Courts Squeezed By Down Economy

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chief Justice Ronald George told lawmakers that judges are grappling with a familiar problem:

“As funding of our courts decreases, their workload increases.”

In a down economy, George expects criminal cases, as well as those dealing with child support, domestic violence and foreclosure issues to increase.  He says there’s also a 100 million dollar cut to trial court funding in the state budget.  If California gets enough federal money, that cut won’t happen.  George says if the funding’s not restored, there could be rough consequences:

“Failure to do so could result in layoffs and furloughs of court employees at some courts, in shortened hours of services, and inevitably in further delays in adjudicating cases.”

George says many employees are already taking voluntary unpaid days off.  He says they’re also cutting back on travel, and leaving positions unfilled.