Budget cuts lead LA county court to cut 511 jobs

A woman stands in the doorway of a court

Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

A woman stands in the doorway of a courtroom closed due to budget cuts and layoffs, at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles March 16, 2009.

The Los Angeles County Superior Court says it will have to eliminate 511 jobs by late June as part of a sweeping effort to cut its budget by $85 million.

Presiding Judge David Wesley said Thursday that with those cuts, the court has lost 24 percent of its employees over the last four years.

Officials say state funding cuts over the last several years has forced the court to reduce its annual spending by $110 million.

The court says it also plans to close eight regional courthouses and eliminate its alternative dispute center, which provides arbitration, mediation and settlement conference as an option to litigation.

Wesley said the cuts will result in long lines and travel distances that may deter people from seeking and getting the justice they deserve.

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