The San Francisco Justice System Is Collapsing

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In the face of extreme budget cuts the San Francisco Superior Court announced Monday it’s reducing staff by more than 40 per cent and closing 25 courtrooms.In an article by the Sacramento Bee, Judge Katherine Feinstein claimed the reductions are required to close a $13.75 million fiscal gap caused by state budget cuts.

Because of the reduction it will take up to 18 months to conclude a divorce, and five years for a lawsuit to go to trial.

“The civil justice system in San Francisco is collapsing,” Feinstein said.

Some 200 of the court’s 480 workers will be let go by Sept. 30, including 11 of 12 commissioners who preside over a variety of cases. And she said it could get worse if optimistic revenue projections don’t materialise by January.

“The future is very, very bleak for our courts,” Feinstein said at a Monday news conference. Feinstein said criminal cases would remain largely unaffected because of constitutional guarantees of speedy trials. Every other type of court, though, is facing significant cutbacks.

In addition, the Alliance of California Judges is demanding officials wait a year to install a new $2 billion computer system in order to save $100 million.

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