For almost a year now Judge McCoy of Los Angeles Superior Court has been stating that if things didn’t improve financially for his court he would have no choice but to lay off hundreds of court staff and close courts. He’s also been one of the more vocal proponents of having court construction funds redirected back to county courts to help them with their budget deficits and to prevent mass layoffs.
Now we find out today from the Daily Journal that Judge McCoy has done what he has said he’d have no choice but to do if things didn’t improve.
The Los Angeles Superior Court plans to issue pink slips to 329 employees today, amid a dispute with the state agency that oversees the courts, which maintains the layoffs are “unnecessary.”
The bulk of the layoffs will affect clerical assistants and court services assistants, according to a court spokesman. Among the possible cuts is the call center at Metropolitan Courthouse, which processes traffic tickets and handles up to 2,000 calls a day. Notified employees will be placed on administrative leave and paid until the end of March, but will not be reporting to their posts after today.
Court officials are also expected to announce the closure of more than 12 courtrooms throughout the county. They declined to provide further detail of which ones are facing closure until the announcement is made.
The cuts loom as the top official at the Administrative Office of the Courts, which has authority over the state’s trial courts, publicly questioned whether Presiding Judge Charles “Tim” McCoy’s decision to lay off employees was necessary.
The AOC and Justice George have, according to the article, taken Judge McCoy’s threats of layoffs and closing courts as a “Chicken Little approach.” Well, if they thought this was Judge McCoy playing a game of chicken, he’s definitely called their bluff.
You can read more coverage on the layoffs by clicking the links below.
L.A. Superior court cuts 329 employees – SF Examiner
First wave of layoffs claims 50 employees from courthouses – dailybreeze.com
Local courts lay off more than 300 workers – Press Telegram
L.A. Trial Courts Undergoing Mass Layoff – Courthouse News Service