A former 3rd District Court employee has accused court and Salt Lake County officials of age discrimination in her firing and the hiring of her successor.

In a complaint filed with the Anti-Discrimination Division of the Utah Industrial Commission, Geraldine G. Court, 56, alleges she was fired unfairly from her job as an administrative assistant after more than 15 years of employment. During that time, the complaint says, Court always received outstanding performance evaluations.The complaint says she was told she was being terminated because the court was being restructured and needed more secretarial and less administrative support. Court was never given the opportunity to accept the secretarial position with which her job was replaced and for which she was qualified, the complaint says.

The woman who replaced Court, Louise P. Day, who is approximately 27, was hired as an executive secretary but assumed virtually all of Court's duties, the complaint says.

Named as defendants are Mike Allphin, District Court administrator, Presiding Judge Scott Daniels and Roy Arrigo, Salt Lake County personnel lead analyst.

Daniels acknowledged that he and Day, Court's replacement, live in the same apartment complex and that he told her about the job opening. "I referred her to (Trial Court executive) Tim Shea, and that's the last I heard of it until she was hired." He said he was not the person who terminated Court - as presiding judge he just informed her of the decision of the 14 3rd District judges. And he said he did not hire Day.

Shea confirmed that he selected Day after interviewing four people from a list of about 20 sent by the county.

Daniels said Court was not fired because of age discrimination. He declined to comment further on the substance of the complaint because it may result in litigation.

Court also declined to comment.