Closing Of Local Courthouses Amounts To Theft

Closing local courthouses amounts to theft, says the noted left-leaning reporter James Preston Allen, publisher of the San Pedro-based “Random Lengths News” newspaper. To support the claim, he turns to both the state public records law and some old fashioned arithmetic.
Writes Allen: “In April of this year, this newspaper filed a public records request with the Los Angeles Superior Court and found that the total monies collected from fees and fines at both the Avalon and San Pedro courts amounted to over $4.5 million per year. In fact, in fiscal year 2010-11 the total collected was a whopping $4,885,772. It would seem that of this gross amount, someone might figure out how to keep the courthouse doors open. But no, this is not the reality. The reason why the court can’t afford to keep doing business is that out of all these revenues collected, the State of California takes 54 percent, the county takes 37 percent and the cities receive 6 percent. And the court? In 2010-11, the court received a paltry one percent,or $48,857.52.” 
The writer, in his “At Length” column, says that he is “… personally and profoundly amazed by the indifference shown by the business community, most of the Council District 15 neighborhood councils and the legal profession who have all acquiesced to this abridgment of the public’s right to fair and equal access to the law. Not to mention the loss of 50 well paid jobs and requisite traffic to the court that generates business in the area.”
His headline is “Theft of the Courthouse” and you can read it here.