Many local governments in California are suffering severe financial problems. These financial woes affect such things as education which have suffered large budget cuts in the past years. The court system is no different and the lack of funds is resulting in major budget cuts. San Diego County is no exception and neither is the family court where the budget cuts are being felt.
For example, beginning December 28, 2012, the family court will only provide court reporters for domestic violence hearings, contempt hearings and Request for Order hearings of 40 minutes or less. For all other hearings, the parties must provide their own private court reporter from the court appointed list at their own expense. This will likely cause delays to court hearings as well as be more expensive to the parties. If the parties do not provide one, then there will be no written record of the proceedings. Tape recordings are not allowed. Therefore, it is important that you ensure that you provide a court reporter for any trials or long cause hearings because it would be a shame to take testimony without it being recorded. A transcript is an absolute necessity for litigation.
Once this is implemented I think it will take awhile to return to how it was because counties continue to face severe financial problems and it is unlikely that their financial state will change for the better in the near future. I also fear that even more cuts will come and will likely have more drastic effects on the family court. A reduction in judges and/or commissioners for example would be devastating. Unfortunately, budget cuts generally result in more expense to the parties and delays to the court process.
DISCLAIMER: The above article is for informational and educational use only and is not intended to be legal advice and should not be relied upon in any way. If legal advice is needed, you should seek the advice of an attorney.