Courts Reduce Operations for Furlough Wednesday

The Los Angeles Superior Court system will substantially reduce operations again Wednesday as part of the furlough-day program.

The program was instituted in response to the deepening statewide financial crisis, although  some essential services will be provided.

The one-day-a-month furlough days were instituted in hopes of saving $18  million a year to help close a projected budget deficit of $90 million to  $120 million for the next four fiscal years.

The furloughs, which started last month, will continue on the third  Wednesday of every month.

Superior Court Presiding Judge Charles "Tim" McCoy said the financial  situation could worsen late next year, possibly forcing the court system to  close courthouses or eliminate some operations altogether.

About 1.2 million people will be turned away from courts countywide  during the coming year because of the furloughs, according to the judge. The  Los Angeles court network is the nation's largest trial court system, with 600  courtrooms in 50 courthouses throughout the county.

During the furlough days, most courthouses -- including in downtown Los  Angeles, Long Beach, Torrance, Downey, Norwalk, Bellflower and Compton -- will  have at least one courtroom open for custody arraignments, felony bench warrants and other limited business.

Also open Wednesday will be the arraignment court at the Van Nuys Courthouse.

The limited number of courtrooms open Wednesday also handle requests for  restraining orders for threats of domestic violence, elder abuse or civil  harassment involving stalking or potential violence.

In addition, clerks' offices will offer limited services, including  acceptance of fines and fees. Filing dates have not been extended.

Papers may be filed in the main Clerk's Office downtown by leaving them  in a secure drop box. Any papers left in a drop box by 4:30 p.m. will be  considered filed today. However, no review of filings will take place and no  copies will be made by the office staff.

Payments of fines and fees will be accepted through secured drop boxes  only, but no receipts will be issued today.

People with questions were urged to visit the court's Web site,, for information on how to handle traffic tickets or  make inquiries regarding jury service or other issues.

Jurors will not be required to report to any Los Angeles Superior Court Wednesday.

Regular court service is expected to resume Thursday.

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