Local Judge Questions State Court Budget Cuts

Courts Administrative Office Recommending Trial Courts Lose Nearly 9 Percent Of Funding

The Administrative Office of the Courts on Tuesday is recommending that California's trial courts lose almost 9 percent of their funding this year and more than 15 percent for next year.

The recommendation is a direct result of $350 million in budget cuts handed down by the state since March.

The budget recommendation has members of the Alliance of California Judges questioning why court administration does not take a bigger cut than the trial courts.

"It exemplifies people who don't understand how to serve the public," said San Diego County Judge Dan Goldstein. "Giving court executives who make over $200,000 a year lavish benefits is the wrong thing to do and this is the wrong time to do it."

Goldstein said the budget cuts slow the court system down which creates longer lines and makes it harder for abuse victims to get restraining orders that could save their lives.

"They're going to fund the bureaucracy and take money away from the trial courts and the reason they're going to do it is because they can," said Goldstein.

Also at issue are the spending habits of those who are running the courts. Those include spending billions on an outdated computer system which is now only partly done and also questionable spending on court maintenance projects.

On Tuesday, the Administrative Office of the Courts' spokesman wrote in an email to 10News, which read, "Some individual courts may find it necessary to reduce their hours or close some branch courthouses."

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