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Trial Delays, Longer Lines Expected From Court Closures

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The closure of 10 regional courthouses in Los Angeles County is expected to result in trial delays and longer lines, a judge said Thursday.

KNX 1070’s Jon Baird reports people were stunned after learning that courthouses in Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles, Malibu, Huntington Park, Whittier, Pomona, Avalon, and San Pedro will be closing due to budget cuts.

Judge Lee Smalley Edmon, the presiding judge of the L.A. County Superior Court, warned the cuts – which will be rolled out over the next six months – will likely result in longer wait times and reduced overall efficiency.

“You’re just going to have to travel farther, there’s going to be delays in having matters heard, and there’s going to be longer lines,” said Edmon.

Real estate attorney Jeremy Alberts implied the court cuts may cause problems.

“It’s certainly going to delay things. I’ve worked considerably out of the Malibu Courthouse and everything is going to be transferred to the Santa Monica Courthouse. That place is a zoo already,” he said.

The closures also mean it could take “months to get a traffic matter heard,” Edmon said. Courthouses will continue to handle some administrative matters including citation payments, according to the Los Angeles Times.

William Moore, a Beverly Hills attorney, said his biggest concern is the defendants.

“When you’re charged with something that you didn’t do, you need to get it processed and taken care of,” he said.

The total number of layoffs throughout the court system is still unknown.

Employees at one West Los Angeles courthouse will be laid off when the courthouse closes by June of next year, leaving one man wondering how he will pay for his traffic citation.

“I have to pay $260…they shouldn’t do that,” he said. “They should leave this one open at least so people over here can come to this court.”

RELATED STORY: LA County Court Worker Found Dead As Layoffs, Budget Cuts Announced

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