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Court cutting hours

By From page B9 | July 04, 2012

PLACERVILLE — During one of the most daunting financial crises in California’s history, the state’s courts remain steadfast in their commitment that essential services continue to be provided to customers. Unfortunately, the budget reductions to the State Trial Courts will require that El Dorado Superior Court reduce its operating costs significantly.

Since 2007-08, State General Fund support for the Judicial Branch has been reduced in an ongoing amount of $653 million. In fiscal year 2012-13 the total state budget reductions to the judicial branch is in the amount of $544 million. These budget reductions require the court to take measures to maintain effective operations.

In an effort to control costs and continue to function on a decreased budget, the court has left most vacant positions open. Layoffs, reductions in force, and furloughs are all under consideration. These difficult issues have compelled the court to reduce its public counter and telephone hours in an effort to manage the timely processing of court documents and files given our reduced staffing levels and increasing workload.

Effective Monday, Aug. 27, the court will close its public service counters and refrain from answering the phones at all court locations at 3 p.m. each day.

Should attorneys, members of the public, or government agencies need to file documents after public counter hours are concluded for the day, each court location
has a drop box that will be available until 4 p.m. where papers can be deposited. The court staff will process the documents and file them with the same date that they were deposited. The change in public counter and telephone hours will not limit access to courtrooms or the court’s administrative offices.

Press Release

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