COURT HOUSE DELAYS

     It should come as no surprise to any of us that Sacramento County's budget problems have led to many unfortunate layoffs of court house clerks and other office staff over the past few months.

     Unfortunately, this has caused a noticeable increase in the time necessary for filling even routine documents with the Court.

     A Request to Modify a Child Custody Order is one of the most common motions filed in Family Court.  A law office's courier would just take the motion and several copies up to the clerk's window, a court date would be issued and the documents stamped. A copy of the Motion will be sent down the hallway to Family Court Services. A separate mediation appointment will be set for the parents to attend custody mediation. The mediation office will mail the notice of their appointment to the parents a few days after the papers are filed.

     Now there are only a few Court Clerks working the windows for the public. Many people are shocked at how long the lines are just to get to the Clerk's window. Most couriers are now having to wait all day just to file a few papers. Both the Clerk's and Legal Couriers are working very hard to "do more with less." I believe these people are the unsung heroes of the legal community.

     It is not uncommon for a law firm to not get their Documents back from the Court House until several days have passed.

     This is just another unavoidable consequence of the financial pressures State and Local Governments now face.