Judges criticized for cutting days in half due to heat

(WMC-TV) - Two Shelby County probate judges are cutting their days in half because they cannot stand the heat.

The summer heat in Memphis can be unbearable for just about everyone. But while many of us go to work no matter how hot it gets, two Probate Court judges go on what is called "summer schedule" from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

"In the summertime, in the afternoon, we just ask that if you're going to come, you go ahead and schedule a matter the way you would do in any other court or if you have an unscheduled matter bring it in the morning," said Probate Court Judge Robert Benham.

When the courthouse was built in the early 1900s it did not have air conditioning.

Air conditioning was installed years later, but Probate Clerk Court Paul Boyd says the policy stayed in effect.

"The judges don't sit on the bench or don't have scheduled court in the afternoon, but they are still here. Just because there's not court doesn't mean they're not working," said Probate Court Clerk Paul Boyd.

While the judges agree the summer schedule gives them the opportunity to manage their dockets and serve the citizens of Shelby County, some taxpayers may feel a little uneasy when it comes to paying judges to have an easy summer.

"I think it certainly a misconception. All I know is that last summer I didn't even take a vacation I was so busy. I took last summers vacationing April of 2012," said Judge Benham.

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