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Courts to Close Early Fridays As Part of Cost-Saving Measure

The move will hit clerks' offices; courtrooms will not be affected and trials will go on as planned on Fridays.

Plan for the future: 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.

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 Fridays, 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.

The reduced hours is part of a series of cutbacks that have hit courthouses throughout the county. 

Six criminal courtrooms and one civil courtroom at the downtown courthouse are now shuttered. North County Probate operations closed this week and all matters were consolidated with, and relocated to, the Central Division Probate Court.

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. 

Officials said the actions are being taken due to unprecedented and ongoing state budget cuts enacted in the fiscal years 2012/13 and 2013/14. The cuts are in addition to reductions imposed during the preceding four fiscal years.

The court now confronts the most significant reduction of services in its history, according to officials.

 

– City News Service

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