STOCKTON — Small claim services are being reduced further in the San Joaquin County court system.
The cutbacks are the result of another year of budget cuts to the Judicial Branch passed by the state legislature and approved by the governor. The San Joaquin County Superior Court will be further reducing staffing levels despite its efforts to reduce expenses and increase revenues to help alleviate its projected budget deficit.
This past June the court issued 30 lay-off notices. The last day of work for affected employees was Wednesday. Since 2010, the court has seen its staff reduced by nearly 30%.
As a result of having fewer staff to process cases, effective Sept. 1, 2012, the court is severely curtailing small claims services. The changes to small claims services are as follows:
For small claims cases filed on or before Aug. 31, 2012:
• The court will continue to process these cases through the system, including appeals. Court dates already scheduled will remain on calendar.
• The court will continue to process Abstracts of Judgment.
• The court will continue to process Orders of Examination and Writs of Execution through Aug. 31, 2012. After this date, the court will no longer process these documents.
For small claims cases filed after Sept. 1, 2012:
• All cases filed after Sept. 1, 2012 will be accepted by the Clerk’s Office in Stockton (222 E. Weber Avenue, Room 303) with normal filing fees collected; however, cases will not receive a court date and will not be processed until such time the court has sufficient staff.
• The court will no longer accept small claims e-filings effective Aug. 1, 2012.
Court users may consider contacting the Mediation Center of San Joaquin for assistance with resolving their disputes. Interested individuals can call (209) 474-8794 for details about services provided.