Wednesday, August 29, 2001
Judicial Council Says State Needs 12 Percent Increase in Judges
By a MetNews Staff Writer
California needs a 12 percent increase in the number of its judges to resolve cases effectively and efficiently, according to a new method for determining the number of judicial officers needed in state trial courts, the Judicial Council said yesterday.
The new method, approved by Judicial Council at its Aug. 24 public business meeting, is designed to be a more accurate and objective process for assessing judicial need.
Developed by the Administrative Office of the Courts in consultation with the National Center for State Courts, it will replace the method previously used.
The new method shows that state trial courts need 2,254 judicial officers to resolve cases effectively, a 12 percent increase over the current 2,020.1 judicial officers statewide, which includes all current and retired judges sitting on assignment, commissioners, and referees.
The estimate is also an 18 percent increase over the current number of authorized judicial positions, 1,906.6. Retired judges sitting on assignment are not included in the figure.
Tested over 18 months in 11 courts across the state, the new system determines judicial needs using 22 specific case types to assess the statewide need for additional judges based on court-reported filings data.
The Judicial Council also approved a plan to periodically review and update the new method to ensure that it continues to accurately represent judicial workload.
Representatives from the Los Angeles Superior Court were unavailable for immediate comment.
Copyright 2001, Metropolitan News Company