“Access to justice” is a rather amorphous phrase, but an editorial in The (Portland) Oregonian gives one of the best explanations Gavel Grab has seen recently:
“You’re in a child-custody dispute with your ex.
“You need a restraining order.
“You discover an employee may have stolen from you.
“Your property gets trashed by a renter.
“If the courts can’t help you in a timely manner, the consequences to individuals and businesses can be severe.”
The editorial cites these examples in urging legislators to make court funding a high priority at an emergency board’s meeting next week, especially given court funding cuts that are “jeopardizing citizens’ right to justice without undue delay.”
After all, the editorial concludes, “Skimping on justice can work for a while, but not forever — and not if Oregon wants to ensure all citizens can still get their day in court.”
To learn more about the state court funding crisis across the country, see the JAS issues page on the topic.