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Money Troubles

Many courts in smaller counties throughout the state are starting to suffer from the same financial problems as Mono County and some other area jurisdictions.

Officials in Stanislaus County, which is just a short drive up Interstate 5 past Los Banos, looked forward to moving into a brand-new $267 million facility to replace the cramped building that is there now. But that project is on hold, because the state doesn’t have the money. Siskiyou County, which is on the Oregon border, has similar issues. There are security concerns (in 2000, a sex crimes defendant shot the alleged victim and then himself) and safety concerns (the building’s one elevator is out of service and an active volcano is only thirty miles away). But, the $66 million facelift is on hold, because there is no money.

Statewide, seventeen counties have seriously inadequate facilities that cannot be renovated or replaced due to lack of funds.

Reduced Services and Traffic Tickets

Last summer, an utterly destitute Mono County was prepared to shut its doors for about a month until the state came through with an emergency loan at the eleventh hour. Many other courthouses in Central California have reduced their hours and/or laid off court staff. For example, the Bishop courthouse is only open four and a half days a week and there is not enough staff to answer the phones in the morning.

The state once had almost $2 billion set aside for courthouse construction and related uses, but over time, the state has raided that fund and it has dwindled down to nothing. The ongoing ticket amnesty does not help, because after they pay staff overtime and other expenses to handle the increased volume, they barely break even.

All this means that overworked prosecutors have very little time to spend on individual cases, so in many cases, they are willing to make a fast deal, close the file, and move on to the next one. In other words, it’s a driver-friendly market.

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 attorney@markbigger.com to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español, llame al 661-376-0214.