Report: Services Slashed, Trials Delayed As Court Cutbacks Take Hold

You might think that domestic violence restraining orders would be same-day service by California courts. But you wold be wrong in at least 11 counties, according to the Trial Court Presiding Judges Committee. Plus, some 38 counties have reduced self-help services for litigants without lawyers, according to a report in The Los Angeles Times.
A story by Maura Dolan ( adds to the details stacking up as the state courts cutbacks take hold. She writes that “California courts, reeling from years of state budget cuts, are delaying hearings and trials, allowing records to sit unprocessed for months and slashing services at public windows, a judge’s committee has reported.”

The story offers some highlights: In San Francisco, paying a traffic ticket can now take up to four hours, and filing a lawsuit can consume nearly three hours, the report said. In Sacramento, window services have been slashed by more than 75%, prompting fights in lines, according to the committee. Getting a trial in a traffic matter in San Diego requires at least a five-month wait, the survey found, and court closures have forced some San Bernardino residents to drive up to 175 miles one way to attend to a legal matter. Record-filing has slowed across many counties and created backlogs, the report said.

Read the latest here.