(CNS) – Budgetary shortfalls will require the Riverside County Superior Court to shut down operations at all courthouses countywide, except for emergency hearings, one day each month for the remainder of this year and part of next year, officials said Wednesday.
Beginning Friday, Oct. 16, and continuing every third Friday of each month until June, all 14 courthouses will be shuttered and employees furloughed, according to the Superior Court Executive Office.
Officials said the closures are necessary to contend with a $12 million deficit that stems from the $54 billion in composite losses at the state level since the coronavirus public health lockdowns began in March.
Superior Court Presiding Judge John Vineyard curtailed hours and completely closed some courthouses to public access in March as a public health safety precaution, but most branches have since resumed normal operations with health protocols in place.
However, the Moreno Valley Traffic & Small Claims Court, along with the Corona, Hemet and Temecula courthouses, remain shut down.
Other courthouses are generally open to the public between 7:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily.
The rotating monthly closures will occur on the following Fridays, after this month:
— Nov. 20;
— Dec. 18;
— Jan. 15;
— Feb. 19;
— March 19;
— April 16;
— May 21; and
— June 18.
The last time the Superior Court implemented closures on a monthly basis was at the height of the Great Recession. At that time, the state’s budget shortfall was about half of the current level, and all county courthouses were closed the third Wednesday of each month for 10 months, beginning in September 2009.
However, as with the current scheduled shutdowns, several courthouses remained available for emergency or urgent hearings.
More information is available at https://www.riverside.courts.ca.gov/.