Calif. Chief Justice Warns Of ‘Dangerous Delays’ In Justice System

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California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye

California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye (CA Supreme Court)

SACRAMENTO (CBS / AP) — California’s chief justice is warning that hundreds of millions of dollars in budget cuts to the state court system at a time of rising need have led to “potentially dangerous delays” in the administration of justice.

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye gave her first address to a joint session of the Legislature on Monday.

She said the state’s judicial branch, which includes trial courts, appellate courts and the state Supreme Court, has seen its budget cut by nearly a quarter since 2008.

More than $650 million in spending cuts have led to closed courtrooms and clerk’s offices in 24 counties, staff layoffs and reduced hours.

In prepared remarks, the justice said the court system already is seeing “worrisome and potentially dangerous delays in the resolution of cases.”

She said superior court filings this year topped 10 million for the second consecutive year, an increase of 20 percent over the previous decade.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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