The Lewis County Board of Commissioners (BOCC) voted to pass a resolution accepting a $100,000 grant from the Washington Administrative Office of the Courts to make needed upgrades to Lewis County Superior Court.
Lewis County Superior Court has found itself in need of a new or enhanced audio and visual recording system.
With COVID-19 restrictions causing most of the superior court’s court reporters to work remotely or independently, Lewis County Superior Court hasn’t been able to hire anyone for two open court reporter positions. Nor has it had any applicants.
As such, the BOCC believes that enhanced audio and visual recording systems will aid in courtroom coverage.
In early April, Gov. Jay Inslee signed a 2022 supplemental operating budget to the Office of the Courts, which provided state funding to pay for trial court costs made to address impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lewis County Superior Court requested funding from the Office of the Courts in the amount of $100,000 for the audio and visual equipment for use in adding to the Lewis County Superior Court courtrooms’ reporting capacity.
Specifically, the new system aims to “enhance the remote court experience and provide greater safety and accessibility to individuals accessing justice during the pandemic,” the resolution states.
“The enhanced audio/visual recording system will assist in the recording of court proceedings in all courtrooms when court reporters are not available.”