Patterico's Pontifications

4/22/2010

LA Courts Face Budget Crisis

Filed under: Judiciary — DRJ @ 7:21 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

The LA court system faces a budget crisis that is affecting services:

“The Los Angeles court system has already closed 17 courtrooms and another 50 will be shut down come September unless something is done to find more money. The judge who presides over the system predicts chaos and an unprecedented logjam of civil and family law cases in the worst-case scenario.

The crisis results from the financially troubled state’s decision to slash $393 million from state trial courts in the budget this year. The state also decided to close all California courthouses on the third Wednesday of every month.

What has emerged is a hobbled court system that is struggling to serve the public.”

The budget decisions impact the municipal, civil and family law courts, but not the criminal court system. In addition, layoffs are expected:

“The Los Angeles system has already laid off 329 workers — about 6 percent of its 5,400-person work force. About 500 more jobs are at risk later this year.”

The article reports officials are squabbling over the need for cuts amid hopes that California’s budget will rebound.

— DRJ

19 Responses to “LA Courts Face Budget Crisis”

  1. this is kind of exactly how it would start I guess

    happyfeet (c8caab)

  2. Confession: I was summoned to jury duty, so I postponed it for the third week of the next month knowing full well of the Wednesday closure. Am I just a smart citizen taking advantage of being in the know, or am I cheating the system by purposefully lessening my chances of having to serve?

    P.S. — Don’t tell Patterico (even though it’s not Long Beach court).

    JVW (da3730)

  3. JVW,

    I don’t have a problem with that but if you get picked to serve on a jury, doesn’t this make it more likely your service could be extended beyond one week?

    DRJ (09fa6c)

  4. This is amazing synergy:
    The Fed Judiciary is demanding that prisoners be released due to overcrowding;
    and now the State Courts have to cut back their schedule due to financial concerns, which will result in a longer timeline to put bodies back into those prisons.
    How long before cops start emphasizing the Rhodesian triple-tap in gun-fights to cut down on the Dollar-drain in the court system?

    AD - RtR/OS! (898e6a)

  5. DRJ, yeah it could, but I’ll go ahead and trade that for a 20% less likelihood that I will be called. Last two times I was called to jury duty I did not get assigned to a case, and my general understanding is that if you make it past Wednesday your chances of being seated on a case are very slim indeed. Hopefully I only have to make it past Tuesday.

    JVW (228bcf)

  6. > The article reports officials are squabbling over the need for cuts amid hopes that California’s budget will rebound.

    In what fashion? They figuring on extra income from sales taxes on lollipops when they start to rain from the sky?

    LOL.

    “I’m sorry, sir, the wheel is spinning but the hamster is off in a corner smoking weed…”

    IgotBupkis (79d71d)

  7. Dude, honestly, if you want to get out of jury duty, just be honest and indicate openly that you believe in the Fully Informed Jury concept, and thoroughly support Jury Nullification.

    If you don’t know what those are, http://www.fija.org will get you up to date. Any rational person would support them, which excludes most attorneys, but especially prosecutors. If they know you support that they WILL exclude you from the pool, almost as a certainty.

    IgotBupkis (79d71d)

  8. I know this is especially bad for many here, especially Patterico, and I feel sorry for them. That said, does anyone here think we maybe might need to take in just a little more taxes to help ease these kinds of problems? They are cutting everything to the bone, and surely some things will suffer for it. Legalizing marijuana and taxing it will help in November, and also help to lighten the load on the courts and jails and prisons, but it will probably not be enough to cover all of the revenue gaps. I am not trying to start a discussion about that, as it is likely to pass in November, but am asking about increasing income taxes.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  9. Don’t say it. I was only mentioning mj as it pertains to the CA budget crunch. Actually I do have another question, though. Where do the funds for the LA court system come from? state, or local, or ?

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  10. Governments across the country (and especially the Feds) are facing the crisis. Raising taxes/fees/etc should not be the answer. It’s time all budgets are slashed. Government workers now get paid, on average, considerably more than those in the private sector. In addition, government pensions and other benefits are generally much better than private sector employees.

    Corwin (ea9428)

  11. I’ve read that nearly every American city will lack the funds to pay their debts in from one to three years.

    Padding payrolls, nepotism, operating in a manner that suggests a belief in money trees, public employee unions and funding ridiculous pension benefits comes at a heavy cost.

    Time to pay the piper.

    GeneralMalaise (24d3e0)

  12. Hooten, California’s problem has long been excessive spending by a legislature that’s been in a decades long drunken-orgy. Not inadequate taxation. But typically, your solution is more taxation.

    Brilliant.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  13. increasing taxes will simply further slow the economy and result in even less revenue.

    the ONLY move (imho) that will change things around is to reduce governmental spending, either by paring away all the luxuries we’ve put into place in local government or cutting salaries and benefits, or both. however, until everyone is willing to admit that their ox heeds to be gored too, we’re screwed.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  14. Just when I think it can’t get any better

    corwin (07884c)

  15. The courts could make that amount up easy. Just start fining the sleezy lawyers who tie up the courts with sleezy lawsuits.

    Scrapiron (4e0dda)

  16. “Hooten, California’s problem has long been excessive spending by a legislature that’s been in a decades long drunken-orgy. Not inadequate taxation. But typically, your solution is more taxation.

    Brilliant.” – SPQR

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Indeed, SPQR. I have lived in our once-Golden State for 53 years now and have watched its decline. Our problems are due to the lack of will to institute spending cuts, eliminate waste and inefficiency in all forms of government, overly-empowered public employee unions, anti-business attitudes and regulation… in short, all of the usual maladies that liberalism inflicts on the citizenry.

    All of this, combined with an influx of poorly educated people and a populace that is slow to understand that on-going squeezing of the golden goose will eventually produce nothing but turds and you have a recipe for fiscal disaster.

    California has become the Greece of the USA.

    GeneralMalaise (24d3e0)

  17. That said, does anyone here think we maybe might need to take in just a little more taxes to help ease these kinds of problems?

    California is one of the most heavily-taxed and regulated states in the country. The state’s population is being maintained only by steady immigration of Latin American; for the most part, the state has been losing wealth-producers since the 1980s. More taxation is not going to solve the problem, not in a state that has to resort to IOUs to pay its bills.

    They are cutting everything to the bone, and surely some things will suffer for it.

    These cuts are nothing. Nothing. They’re band-aids for a patient that has a massive sucking chest wound. Thank the SEIU and the CTA in part for what is going on in California right now.

    http://city-journal.org/2010/20_2_california-unions.html#ad

    If you think they’re cutting to the bone now, you haven’t seen anything yet.

    California has become the Greece of the USA.

    That would probably make Illinois the Italy of the USA.

    Another Chris (2d8013)

  18. Another Chris – We had that nice spectacle this week of public sector union members demonstrating in Springfield with chants of “raise my taxes.” Not often you hear demonstrators chant something like that, but of course they didn’t mean their own taxes. They meant soak the rich and businesses so their gravy train of raises and benefits could continue.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  19. Those are all interesting thoughts. Thank you.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)


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