- Associated Press - Friday, January 13, 2017

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) - Another of New Mexico’s judicial districts will be reducing the hours its court clerks have to help the public due to budget cuts and resulting staff shortages.

Officials in the 12th district, representing Otero and Lincoln counties in southern New Mexico, made the announcement Friday. They join New Mexico’s busiest district in metro Albuquerque in trimming public hours within the clerk’s offices.

Beginning next week, clerks will be available to assist the public for only four hours each day.

In a statement issued Friday, 12th District Chief Judge James Counts said the court apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and warned that the new schedule will last at least through August.

In Albuquerque, court officials say they have 23 vacancies and employees are scrambling to address heavier workloads.

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