Budget Issues Force Kansas Courts To Add Surcharge

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Getting married, filing a lawsuit and going to court for a traffic ticket in Kansas has become more expensive.

A $10 surcharge on most fees imposed by the Kansas court system took effect Wednesday because of efforts by the state Supreme Court to close a budget gap. It will stay in effect through June 2010.

The surcharge, expected to raise $5 million, still might not prevent the courts from closing an extra week each month, starting in January.

The court system's current budget is $97 million, but the Supreme Court estimates the judicial branch needs another $15.9 million to continue current operations.

A marriage license now costs $69, and filing a lawsuit in district court, $166. Court costs in traffic cases will be $86.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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