Buzz Over Open Court Cases - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Buzz Over Open Court Cases

KENNEWICK, Wash. - Phone lines lit up Wednesday in the Benton County Superior Court Clerk's office. Dozens of peopled called wondering if they're legally divorced or not.

Tuesday KNDU reported 1,500 civil cases filed in the court were never closed. KNDU also reported the court anticipates some divorce cases may be open too, and a lot of people wanted to know if that applies to them.

County clerks got quite the arm workout helping people know if they were legally divorced.

"First thing this morning we had 10 (calls) right off the bat," said Benton County Superior Court Clerk Josie Delvin.    

Since April, clerks have worked on closing the 1,500 cases. It's a huge task that's nearly done. They planned on closing open divorce cases next, but when KNDU announced some people may still be married, clerks said people got nervous.

"I'm really scared my divorce is not finalized. I'm worried. Can you help me out," said one caller.    

It's not Josie Delvin's fault. The open court cases are part of a project handed to her by the Superior Court Judges. They said her staff has worked countless hours on the project, and Wednesday judges honored Delvin and her staff on all the headway they've made over the past four months.

"It's always nice to hear thank you and to hear it from the judges and Superior Court Administration, acknowledging all the work we did, not only to help us and the public, but to help them," said Delvin.    

"A number of times after I leave at 5 o'clock. I'd see them down there working, clearing these cases. It's quite an effort and we really appreciate it," said Benton County Superior Court Judge Craig Matheson.    

Delvin and her staff said they plan to finish all the open cases as soon August.

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