Thursday, September 6, 2012
Starting tomorrow, all San Diego Superior Court business offices will close at noon on Fridays.
The noon closure is the first in a series of service cuts undertaken to meet historic funding reductions placed on the court by the state Legislature, court officials said.
While courtrooms will be open and operating until the end of the business day, all clerks' business offices located at all San Diego Superior Court facilities will be closed to the public on Friday afternoons.
The closures also extend to the Small Claims Legal Advisor and the Family Law Facilitator's Office programs, officials said.
Emergency court matters such as temporary restraining orders will continue to be handled until the end of the business day on Fridays.
According to officials, the noon closures are designed to give the court's reduced staff time to catch up on backlogs and process court filings.
While the business counters will be closed to the public at noon on Friday, the public can still handle many court matters, such as paying a traffic fine or getting a traffic court extension, via the court's website: http://www.sdcourt.ca.gov.
Also this week, North County Probate operations closed and all matters were consolidated with and relocated to the Central Division Probate Court located at 1409 Fourth Ave. In addition, one Juvenile Dependency courtroom in North County has closed.
The Ramona court facility is now closed, and all case matters have been relocated to the East County Division Courthouse on Main Street in El Cajon.
In addition, six criminal courtrooms and one civil courtroom at the downtown courthouse are now shuttered.
Officials said the actions are being taken due to unprecedented and ongoing state budget cuts enacted in fiscal years 2012/13 and 2013/14. The cuts are in addition to reductions incurred during the preceding four fiscal years.
As a result, the court is facing the most significant reduction of services in its history, according to officials, who said in June that the courts were facing a $14 million shortfall and the elimination of 250 jobs or more for the upcoming fiscal year.