Sacto 9-1-1
September 15, 2009
Local courts across region will be closed Wednesday

From Kim Minugh

Superior courts across the region will be closed to the public Wednesday as part of a statewide cost-cutting measure forcing county courthouses to close once a month.

The closure is the first in a series scheduled for every third Wednesday of the month through June 2010. Courthouses will reopen Thursday, though likely with some backlog.

The state's Judicial Council voted last month to enact the closures, which are expected to save the state $94.3 million.

The move came with some local controversy.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Maryanne G. Gilliard blasted the decision last month, saying some court systems, like Sacramento's, had the capacity to avoid the closures but were forced by the Judicial Council to close anyway. She also suggested other ways to save the needed money, including cutting the Judicial Council's operation arm, the Administrative Office of the Courts.

Other judges said they support the closure as a tough, but necessary budget-cutting move.

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