The rain broke briefly yesterday for protesting court workers who say they are getting hit from fiscal mismanagement on all sides and are calling on the state not to extend monthly closures that make work harder on other days.
Hoisting signs declaring “Save our Courts” and “Justice delayed is justice denied,” roughly 40 workers gathered outside the County Government Center in Redwood City to proclaim the state has the resources to stay open the third Wednesday of every month. Inside, the courts were locked and offices empty — a result of the once-monthly furlough day the state implemented last year to close the courts’ budget gap.
While the closures hit the workers’ pocketbooks, those gathered Wednesday spoke of the burden on families, children and anyone relying on the courts.
“When courts close the public suffers,” said Annette Ruiz-Vides, a fiscal office specialist in the courts’ accounting division.
Ruiz-Vides told of a domestic violence victim trying to get a restraining order. The first attempt, she was met with a closed court. The next, the line was so long due to the backlog the woman never got in.
Cynthia Howard, a legal office specialist with the Sheriff’s Office and SEIU Local 521 vice chair, said a man tried to self-surrender at the jail but was forced to leave because of backed up paperwork due to the closure.
Voting against these closures, is a vote for the battered women and the children, they said.
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