Paper Calls For More Superior Court Judges

Program NOTE: No post on Christmas Day! Happy Holidays to all!

A major Inland Empire newspaper is calling for increased funding for civil court judges and staff in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, which have the worst judicial shortfall in California – the only area in worse shape than Los Angels County, according to state research. The Press-Enterprise, in an editorial, says that the California Judicial Council has determined that “… Riverside County, for example, has 76 judges, but needs 138. San Bernardino County has 84 judges, but should have 156. So Riverside County is 62 judges short, while San Bernardino County needs another 82 judges. Those are the worst numbers in the state; the next largest gap is in Los Angeles County, which should have another 41 judges.”
The newspaper says that lawmakers should use use “a small share” of a projected budget surplus to address the problem adding that funding a new judge also means funding related support staff. The paper noted that “… a new judgeship costs about $1.65 million the first year, and $909,000 annually in subsequent years — figures which include money for additional court staffing that judges need, such as clerks, secretaries and security.”
We can expect more demands for judicial improvements as word circulates of a likely state budget surplus, yet early budget documents have not indicated any anticipated increases. See more here.