LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Citing millions of dollars in state funding cuts,
the presiding judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court announced today that 56
courtrooms will be closed by the end of June, and about 100 non-courtroom staff
members will be laid off.
Presiding Judge Lee Smalley Edmon also said the court would stop
providing court reporters for civil trials effective May 15, and will eliminate
its Informal Juvenile Traffic Court program for minors who commit low-level
“This year, the state cuts are forcing us to reduce our spending by an
additional $30 million, on top of the $70 million in reductions we have already
made,’ Edmon said. “There will be as many as 350 dedicated, skilled court
workers who will no longer be serving the residents of Los Angeles County. When
we lose those people, we will no longer be able to shield the core work of the
court — the courtroom — from the budget crisis.’
The court plans to close 24 civil, 24 criminal, three family, one
probate and four juvenile delinquency courts, with their caseloads being spread
across remaining courts. Affected judges, commissioners or other judicial
officers will be reassigned to fill vacancies, will share staff with other
court officers or will handle settlement conferences.
Court reporters will be eliminated for civil trials, and they will be
offered on a limited basis for civil law-and-motion matters.
Edmon noted that 329 people have already been laid off by the court over
the past two years, and another 229 positions were lost through attrition.
More than 100 additional non-courtroom staffers are expected to be laid off by
“It saddens me to have to make these layoffs,’ Edmon said. “These
actions are affecting people who have made a commitment to public service, to
The court’s IJTC program, which will also be cut, kept low-level minor
offenders out of the delinquency system.
“These courts have allowed us to address tens of thousands of offenses
in a more appropriate forum than delinquency court,’ according to Assistant
Presiding Judge David Wesley. “We are losing a crucial element of the juvenile
justice system to lack of funding.’
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