‚Äč   Court Efficiency BILL 

Will increase efficiency and avoid unnecessary costs $$$   

 

TODAY Friday August 14, 2015, from the Capital of California, Sacramento ___  Assemblyman Jay Obernolte (R-Hesperia) announced that Governor Brown has signed into law his bill aimed at increasing court efficiency. 

Once enacted, Assembly Bill #249 will prohibit a defendant from filing a formal appeal solely on the basis of an error in the calculation of fines, penalty assessments, surcharges, fees, or costs. Instead, these common calculation errors will be handled administratively, making the process more efficient by avoiding the costs and burdens associated with a formal appeal and freeing up time for staff to tackle California’s increasing judicial workload.

“In recent years, courts across California have been subjected to severe funding cuts, and many have been forced to simply shutter their doors. Nowhere has this been more apparent than right here in San Bernardino County,” stated Assemblyman Obernolte. “While we have a long way to go (travel) in order to fully fund our courts and ensure that Californians have access to justice, I am proud to have authored a bill that will increase efficiency and avoid unnecessary costs.”

According to the Judicial Council of California, “court closures have deprived more than 2 million Californians of access to justice in their local communities.” Residents of the 33rd District in particular have borne the brunt of these closures, as the San Bernardino County Superior Court is ranked as the second most underfunded and under resourced court in the state. As the largest geographical county in the contiguous United States, some San Bernardino County residents have been forced to drive over 6 hours round trip to attend court hearings and obtain court services.

“The courts are striving to be more efficient,” said Marsha G. Slough, Presiding Judge of the Superior Court, San Bernardino County.Assembly Bill #249 will save the courts time by requiring defendants to request a trial judge to review potential errors in the calculation of fines and fees before bringing the issue to an appellate court if that is the sole issue on appeal.”

AB #249  is the Assemblyman Obernolte’s third bill to be signed into law by the Governor. Last month the Governor signed Assembly Bill 250, which allows marriage and family therapist interns and trainees to practice telehealth in order to secure hours toward their licensure, and Assembly Bill 868, which will assist fire departments in San Bernardino County that wish to consolidate services by allowing employees to transfer their pension credits to a new system when necessary.

 

    Assemblyman Jay Obernolte represents the 33rd Assembly District, which includes the San Bernardino County communities of Adelanto, Apple Valley, Baker, Barstow, Big Bear City, Big Bear Lake, Big River, Crestline, Fort Irwin, Hesperia, Johnson Valley, Lake Arrowhead, Lenwood, Lucerne Valley, Needles, Oak Hills, Phelan, Running Springs, Silver Lakes, Trona, Twentynine Palms Base, Twin Peaks and Victorville.