature to run a secure court in Parowan, there still would be a need for a third courtroom in Cedar City because of the increasing caseload.
Shumate said for the county courthouse to become a secure facility, it would require a sheriff's deputy and metal detector at the three entrances on a daily basis.
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)