Thursday, November 16, 2006
Lefkowitz Praises New Facilities in Santa Monica Courthouse
By a MetNews Staff Writer
West District Supervising Judge Linda K. Lefkowitz yesterday hailed the new self-help legal access center and children’s waiting room at the Los Angeles Superior Court’s Santa Monica court complex.
“Court customers will greatly benefit from both facilities, and we are proud to offer the services to them,” she remarked in a statement.
The new facilities, which have been opened for business but await an official ribbon cutting ceremony, provide free services intended to help thousands of court customers who would otherwise be unable to afford legal assistance or childcare.
Located on the first floor of the main court building, the children’s waiting room opened for business last Wednesday and has a 10-child capacity. It operates Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Staffed by the Knowledge Learning Center, it accommodates children ages 2 ˝ to 13 who require supervision while their parents or guardians conduct business in the courthouse.
As with the other six children’s waiting rooms throughout the county, operating funds for the Santa Monica facility come from a $3 filing fee. The other children’s waiting rooms are located in the Stanley Mosk, Pomona, Compton, Antelope Valley, and Long Beach, and Airport Court courthouses.
The second-floor self-help center, in operation since Sept. 18, is funded by the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer Affairs and staffed by Neighborhood Legal Services.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, whose efforts led to board approval of the facility’s funding, remarked:
“The new self-help legal access center will provide self-represented litigants with the assistance they need to complete Court documents quickly, efficiently and effectively.”
Like the self-help centers in Van Nuys, Inglewood, Long Beach, Pomona and Antelope Valley, the Santa Monica center will allow court customers to receive information about legal forms, court appearances and courtroom procedures from attorney-supervised paralegals and trained volunteers.
Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company