Advocates Building Case For Courts Funding Before June Deadlines

The state’s courts advocates have become increasingly vocal ahead of California’s June 15 budget deadline, and a recent commentary in The Record newspaper in Stockton laid out the most passionate argument: That justice is being denied those in poverty who most need access to the courts. In a commentary, two members of the SEIU local 1021 noted that “… justice is more than blind when those seeking it are invisible.”

Sonya Farnsworth, a Stockton courthouse clerk and president of the Local, and Jennifer Whitlock, a court reporter for the San Joanquin court and a member of the Local’s bargaining team, called for supporting state Rep. Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton) in efforts to restore court budget cuts. “We must help her to build a public outcry for funding that maintains the integrity of our justice system,” the duo wrote.

They list a few of the worst service cuts for Stockton-area citizens: “Small claims cases are no longer heard anywhere in San Joaquin County. You can no longer access court records online for family law, juvenile, guardianship, mental or criminal proceedings.” They are also among organized labor voices statewide starting to increase pressure on the budget process. Read the commentary here.