California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye on Friday issued the following statement on the Governor’s budget proposal for the judicial branch:
Starting Monday, March 2, North County residents will no longer be required to drive to downtown San Diego to file their probate matters.
Governor Gavin Newsom signed his first state budget on Thursday, which includes nearly $470 million in new judicial branch funding to continue the courts’ steady recovery after years of deep cuts.
Statewide investment in self-help services has helped Alameda Superior Court open a second center.
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.
"We in the judicial branch will do our best to serve the public in these unprecedented times of a global pandemic and recession," Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye said.
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.
A paralegal in Los Angeles County Superior Court's self-help center receives recognition for her commitment to service.
While the model has helped equalize funding gaps across counties, chronic underfunding of the judicial branch has complicated its rollout.
Videoconference technology helps deliver self-help services remotely and increases a court's outreach.