Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Page 3


AOC Accepts Transfer of Final Court Facility


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The last of 532 courthouses and other court facilities around the state has transferred from county control to become the responsibility of the state judicial branch, the Administrative Office of the Courts said yesterday.

The AOC said it accepted the transfer of the Glenn County Superior Courthouse in Willows following a unanimous vote by the county Board of Supervisors.

Chief Justice Ronald M. George said the transfer “marks a significant milestone in the Judicial Council’s effort to establish the judiciary as a separate and equal branch of state government,” and “completes a long-standing goal for our state.”

The transfer completes a process set in motion by the Trial Court Facilities Act of 2002, which authorized the conveyance of responsibility for all court facilities from California’s 58 counties to the state. After the transfer of each facility, the Judicial Council assumes full responsibility for the building, with ongoing input from county representatives, an AOC spokesperson said.

“The transfers benefit all Californians by ensuring equal access to safe, secure, and adequate court facilities, many of which are in a state of disrepair,” the spokesperson added. “By sharing knowledge and resources from all 58 California counties, the AOC will use the state’s large-scale purchasing power to create greater efficiencies and cost savings” and “ease the financial burden on the counties, which will no longer have to provide facilities for state court operations.”

A $32 million renovation and expansion of the Glenn Courthouse is planned for early next year, the spokesperson continued, explaining that the project is among the 41 approved by the Judicial Council to receive funding from SB 1407.

Authored by Sen. Don Perata, D-Oakland, and signed into law last year, SB 1407 is supposed to provide $5 billion to help the state upgrade its courthouses, financed entirely though lease revenue bonds supported by an increase in penalties and assessments for traffic tickets and criminal convictions.


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