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California Reporters Laid Off

Chanting "Keep courts open," official reporters were among the 100 Los Angeles County Superior Court workers who rallied outside of the courthouse on March 17 to protest recent layoffs. On March 16, 329 of about 5,400 Superior Court employees throughout the state were laid off in the name of budgetary cuts. At the same time, 16 courtrooms were closed.
An article in Time, "And Justice for Some: L.A.'s Shrinking Court System," reported that the California courts face a $79 million shortfall. The Superior Court, which, like most courts, spends most of its money on personnel, plans to lay off an additional 500 workers and close up to 50 courtrooms by September to make up for some of that shortfall. News reports suggest that closures and reduced staff in courts will create barriers to the public who need to access the courts.

A report on the Los Angeles Web site provided a clip from a statement by Charles McCoy, Superior Court Presiding Judge. He said, "What's happening today, however distressing, is but a harbinger of potentially tragic events yet to come of very real erosion of access to justice."

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