All eyes have been on San Francisco but let’s not forget San Joaquin County.
“San Joaquin County is the number one most consistently underfunded court system by the state,” said Judge Roger Ross.
“We’ve been scraping by for years with what we have and we’re just now down to the point where nothing is left but to close courtrooms.”
And it seems Napa County isn’t immune either.
“Unfortunately, these latest severe budget cuts will most likely result in the delays and lower level of service that we have worked so hard to avoid,” said Diane Price, presiding judge for the Superior Court of Napa County.
“The adage that ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ is very true and we will continue to take all reasonable steps possible to minimize the impact on our community’s access to justice services,” she said before the vote. “We understand that the court must function within the reality of the current economic climate. However, while it is too soon to know the specifics, there will certainly be negative consequences to our local justice system.”
KQED Forum host Dave Iverson looks at the negative result of the legislature’s move to slash the judicial budgets with guests Justice Cantil-Sakauye, Santa Clara Judge Brian Walsh, professor of law Gerald Uelmen,
Mary Ann Gilliard of Sacramento County Superior Court and director of the Alliance of California Judges and Scott Graham, editor-in-chief of The Recorder.
And the LA Times reports on the Judicial Council’s recent meeting.
The Judicial Council, the court’s governing body, which consists primarily of judges and court officials appointed by the chief justice, approved cuts of $350 million from a statewide court budget of $1.5 billion. Council members listened without comment while a parade of judges and court employees pleaded for more money and warned that democracy itself was in danger.