[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

SCVNews.com | City Asks Courts to Rethink Local Cuts | 10-31-2012
Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
88°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
June 30
1943 - Army Air Force pilot Loncie L. Tucker, on training run, dies when his P-38 fighter crashes at Wayside Honor Rancho (later Pitchess Detention Center) in Castaic [story]


Citing cost, convenience and a decision Friday to delay construction on a new Santa Clarita Valley courthouse indefinitely, Santa Clarita City Council members are urging Los Angeles County court officials to restore court services locally.

However, court officials are saying that residents need to become accustomed to fewer services in the coming year, and the restoration of previous fiscal cuts is unlikely.

“What the (City Council) wants is to get the full range of court services be provided here in the Santa Clarita Valley,” said Mike Murphy, intergovernmental relations officer for the city.

There are three main areas that affect residents, according to issues that were brought to council members’ attention at their Oct. 9 meeting, Murphy said.

City Council members addressed a letter to Judge Steven Jahr, who oversees the Administrative Office of the Courts, asking his office to re-evaluate the state’s decision on a new, full-service courthouse in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Relatively minor issues of jurisprudence, such as reporting for jury service, as well as the handling of small claims and civil cases, are now split between San Fernando and Chatsworth courthouses. These issues were previously handled by the Santa Clarita courthouse until Feb. 1.

“We’ve already seen a big reduction,” said Mary Hearn, spokeswoman for Los Angeles County Superior Court, regarding the court system’s efforts to address a shrinking budget.

“I would say that what the public needs to expect in the coming years is a further reduction of services, and that’s what the public needs to be prepared for,” Hearn said.

She added that any decision on a new courthouse would have to come from the state’s Administrative Office of the Courts, which is responsible for deciding the court’s spending priorities.

While county court officials had to address a $30 million budget reduction for the fiscal year 2012-13 starting in July, the local reductions in service weren’t all motivated by cost.

Hearn explained the consolidation of civil and small claims caseloads to the Chatsworth courthouse as a maneuver that was based on the efficiency of the court’s resources, not as a cost-cutting move. The Chatsworth court was better equipped to handle these cases due to its staff, Hearn said.

As far as making jurors report to the San Fernando courthouse before they find out if they will have to serve on a jury in San Fernando or Santa Clarita, that was a cost-cutting move, Hearn said.

She said there were two full-time staffers who handled jury service exclusively in Santa Clarita, and they were re-assigned.

The county’s court system has reduced its size from 5,600 employees to 4,800 over the last 10 years.

The budget crunch also puts a pinch on law enforcement resources, according to local law enforcement officials.

When detectives and deputies need to review cases or evidence, trips to the San Fernando Valey can eat up valuable time and resources, according to Lt. Brenda Cambra of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

“They made the cuts based on the courts’ needs, but the reality is that the cuts do affect everybody,” she said.

And the budget projections are bleak for the court system, Hearn explained.

“We’re looking at further cutting services,” Hearn said. “Somewhere between $54 million on the low end and $82 million on the high end,” were the estimates given for the budget reduction facing the county’s courts in the next fiscal year.

She added that the projections were based on the passage of Proposition 30, which means that the deficit could be even worse if Gov. Jerry Brown’s ballot measure calling for  sales-tax and income-tax hikes don’t pass on Tuesday’s ballot.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


