MARTINEZ -- The Contra Costa County Superior Court is closing courtrooms and eliminating numerous services to meet a $7 million budget deficit caused by state-mandated cuts and take-aways. Here is the schedule of what's ending and when.
Effective immediately: Interpreters in domestic violence matters in family court will be provided only until the current grant funding runs out. Money is still available to date, but for how long it remains available depends on demand.
Effective Nov. 1: No more family law cases will be heard, and no family law filings will be accepted at the Pittsburg courthouse. All family law matters will be considered in Martinez.
Effective Nov. 12: The court clerk's office hours will be reduced by two hours daily; it will be open to the public from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. Self-help services at the Spinetta Family Law Courthouse in Martinez will be reduced by two hours daily; it will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Workshops for self-represented litigants will also be reduced.
Effective Dec. 3: The child support calendar courtroom in Martinez starts a limited December schedule, to be followed by a regular schedule in January. It will be closed every day in December except Dec. 6, and Dec. 10-14. It reopens Jan. 2 with a Tuesday-Friday schedule (closed every Monday). Juvenile law courtrooms in Pittsburg and Richmond close.
Effective Jan. 2: One civil trial courtroom closes, and the civil discovery/exparte courtroom in Martinez closes. The Concord courthouse closes to the public. Traffic cases previously heard in Concord will be transferred to the Walnut Creek courthouse. Small claims, unlawful detainer, domestic violence and civil harassment cases will be heard in Martinez. The Walnut Creek courthouse will exclusively hear traffic cases. Court-reporting services are eliminated in general in civil, family law and probate courtrooms. The court will post which courtrooms are staffed with a court reporter daily in a notice of availability on the court's website, www.cc-courts.org. Specialty courts such as juvenile night court, juvenile and adult drug court, domestic violence court, homeless court, behavioral mental health court and elder court may be consolidated or eliminated so that judges can focus on mandated calendars. Traffic night court will stop at all court branches except Walnut Creek. The traffic night court calendar will be reduced to one night per month. Small claims night court will end at all court branches except Martinez. The small claims calendar will be reduced to one night per month.
The public can email comments on the changes through Oct. 31 to firstname.lastname@example.org.