Due to severe budget cuts of the Judicial Branch of Government, a huge number of courts and courtrooms in approximately 29 counties throughout California have closed, and some have had severe reductions in services. The Judicial Council of California has reported that over 50 Courthouses and over 200 Courtrooms have been closed as a result of past and ongoing cuts of the Legislature since 2008. The impact is huge since it hampers the opportunity for timely, effective and meaningful access to justice. This impact has negatively affected the Criminal, Civil and Family Courts statewide. It is reported that this massive problem affects about two (2) million California residents. Because it will undoubtedly only get worse, it is critical that the Legislature restore the funding to our court system.
What strains credulity is the extremely large increase in tax revenue during the most recent years are in the hands of the Legislature and Governor, while most of us hardly ever give much thought to the billions of dollars collected, administered and disbursed. That is why some commentators opine that government keeps getting bigger in nearly every other area when a free society needs to uphold the rule of law. Our judicial system is the place where disputes can be resolved and laws can be enforced and/or challenged in a rational manner with evidence and thru the eyes and ears of an impartial judge or jury. Although the Lady of Justice is depicted as blindfolded with a scale to weigh the facts and circumstances in an effort to balance truth and fairness, the demeanor of the parties and witnesses is a critical component viewed thru the eyes of all those present in the courtroom.