California’s judicial branch has seen more than 500 million in cuts over the past five years. That’s led to staff reductions and closed courtrooms. Now lawmakers in the Senate and Assembly want to allocate about $100 million to trial courts. But Governor Jerry Brown disagrees, preferring to keep spending contained.
John Nockleby is a law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. He says $100 million is a drop in the bucket for the state, but it would allow courts to re-open and provide needed access to the public.
“If you’re dealing with someone who has a family law problem, they need to get a divorce or you have somebody that needs to get an immediate injunction to stop a boyfriend or somebody from beating them up, you can’t get that,” he says. “You simply can’t get it effectively and efficiently.”
Nockleby says people also face high court fees that many can’t afford.