California Court Budget Cuts

Dear BHBA Members & Friends:

    We need your help.  The Open Courts Coalition (OCC) is a bipartisan group comprised of attorneys, the business community, labor, former legislators, and retired members of the judicial community whose sole focus is advocacy for adequate court funding.  Many trial courts around the state have been forced to close courthouses and layoff trial court employees which has seriously impacted the courts' ability to provide justice.  For example, Los Angeles has closed 10 of its 48 courthouses and other counties have suffered a similarly massive contraction.

     It is imperative that we ask our respective members of the California Assembly and Senate to support reinvestment in our court system.  Attached, you will find a letter the OCC is respectfully requesting you print and send to your individual Assembly and Senate members.  To identify your specific legislators, go to:

http://www.legislature.ca.gov/legislators_and_districts/legislators/your_legislator.html

    On behalf of the OCC and the 240,000 members of the State Bar of California, we thank you very much for your help.

Sincerely,
Paul R. Kiesel, Co-Chair, Open Courts Coalition
Patrick Kelly, President, State Bar of California
Honorable George Deukmejian, 35th Governor of the State of California
Honorable Gray Davis, 37th Governor of the State of California
John K. Rubiner, President, Beverly Hills Bar Association
 
 
Aug, XX, 2013
 
Honorable ________ 

Member of the California Legislature
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA  95814
 
Dear Assembly member/Senator:
 
As a constituent and an attorney I am gravely concerned about the massive underfunding our judicial system has experienced over the last five years.  While I understand our entire state has been reeling from the impact of the recession our courts have taken a disproportionate share of the budget cuts.  The result has been a deconstruction of our justice system impacting access to justice for our citizens.
 
Courts throughout the state have closed their doors.  From Fresno to San Bernardino whole courthouses have been shuttered requiring litigants to travel, in some cases, well over an hour, to pay a simple ticket.  More significantly public safety is at great risk as the Justice system lays off staff, reduces hours of service and places thousands of cases into fewer courts.
 
The time is now to reinvest in courts.  Democracy stands in the balance.
 
Sincerely,