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.

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Comments (2)
  1. Tours Martel says:

    I have a suggestion to improve judicial productivity. Show up for work at 7 a.m. like the rest of us working people, take 30 minutes for lunch, and don’t knock off early. When I had jury duty, I wanted to scream at the lack of effort on the part of all concerned. Either work hard or get fired.

  2. geneL says:

    Another suggestion is: Really examine the finances of all that claim they cannot afford a lawyer and are then appointed one at our expense. My experience has been that nobody does any checking. The members of the local indian gaming tribe get over $5,000 a month but when they are in court they claim they’re unemployed and get a free lawyer. There are others too, not just Native Americans.