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State courts close one day a month starting today

Closures due to state budget cuts

Posted: September 16, 2009 11:45 a.m.
Updated: September 16, 2009 4:08 p.m.
 
SAN FRANCISCO (PRNewswire-USNewswire) -- All California state courts are closed today, Sept. 16, 2009, as a cost-savings
measure to help courts cope with unprecedented budget reductions in the judicial branch of government.

As recently authorized by Government Code section 68106, the Judicial Council approved the court closures on the third Wednesday of the month starting in September 2009 and continuing through June 2010. Government Code section 68106 was passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor as part of the Budget Act.

"The mission of the Judicial Council is to improve access to justice, so it was extremely difficult for us to make any decision that results in closing our courts," stated Chief Justice Ronald M. George, chair of the Judicial Council, the 27-member policymaking body for the state courts.

"However, in the face of severe budget reductions, the council approved the closures as a way to partially offset the budget cutbacks while seeking to protect court employees and critical court programs that provide services to the public," he continued.

The courts to be closed today include the Supreme Court of California, the Courts of Appeal, and the superior courts in each of California's 58 counties. The Administrative Office of the Courts will also be closed.

Court Closure Days
The court closure days are September 16, 2009; October 21, 2009; November 18, 2009; December 16, 2009; January 20, 2010; February 17, 2010; March 17, 2010; April 21, 2010; May 19, 2010; and June 16, 2010.

The closures of state courts one day a month may result in savings of about $94.3 million on a statewide basis. In addition to court closures, the Judicial Council took other actions to reduce the impact of the judicial branch's $414 million budget reduction.

State courts will report information on the monetary savings from the court closures and the impact of the closures on court users, county justice partners, and court operations to the Judicial Council in 2010. Based on that information, the council may reconsider whether to continue or reduce the number of monthly closures for the remainder of the fiscal year.

Court closure days are to be counted as holidays for the purpose of computing time for statutory deadlines. See the full report at
courtinfo.ca.gov/jc/documents/age072909.pdf.

The Judicial Council is the policymaking body of the California courts, the largest court system in the nation. Under the leadership of the Chief Justice and in accordance with the California Constitution, the council is responsible for ensuring the consistent, independent, impartial, and accessible administration of justice. The Administrative Office of the Courts carries out the official actions of the council and ensures leadership and excellence in court administration.

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