California Courts

CALIFORNIA COURTS: HURRY UP AND WAIT

California Living: A State of Crowded Courts

Sure we have beaches, mountains and desert all rolled into this one beautifully unique state. But that one less desirable adjective often ascribed to California has seeped off of our freeways and highways and pooled into the very place justice is supposed to be served: the state court system.

California's courts are clogged, packed, overburdened. Visit any of of the 58 counties, from the sizable Riverside Superior Court to the tiny and remote Plumas County Superior Court in Quincy, Calif., and you're bound to find long lines and backed up file clerks.

The chaos is, in part, thanks to $1 billion in cutbacks over the past six years, forcing courts to lay off employees, eliminate court reporters and, go figure, still raise fees. Which means filing a divorce or a breach of contract action is that much more difficult. The Los Angeles Times detailed the frustration felt across the state in a recent story.