SAN FRANCISCO—Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye announced today the creation of a Judicial Council working group to develop a competitive grant program supporting the Judicial Council in awarding funds to courts for innovative and efficient judicial branch services and programs. The Budget Act for fiscal year 2016–2017 provides $25 million for grants to improve access to justice for court users and the public.

“The California judicial branch found creative ways to preserve and improve access to justice even during the depths of the fiscal crisis” said the Chief Justice. “This grant program will reinforce those efforts, recognize worthy innovations, and create models capable of being replicated.”

The funding, to be used over a multi-year period, will support innovations in collaborative courts, self-help, family and juvenile courts, and other efficiencies in the trial and appellate courts. Consistent with the statutory requirements, the programs selected must have measureable results or benefits that have a demonstrated impact on the court and the public it serves.

The Chief Justice appointed Yolo Superior Court Presiding Judge David Rosenberg as chair of the ad hoc working group. Other appointees include: Justice Andrea Hoch of the Third Appellate District, Presiding Judge Steven D. Barnes, Kings Superior Court, Presiding Judge Jeffrey B. Barton, San Diego Superior Court, Judge David M. Chapman, Riverside Superior Court, Judge Brenda Harbin-Forte, Alameda Superior Court, Judge Mary Ann O’Malley, Contra Costa Superior Court, Court Executive Officers Alan Carlson, Orange Superior Court and Teresa Risi, Monterey Superior Court, and Court Clerk/Administrator Charlene Ynson, Fifth Appellate District.