Manteca is being spared physical court cutbacks.
Budget cutbacks are prompting the San Joaquin County Superior Court to propose completely closing the Tracy court and one of two courtrooms and clerk’s offices in Lodi effective Oct. 3.
Also part of the strategy to deal with reduced revenue is a proposal to not hear any small claim cases at any court location.
The decision means that civil harassment and unlawful detainment cases that were since heard in Tracy should be filed and will be heard at the Manteca branch court at 315 E. Center St. Tracy traffic court trials infraction cases, and limited civil jurisdiction matters will be shifted to the main Stockton Courthouse.
Public comment is being invited through 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 2, on the cutbacks. They can be e-mailed to management analyst Stephanie Boehner at firstname.lastname@example.org or delivered in person or mailed to the Manteca Branch, 315 E. Center St., Manteca, CA, 95336.
The service reduction is the result of state funding cutbacks that were needed to balance the state spending plan for the current fiscal year. It marks the third straight year of funding cuts.
Presiding San Joaquin Court Judge Robin Appel had warned last month after the state budget was signed that, “The courts in San Joaquin County have historically been underfunded and under resourced. Further reductions to the courts will negatively impact our ability to dispense fair and equal justice to the citizens of our county. The bottom line is that the public will be left with an inadequate system of justice to rely on.”
The proposal keeps resources focused on high priority criminal and juvenile proceedings.