PUBLIC NOTICE RE LIMITED COURT OPERATIONS IN DECEMBER

Pursuant to Government Code section 68106, the Ventura County Superior Court is providing 60 days’ notice of limited operation days.

The majority of the courtrooms and all of the clerk’s offices will be closed on December 23, 24, 26, and 27, 2013 to mitigate the impact of employee furlough days on court operations. Criminal custody calendars, preliminary hearings, early disposition conferences (Monday & Tuesday only) and three criminal trial courtrooms will remain open.

These days are not court holidays, so statutory deadlines will not be extended. However, drop boxes are currently provided outside each clerical office for filing papers or submitting payments. Documents placed in the boxes by 5 p.m. are deemed deposited for filing that same business day. Most cases already calendared for hearing will be rescheduled and the affected parties notified by the court. An exterior walk-up window on the north side of the Hall of Justice at the Government Center, near parking lots A, B and C, will be open until 6:45 p.m., and the East County Courthouse walk-up window will be open until 4:45 p.m. for handling criminal/traffic and collections payments only. Limited courtrooms will be open to hear urgent juvenile, unlawful detainer, and temporary restraining order issues.

These dates were selected to minimize the impact on the public and court staff as court business is generally the slowest during the holiday season.

While the court regrets having to take these actions, it must address the continued reduction in funding to the California court system. The 2013-14 fiscal year is the first time in five years that no additional budget reductions were made to the judicial branch. However, the trial courts are still dealing with the prior year’s statewide reduction of $261 million. While the Ventura Superior Court’s 2013-2014 structural deficit is significantly less than last year’s deficit, it is still $4.5 million, equal to Ventura County’s share of the statewide reduction in court funding. In other words, while the situation has improved, the court’s budget is still $4.5 million short of revenue that is required to fully operate.

Anyone wishing to comment on this proposed plan may do so, either by regular mail or e-mail, by December 15. Please direct your response to:

Michael D. Planet, Court Executive Officer P.O. Box 6489, Ventura, CA 93006-6489 or closureresponse@ventura.courts.ca.gov

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