The budget cuts $200 million from the state court system, though $150 million could be restored if the federal government sends additional aid by the fall.
Statewide investment in self-help services has helped Alameda Superior Court open a second center.
Since the COVID-19 state of emergency issued in mid-March, courts around the state have been holding more court hearings remotely. Now courts are looking for ways to expand remote technology to support community engagement.
Governor Jerry Brown signed a state budget on Wednesday that will help restore court services slashed during the recession, fund courthouse projects, and improve access to justice for millions of Californians.
Facing growing numbers of civil and family law litigants representing themselves, courts are expanding services offered through “self-help” centers.
Every year, nearly 1.2 million people come to self-help centers in California courthouses seeking guidance with civil cases such as divorces, evictions, and restraining orders. While every county court has its own self-help center, nearly a dozen also use JusticeCorps students to help serve users.
First held in Los Angeles in 2002, these events help court in several counties stay connected to their community.
A paralegal in Los Angeles County Superior Court's self-help center receives recognition for her commitment to service.
Videoconference technology helps deliver self-help services remotely and increases a court's outreach.
How are self-help centers being managed with shrinking resources? This newsroom feature takes a look at two very different centers sharing the same challenges.