Courts In San Francisco Forced to Cut Services

The Super Court in San Fransisco is currently running at a deficit of $5.3 million. Because of this, they are being forced to make some cuts to save money. One of these cuts is a reduction in hours, meaning the offices will not be open as often as they once were. Starting in September, some of the clerk's offices will close on Friday afternoons starting at 1 p.m. This means that some of the staff at the court will be unnecessary and will be forced to take that time off without pay. The people who are required to take the afternoon off will be scheduled on a rotating basis.

These changes will not be permanent in the courts. This short-term money-saving action will be in place from when it starts in September through June of the next year. This is not the only attempt to save money that the courts have made. On top of this, the court is debating on a hiring freeze for all employees along with some other ideas.

It is important that the court tries to save money as quickly as possible because of the deficit that has occurred over the last year. The driving force behind this deficit is a reduction in funding from the state. Last year, the cut in funding was about 9% of the total budget.

There has been a tempered reaction to the forced furloughs by the court. There are currently four different labor unions operating in the courts and each one has decided to go along with the forced time off. In the end, each employee at the company will miss one Friday monthly.

While the offices will be closed, the courtrooms themselves will still be open. Those who need to drop off paperwork at the court offices will still be able to do so with the courts new operating hours. Each office will have a drop box for paperwork available on Friday afternoons to help with this problem. Judges will not be taken off the schedule, but will contribute part of their pay to help temper their problem. The amount has not been decided upon yet.

Courts around the state of California have gone through budget cuts in the last year, but none of them to the extent that San Francisco has. In total, the San Francisco courts have experienced a reduction in funding over $50 million. These cuts have been going on for about six years starting in 2011 and the department overall has seen about a 15% reduction in its staff.

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