As a result of the severe financial crisis in California, Los Angeles Courtrooms will be going out of business for one day this month, followed by one day each month until further notice. The first monthly closure or "court furlough day" will take place on July 15, 2009.
There will be a monthly "furlough" on the third Wednesday of each month until the financial situation in California improves. One day off each month may not seem like a great deal, but it is actually a devastating development for the Los Angeles judicial system. Although the closure will have one exception for "emergency services", how one defines an "emergency" can be different from how the new "furlough" policy defines it.
Evidently, individuals who are in need of restraining orders in domestic violence cases will still be able to find an open court. Some courts, with greatly reduced staffs, will be open for criminal arraignments, but that may be it. If your home is going to be foreclosed on July 16, 2009, any last minute developments that create an opportunity for you to seek an order preventing the foreclosure sale better take place early enough so that you can seek such an order on July 14, 2009 instead of July 15, 2009 when you may be out of luck. Although it may seem strange that someone would wait until the last minute to obtain such relief, these types of emergency orders are issued everyday in Los Angeles. It is not inconceivable that the "furlough" program could wind up costing someone dearly.
It is too early to tell how the "furloughs" will impact Los Angeles. However, there is no question that as soon as the additional money can be found, it would be in the best interest of the City to eliminate the "furlough" program. An even worse prospect, however, is the possibility that the continuing financial crisis will lead to an expanded "furlough" program. Lawyer jokes aside, serious business is conducted in Los Angeles courtrooms every day of the week. Even one less day a month will impact some people. If one day a month is expanded, additional hardships could be experienced by many in our community. At the end of the day, the judicial system needs to be more proactive about asking and demanding someone to "show us the money".