Monterey County Adapting To Justice Rationing

A story in the Monterey County Weekly documents adjustments to civil cases after years of budget cuts, including the hit to local small claims cases. Says the paper: “With the closure of the King City courthouse on Sept. 23, the calendars of the three other county courthouses – in Salinas, Marina and Monterey – are under pressure to pack in more cases.”
The report quotes Monterey County Superior Court Presiding Judge Marla Anderson: “With the same amount of filings, you have to do the same amount of work with fewer employees,” The Weekly says that labor expenses account for 79 percent of the county courts’ $21-million budget, which is now facing six years of cuts. Countywide, the Weekly adds, the court system has reduced its workforce by 52 positions since 2008.