Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Thursday, July 11, 2002


Page 4


Compton Child Care Waiting Room to Be Named for Commissioner Marckese


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The new child care waiting room at the Compton Courthouse will be called “Jeff’s Place” after the late Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Jeffrey Marckese, who was killed in a car accident earlier this year, court District Administrator Steve Forrest said yesterday.

The county Board of Supervisors approved a $2 increase for court civil filing fees last month to raise funds for children’s waiting rooms in six courthouses, including Compton.

When completed, the staffed waiting rooms will offer adults who must appear in family court or other civil proceedings a place other than courthouse hallways to leave their children.

Donations of puzzles, games, and toys are now being collected from local department stores by the courthouse, Forrest said. The walls are also going to be covered with brightly painted murals.

The waiting room is expected to open its doors in the next few months, Forrest said.

Marckese, a former family law attorney, was killed Jan. 17 when a big rig slammed through the center divider and crashed into the commissioner’s Chevy Suburban while he was driving to work on the 710, also known as the Long Beach Freeway.

A certified family law specialist, Marckese chaired the Family Law Indigent Paternity Panel, representing those accused of willfully withholding child support.

Marckese served as a referee in Compton from Nov. 1997 until he was elected commissioner by the judges of the Los Angeles Superior Court last September.

The commissioner was active in supporting youth sports, coaching youth soccer, baseball, basketball and football through the Burbank Department of Parks and Recreation. He also coached a youth football team for his church.

The rooms are being constructed and staffing is being contracted out under a pilot project launched by the board a year ago and outlined by the county Judicial Procedures Commission. County officials have targeted eight additional courthouses for rooms, but funding for them currently is unavailable.

Many parents bring their children to court because they cannot afford daycare or babysitters. But children often are not allowed in the courtrooms, because they can become restless and disruptive, or because they are witnesses in a family law case, or because the subject of the proceeding is not suitable for a child.

 Children currently sit unattended on the benches in the courthouse hallways, oftentimes forcing bailiffs or court security staff to keep an eye on them and away from other duties inside the courtroom.


Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company