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Budget Committee hears of big change in Carter County probation services

John Thompson • Feb 11, 2019 at 10:53 PM

ELIZABETHTON — The Budget Committee of the Carter County Commission was only checking to see if the litigation tax was set at an appropriate rate to make sure users of the county courts was paying their fair amount.

But the committee made the surprising discovery Monday night that one of the largest providers of probation supervision in the county has been ordered to shut down its operation.

On Monday night, Patty Woodby, a member of the Budget Committee and administrative assistant to the Carter County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, told the other committee members about the sudden closure of Crossroads, an organization that has provided probation and counseling services to the court system for decades.

Woodby said the severance between the court and the probation service was ordered by a judge Friday. The order was to complete all current actions and turn in all files within 14 days. Woodby said Crossroads responded to the judicial order by immediately locking its doors and turning clients away.

Woodby said the Crossroads probation services have been assumed by First Tennessee Human Resource Agency, with its Alternative Community Corrections programs and services. People from that organization began working the court Friday.

Woodby said the clerk’s office is working to provide needed services to First Tennessee HRA during the transition.

The Johnson City Press will follow this story and provide more information on changes for Crossroads probationers as it becomes available.

On the Budget Committee’s consideration of raising the litigation tax and other court fees, Woodby said Carter County already has about the highest fees for speeding tickets.

Woodby said Carter County speeding tickets now range from $240 to $265. She said an increase in litigation tax will mean $300 speeding tickets in Carter County.

Using the courts for civil lawsuits is also expensive, Woodby told the committee. She said the cost of filing a civil lawsuit is $201.50.

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