Related Content
LATEST CITY HEADLINES
Thursday, Jun 30, 2016
The city of Santa Clarita’s popular summer Concerts in the Park, presented by Logix Federal Credit Union, is back for its 27th season with an eclectic line-up of some of the most popular acts to take the stage. The free, annual concert series kicks off at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 9 at Central Park, located at 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road.
Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016
Canyon Country Community Center Conceptual Master Plan was approved by Santa Clarita City Council Tuesday evening.
Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016
City Council voted to moved forward with the West Creek Annexation by adopting the negotiated exchange of property tax revenue and add the West Creek Park to the Santa Clarita parks system once the annexation is complete.
Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016
City Council gave the final approval for the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Specific Plan Tuesday evening.
Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016
As part of the annexation of David March Park and Pacific Crest Park to the city of Santa Clarita, Santa Clarita City Council approved the transfer of the two parks from Los Angeles County during Tuesday's meeting.
Keep Up With Our Facebook
-->
Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Two prominent California lawmakers—one from Los Angeles, one from San Francisco—have introduced an Assembly resolution urging Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a statewide emergency because of the worsening homelessness crisis.
Lawmakers Introduce Resolution Declaring Homelessness an Emergency
The city of Santa Clarita’s popular summer Concerts in the Park, presented by Logix Federal Credit Union, is back for its 27th season with an eclectic line-up of some of the most popular acts to take the stage. The free, annual concert series kicks off at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 9 at Central Park, located at 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road.
Concerts in the Park Featuring Tribute Bands; Country Showdown; more
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies are seeking a man wanted for allegedly assaulting a neighbor who confronted him about reckless driving.
Man Wanted on Assault Charges after Reckless Driving Complaint
A local pet owner sent a demand letter to a Newhall animal rescue and boarding facility Wednesday after his dog reportedly died while in the rescue’s care.
Dog Left Out in Heat Dies at Newhall Animal Rescue
During the 2015 Independence Day MEP, 26 people were killed on California roadways. Two of those fatalities occurred due to unsafe speed. In addition, another 339 individuals were injured during the MEP due to unsafe speed.
CHP to Enforce Safe Driving this Holiday Weekend
This Fourth of July weekend stay safe on the water with these helpful tips.
Fourth of July Boaters Should Consider These Tips on the Water
What is a TASK party? It’s a creative playground, a social event, a movement, and an art happening. It’s the brainchild of Dutch-born New York City artist Oliver Herring, and it’s coming to Newhall on Thursday evening.
TASK Party in Newhall Thursday Night … You’re Invited
One thing we missed in my Pico Cottage days, besides cold water, was air conditioning. Not even a swamp cooler. Unless we visited some of the more affluent folks in Newhall or went to a restaurant or grocery store, air conditioning was only a dream.
Chillin’ by the River
1943 - Army Air Force pilot Loncie L. Tucker, on training run, dies when his P-38 fighter crashes at Wayside Honor Rancho (later Pitchess Detention Center) in Castaic [story]
Established three years ago by Super Bowl champion and Valencia alumnus Shane Vereen, the co-ed Vereen Playmakers Camp gives children ages 6 to 13 a place to drill and dream with the pros. The annual event at Valencia High School benefits Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.
Vereen Playmakers Camp a Golden Experience (Video)
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, two separate traffic collisions in SCV. Plus, Jack's Angels Foundation hosts a Cancer Moonshot Summit and City Council approves agenda items.
SCV NewsBreak for Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Canyon Country Community Center Conceptual Master Plan was approved by Santa Clarita City Council Tuesday evening.
Canyon Country Community Center Concept Approved
City Council voted to moved forward with the West Creek Annexation by adopting the negotiated exchange of property tax revenue and add the West Creek Park to the Santa Clarita parks system once the annexation is complete.
West Creek Annexation Getting Closer
City Council gave the final approval for the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Specific Plan Tuesday evening.
Henry Mayo Expansion Plan Gets Final OK
