Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Cost-Saving Move Will Close All State Courts Tomorrow
By a MetNews Staff Writer
All of California’s trial and appellate courts will be closed tomorrow, the first of 10 statewide court holidays ordered by the Judicial Council in a bid to come to grips with tight budgets.
Los Angeles Superior Court employees have been furloughed on the third Wednesday of each month, since July, with a limited number of employees on hand to provide limited services. But under legislation approved in late July, the Judicial Council was given authority to declare unpaid statewide court holidays once per month through June 2010, when the current fiscal year will end.
As a result, all state courts will be closed on the third Wednesday of every month. Because tomorrow will be a judicial holiday, any filing normally due tomorrow will be deemed timely if made on the following day, court officials said.
The declaration of an unpaid holiday means that all non-judicial employees are having their salaries cut 4.62 per cent. Judges, whose salaries are constitutionally protected from reduction during their terms, have been asked to voluntarily return 4.62 percent of their salaries to their courts.
Chief Justice Ronald M. George, in remarks to a joint meeting of the State Bar of California and the California Judges Association in San Diego on Saturday, reported that the overwhelming majority of judges—including 97 percent on the San Diego Superior Court, 98 percent on the Los Angeles Superior Court, and 100 percent on the Ventura Superior Court—have heeded the call.
George said he and his six high court colleagues are also taking the voluntary cuts.
Copyright 2009, Metropolitan News Company