Breaking News Blog

Saturday, Mar 23 2013 03:29 PM

Outlying Kern courts hit hard by budget cuts

By BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

Several outlying Kern County courts will be closing or significantly curtailing hours and services as a result of more state budget cutbacks.

The Taft Midway Driller has reported the Taft courhouse would close most of its operations, transferring all criminal and misdemeanor cases to Lamont.

The Taft court would still handle civil matters, traffic hearings, small claims and juvenile issues on Fridays only, Kern County Supervisor David Couch confirmed on Friday.

Supervisor Mick Gleason told the Ridgecrest Daily Independent on Friday that the Lake Isabella courthouse will likely suffer some impacts, possibly moving traffic cases to Bakersfield and/or Ridgecrest courts.

While the courts are managed locally, they are funded by the state.

Kern's court system took a $9.9 million hit this fiscal year and will take at least another $3.5 million cut next year, according to the Daily Indepenent .

The cuts would begin Sept. 1.

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