As part of the annexation of David March Park and Pacific Crest Park to the city of Santa Clarita, Santa Clarita City Council approved the transfer of the two parks from Los Angeles County during Tuesday's meeting.
City Takes Ownership of David March, Pacific Crest Parks
Santa Clarita City Council members approved the $220 million 2016-17 operating budget at Tuesday evening's meeting.
Council Approves $220 Mil. 2016-2017 Budget
The county believes honest work deserves fair pay, and this law will certainly boost workers, many of whom struggle to make ends meet.
County Min. Wage Goes Up Friday
Don't let the heat and a houseful of relatives over the Fourth of July weekend prevent you from coming to the cool historical houses in Quester Court, located at the south end of the William S. Hart Park complex.
July 3: Cool Off, Step Back in Time at Quester Court
Come join us for the third annual Americana Fest, a great day of good music, food trucks, vendors, arts & crafts, and family fun.
July 17: Americana Fest Features Music, Food Trucks, more
The Los Angeles County Coroner has identified the woman who was killed in a fatal crash in Agua Dulce early Wednesday morning.
Castaic Woman Killed in Crash on Sierra Highway
Friday night, the 2016 Valencia Jazz & Blues Summer Concert Series fires up our Fourth of July weekend with the Susie Hansen Latin Band, a veteran Los Angeles Latin-jazz and Afro-Cuban outfit fronted by electric violinist-vocalist Susie Hansen.
SCV Rock Beat: Smokin’ Hot Sounds for the 4th
Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R- Santa Clarita, honored Jim Lentini of Santa Clarita as the 38th Assembly District’s “Veteran of the Year” for 2016.
Lentini Honored with Veteran of the Year Award
A Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputy was transported to the hospital with what seems to be minor injuries after being involved in a three-car crash Wednesday afternoon.
Deputy Transported to Hospital After Crash in Valencia
Local patrons of the arts will be honored on July 15 during the Shakespeare Lord Chamberlain Gala.
July 15: Patrons of the Arts to be Honored at the Gala
NAMI is offering a 10-week class for those who may be struggling with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or any other mental health issue with their peer to peer program.
July 12: NAMI to Start Classes for Those Struggling with Mental Health Issues
The Golden Valley High School Cross Country team will host a "Grizzlies Goodies" bake sale to raise money for the team.
July 2: Grizzlies Goodies Bake Sale to Benefit Cross Country Team
The Painted Turtle is looking for dedicated volunteers to complete an outdoor project that will help more campers enjoy the camp.
Volunteers Wanted at the Painted Turtle this Summer
The city of Santa Clarita’s Thursdays@Newhall series heads into July with a thrilling lineup of Pacific Island Dance, free live performances, a Corvette car show, a Margaritaville block party and more.
Thursdays@Newhall Returns with July Events
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion that aims to enhance the self-sufficiency of emancipating foster youth.
Supes Approve Motion to Help Emancipated Youth Transition to Life on Their Own
A bill which aims to amend the California Franchise Investment Law to make negotiations between franchisees and franchisors more efficient passed unanimously in the Senate Judiciary Committee today.
Wilk Bill to Aid Franchisees Clears Senate Panel
The California Department of Motor Vehicles is reminding customers applying for a driver license or identification card for the first time, beginning July 1, they will be required to provide the DMV with two documents that prove they are California residents.
DMV to Require Two Documents to Prove Residency
The Whittaker-Bermite Citizens’ Advisory Group (CAG) will meet Wednesday, July 6. The meeting will be from 7-9 pm at the Santa Clarita United Methodist Church
Bermite Cleanup Oversight Group to Meet
Crime Information and Public Safety Report for Canyon Country-East (Zone 8): Week of June 20th – June 26th 06/20/16
Crime Blotter: Another Tailgate Stolen in CC-East
California Fish & Wildlife has launched an online location-based Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations tool to help anglers identify those regulations that relate to the area they plan to fish.
Fishing Season in Full Swing; Know the Rules
Volkswagen will offer consumers a buyback and lease termination for nearly 500,000 model year 2009-2015 2.0 liter diesel vehicles sold or leased in the U.S., and spend up to $10.03 billion to compensate consumers under the program. In addition, the companies will spend $4.7 billion to mitigate the pollution from these cars and invest in green vehicle technology.
VW to Spend Up to $14.7 Bil. to Settle Charges of Cheating on Smog Tests
It's that time again: CHP Newhall will be holding a Start Smart class for teens 15-19 on Saturday, July 23, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
CHP Offers In-Depth Teen Driving Class