Gavel Grab

Budget Cuts Force, or Worsen, Court Delays

From coast to coast, court funding cuts are grabbing headlines because of the delays they cause for people who use the courts.

“After Budget Cuts, Defendants’ Wait to See a Judge Often Exceeds 24 Hours,” trumpeted the headline for a New York Times article.

Although state law mandates bringing defendants before a judge “without unnecessary delay,” or typically 24 hours, a defendant’s night in jail in Brooklyn can be prolonged to three nights, the article reported.

“Budget cuts to worsen California court delays, officials say,” declared the headline for a Los Angeles Times article.

In San Francisco, the wait for a lawsuit to go to trial could be as long as five years.

Overall cuts may necessitate changes in the law, to permit shorter trials and non-jury trials, the state Supreme Court chief justice and other judges said. On Friday, state Judicial Branch leaders will meet to vote on ways to carve up the courts’ budgets, axed by $350 million from a $3.5 billion total.

No comments

Tags: ,

No comments yet. Be the first.

Leave a reply