The Los Angeles County Superior Court said it will have to eliminate 511 jobs and close eight courthouses as part of a sweeping cost-cutting effort to close its $85 million budget deficit.
Reduced state funding over the last several years has pushed the court to dramatically restructure the way it conducts business in the next fiscal year beginning in July, Presiding Judge David Wesley said in a statement Thursday.
"This is our last-ditch effort to save access to justice in Los Angeles County," Wesley said. "The impacts of years of draconian cuts in state court funding can no longer be delayed."
The court said it has already reduced its annual spending by $110 million to date. The upcoming job cuts will bring the total reduction of the court's workforce to 24 percent.
In addition, the court says it must close eight regional courthouses and eliminate its alternative dispute center, which provides arbitration, mediation and settlement conference as an option to litigation. Small claims, eviction, and personal injury cases will be heard in fewer courthouses.