Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, April 13, 2015


Page 1


Judicial Council to Consider Sale of San Pedro Courthouse


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The Judicial Council will consider the sale of the San Pedro Courthouse to Los Angeles County at its meeting this week, the council staff said Friday in a release.

The sale of the courthouse, which has been closed since June 2013 and which the Los Angeles Superior Court said it has no plans to reopen, will be considered Friday at a public meeting in San Francisco. A live audiocast will be available on the courts website, the release said.

In order to dispose of the San Pedro property, the council must declare it surplus property and ask the Legislature for authorization to sell it. The county has expressed an interest in buying the property, which it already has a stake of almost 5 percent in, with closing around November of next year, according to a committee report accompanying the recommendation.

The council will also be considering a number of measures designed to close an anticipated $11 million shortfall in the State Trial Court Improvement and Modernization Fund for fiscal year 2015–2016. They include proposals to reduce or totally eliminate funding for some judicial branch programs, shift certain costs to different funding sources, and give individual courts the option to pay for some services that would no longer be subsidized by the IMF on a statewide basis.

Other items on the meeting agenda include:

•A recommendation to change the method used to allocate annual funding for court appointed dependency counsel to the courts.

•A proposal to lease the Plumas-Sierra Courthouse to a third party. The courthouse in tiny Portola was ballyhooed by the council as the first-ever shared-use facility, but was only open four days monthly and was eventually closed due to budget constraints.

The Plumas and Sierra courts would like the option of returning to the courthouse in the future, the council said. The council’s Facilities Policies Working Group said that the City of Portola and the Long Valley Charter School have expressed interest in leasing the facility.

•An update from the Executive and Planning Committee on the implementation of its directives on the restructuring and realignment of Judicial Council staff. The update will include information on a e two-day public meeting held on March 12 and 13, when committee members reviewed completed directives.

The committee will also suggest changes to the format for reporting the status of the directives posted on the California Courts public website with the goal of increasing transparency and accountability, the release said.


Copyright 2015, Metropolitan News Company