LA Superior Court Could Face More Staff Cuts, Courthouse Closures

In three years, up to nine of the 50 Los Angeles County courthouses may be shuttered as a result of state budget cuts, the county’s presiding judge said Monday.

In early 2010, as many as 300 court employees – in addition to 150 employees expected to leave on their own – will need to be laid off, presiding judge Charles McCoy said. That probably would cause the closure of 38 courtrooms, he added. It takes about 10 employees to operate one courtroom.

“This is as a result of budget cuts that are continuing and ongoing,” McCoy said. “Nothing good is going to happen. This is a very sad day for justice in Los Angeles.”

McCoy said no decisions have been made on which courtrooms or courthouses would be closed.

But he said even larger courthouses might be subject to closure.

The Whittier and San Gabriel Valley area is served by Alhambra (nine courtrooms), Downey (nine courtrooms), El Monte (six courtrooms), Glendale (seven courtrooms), Norwalk (21 courtrooms), Pasadena (21 courtrooms), Pomona Courthouse South (21 courtrooms), West Covina (10 courtrooms), and Whittier (seven courtrooms). All are Superior Courts.

The closures will have a negative effect on non-criminal cases, including civil, family law and juvenile cases, McCoy said.

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7 responses to “LA Superior Court Could Face More Staff Cuts, Courthouse Closures

  1. justinianscode

    Of course L.A. is facing courthouse closures. The AOC (with the approval of the Judicial Council) is spending money on computer systems, merit raises for its own staff, etc., instead of keeping courthouses open. Shameful.

  2. I find it hard to believe that LA is the ONLY court in the state facing courtroom closures. Does anyone have information or even rumors about other courts in the state forecasting closures?

  3. judicial observer

    I believe the San Bernardino County court has already closed its Redlands courthouse, and has curtailed operations in its Needles and Big Bear courthouses to only one week a month.

    I also think there was news of some trial courts in northern California which have already closed a courthouse or two. Anyone else know?

  4. You bet. Butte has closed their Gridley Courthouse and will be closing their Paradise courthouse soon. Sacramento has closed branch courts as well. Mendocino has closed courthouses too. Point Arena and perhaps Ft. Bragg. Can’t recall them all.

    But LA has the power of the press and its big unions so hopefully their getting the word out about their court will stir folks into action.

  5. Obi-Wan Kenobi

    So the AOC is building courthouses that will not be manned.

    That’s a wonderful way to manage scarce budgetary funds.

  6. Pingback: Court Closure Day: On the 16th Day of December the AOC Gave to Me « AOC Watcher

  7. I recall the judicial council is scheduled to reconsidering the monthly court closures for the remainder of the fiscal year based on reports due from the local courts to the AOC in January 2010, are they not? Seems like the language they used was actually “may reconsider” or “have the option to do so if warranted”….and in light of all that has transpired, I personally believe “must reconsider” is much more appropriate considering the current state of affairs.

    I’m certain all of you good people have already thought of this, but I can’t resist putting it here in black and white (again, call it blog therapy, and I thank the AOC Watcher for giving me an outlet for my vile disease of being shrill and uninformed!)

    The AOC’s projected savings from closing the courts pales in comparison to the other possible accumulative savings that were at their disposal, and continue to be an option available to them, without the resulting hardships that are caused by court closures.

    Case in point: In July of 2009, I recall the AOC anticipated savings on a state wide basis of approximately $85,368,000 from the closing of the courts for one day a month for 10 months (this figure also includes the Judges’ voluntary salary reduction).

    Now let us compare that figure to the potential savings that Mr. Paul, apparently, tried to share with the AOC approximately 3 years ago (to no avail) that would have saved an amount in the high 9 figure range amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars a year! This doesn’t even consider the ongoing overpayment for substandard work being provided by unlicensed contractors!

    Rationale is non-existent!

    And, pardon me if I missed this, but did the AOC ever produce the requested information in response to the accountability hearing held back in October?