Lately, for nearly every court hearing I attend in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Central District, judges are mentioning that they are not receiving copies of timely filed pleadings. Apparently, the budget cuts and furlough days have slowed down the time frame within which the court departments ordinarily receive filed documents. This is not good.
As a result, Schorr Law, now routinely directs its attorney service to file courtesy copies of all pleadings in the department itself. This is the only way to make sure that the court actually receives timely filed documents. This is not a perfect solution by any means.
The Los Angeles County Superior Court needs to figure out a better solution for the budget cuts. Perhaps it is finally time for electronic filings. In theory, this would allow the individual departments to view all documents online as soon as they are filed. I am sure this option is not as straightforward as it may seem. That being said, there is no better time than now to put technology to work. The long term costs could be substantial.
And, if budget cuts remain the problem, why not increase court filing fees. Right now the fee for an unlimited civil filing is $355.00. While this may seem like a lot of money, it is cheap when compared with other dispute resolution mechanisms like arbitration. I suggest the court double the filing fee. The higher fee could serve two purposes: (1) provide additional funds to the court to help with budget cuts and (2) deter unneccessary litigation.
Obviously, there is no magic solution to the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s budget woes. I merely suggest that rather than complaining about the problem, let’s use this time and the motivation it provides to revamp the system.
by Zachary D. Schorr, Schorr Law, APC, www.schorr-law.com, 310-954-1877.