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AB-1313 Judgeships: allocation.(2013-2014)



Current Version: 04/29/13 - Amended Assembly         Compare Versions information image


AB1313:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 29, 2013
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 21, 2013

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2013–2014 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1313


Introduced by Assembly Member Donnelly
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Brown)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Fox, Grove, Hagman, Harkey, Jones, Linder, Morrell, Olsen, and Wagner)
(Coauthors: Senators Emmerson and Knight)

February 22, 2013


An act to add Section 69614.5 to the Government Code, relating to courts.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1313, as amended, Donnelly. Judgeships: allocation.
Existing law specifies the number of judges of the superior court for each county, and allocates additional judgeships to the various counties in accordance with uniform standards for factually determining additional need in each county, as approved by the Judicial Council, and other specified criteria. Existing law requires the Judicial Council to report biennially to the Legislature and the Governor on the factually determined need for new judgeships in each superior court, using that uniform criteria.
This bill would require the Judicial Council, upon the availability of funding, to allocate 12 additional judges each fiscal year to those counties in which the current judicial position allocations are disproportionate to the Judicial Council’s recommendation of assessed judicial need.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The judicial branch is a constitutionally guaranteed function of government.
(b) The greatest need for judicial positions can be found in moderate-to-large moderate to large courts in the Inland Empire and Central Valley where historic underfunding and rapid population growth have outstripped judicial resources.
(c) This is not just an isolated occurrence as many other counties throughout the this state also suffer from a lack of funding and positions.
(d) The lack of access to the courts creates, particularly with respect to business and commercial litigation, which must take secondary consideration to criminal and public safety matters, a backlog of cases and the overall disuse of the justice system.
(e) A disparate lack of adequate judicial representation exemplifies a real harm to the public’s safety, victims of crime, and witnesses as well.

SEC. 2.

 Section 69614.5 is added to the Government Code, to read:

69614.5.
 (a) Upon the availability of funding, the Judicial Council shall allocate up to 12 additional judges each fiscal year to those counties in which the current judicial position allocations are disproportionate to the Judicial Council’s recommendation of assessed judicial need.
(b) Allocation of judicial positions shall be made first to those counties with the greatest disparity between their current judicial position allocations and the Judicial Council’s recommendation of assessed judicial need.
(c) This section shall apply until the ratio of judges to population in an individual county reaches 90 percent of the Judicial Council’s recommendation of assessed judicial need for that country. county.
(d) It shall be a top priority for the Judicial Council to fulfill the requirements of this section.