Recently, state officials reluctantly agreed to give Mono County $49,000
to help it meet retirement expenses and keep it open full time.
Three years ago, the state basically confiscated county courts’ reserve
funds as part of the budget package, so they now have no way to deal with
unexpected emergencies. In this case, Mono County had to pay $49,000 to
cover sick and vacation time cash-outs to retiring employees earlier this
year. According to Mono County court clerk Hector Gonzalez, if the county
were unable to make the payment, it would have to
close the court for at least four days beginning next summer.
Some people on the Judicial Counsel objected to giving Mono County the
entire amount, claiming that such a move would set a dangerous precedent.
For example, Council member Judge David Buckley of Los Angeles was only
willing to give Mono County $33,000, or a refund of its contribution to
the emergency fund for this budget year. In the end, however, the Council
voted 17-2 to hand over the entire amount.
As the state’s financial problems drag on seemingly without end,
a number of agencies are starting to
feel the pinch. Many are faced with reductions in hours of operation and staffing levels;
others are slated for outright closure.
The budget crunch is especially hard on smaller jurisdictions. In the above
example, $49,000 is a drop in the bucket in places like Fresno County,
but it is a princely sum in places like Inyo County. The ticket
amnesty does not help, because these counties must deal with an influx of calls
and they receive very little revenue in return.
Already, many places have closed satellite courts and clerks do not answer
phones. As the crisis continues, expect it to get harder to challenge
a speeding ticket. Night courts will probably shut down, and since traffic
tickets are not technically criminal cases, the Legislature may put up
even more hurdles than that.
Getting Legal Help
The aggressive lawyers at Bigger & Harman, APC, are committed to giving
individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets. Call
today at 661-859-1177 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español,
llame al 661-376-0214.