BISMARCK, N.D. – The hundreds of arrests during the months of protests against the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota have created an unprecedented burden for the state's court system.
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Police have made nearly 575 arrests since August. State Court Administrator Sally Holewa (hoh-LEHV'-uh) says there aren't enough judges, lawyers and clerks to handle the workload.
The state judicial system will ask the Legislature next year for an additional $1.5 million to cover protest-related costs. The organization that provides public defenders in North Dakota might seek an additional $670,000 from the Legislature.
Leaders of both organizations say such requests are highly unusual.
Holewa says the sheer volume of cases also raises concerns about the defendants' right to a speedy trial and due process.