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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Judges Wish to Condemn Court Bureaucracy with Death by 1,000 Cuts

Posted By on Wed, Jul 13, 2011 at 4:55 PM

click to enlarge Get those things off my desk, courthouse bureaucratic lackey
  • Get those things off my desk, courthouse bureaucratic lackey

Sacramento trial judges wish to condemn what they call the bloated, insular, arrogant, and inefficient state court bureaucracy with death by 1,000 cuts, according to survey results reported in Courthouse News.


Officials with the state Administrative Office of the Courts are in San Francisco this week to consider $350 million in proposed cuts to the state judiciary's budget. Sacramento judges, responding to a survey sent out as part of the state fiscal process, suggested budget cutters get to work with an axe.

Judges sent letters back to the state courts head office calling the administrator "arrogant and retaliatory," and "tone deaf," clogged with "unproductive and unnecessary bureaucracy."

Judging from their comments, Governor Jerry Brown will be able to slash state money spent on courts, and come out the other end with a better-functioning justice system.

According to judges' comments as cited by Courthouse News:

  • In the past 10 years, the staff of the AOC has grown from less than 300 to more than 1,100. As local courts have cut staff, the AOC has been completely held harmless from those same cuts by hiring "temporary" employees and refusing to impose a real hiring freeze.
  • Their growth appears to be unlimited based on the addition of more and more functions that they can usurp from others.
  • The (courts administrative office) has grown so much and now employs so many that judges legitimately question the 'bang for the buck' return,
  • The AOC operates with unchecked authority and no ceiling on its own bureaucracy
  • The AOC is too large. The AOC is bloated. There are too many staffers based on the number of judicial officers that they are supposed to serve.

If what they say is true, order in the court may entail firing many court staffers.

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