The City Council has appointed John L. Sandberg of Riverdale to be a part-time judge in its justice court, which the city hopes will be operating by July 1.
Clearfield decided last year to break away from the state's local circuit court system and establish a justice court after the state consolidated some circuit courts and moved the Clearfield circuit court to a combined operation in Layton. Clearfield failed to get neighboring cities Sunset and Clinton to form one large justice court.City officials believe a justice court can make money for the city and be more convenient for Clearfield residents. Clearfield anticipates generating $280,000 in fines during the 1994-95 budget year as compared to the $75,300 in fines the city earned this year.
In addition, the police department believes a local court will allow officers to spend less time in court waiting for cases to be heard.
Sandberg, a graduate of Weber State University and Brigham Young University's law school, serves as the justice court judge for Riverdale, Clinton, Washington Terrace and Sunset.
The City Council expressed concern over Sandberg's availability, but he told the council he would quit his duties in at least one of those cities in order to spend the 20 to 30 hours a week likely required by the new Clearfield position. He said he is excited about the job and ready to give it priority in his schedule.
Sandberg's two-year appointment includes salary and benefits totaling approximately $26,000 per year. Clearfield had five candidates for judge, and a panel made a recommendation to the City Council, which voted 4-0 in favor of Sandberg.
Clearfield also plans to hire a full-time court clerk within the next several weeks and will use the courtroom that formerly housed the circuit court on the first floor at the south end of the municipal building. The City Council is also using the courtroom for its meetings.