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Municipal courts cutting costs

Fewer tax dollars has led Phoenix and other cities to cut municipal court costs.

To save money on utilities, Avondale’s city court closes one day a week.

City Manager Charlie McClendon said he had little choice but to close the city court each Friday.

Phoenix’s 22 municipal court judges each lost an annual $2,000 fund they were free to spend on training and travel.

In looking for savings, Surprise City Manager Randy Oliver compared court costs with neighboring cities.

Surprise court spends an average of about $95 to process cases while Avondale, Peoria and Goodyear spend less.

Oliver trimmed expenses by starting a home-detention policy that he expects to save more than $133,000 a year on jail costs.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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