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Angeles County | Community News File / Santa Monica

$1.4 Million Allocated for Court Improvements

July 16, 1998

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors allocated $1.4 million to improve security and speed up the handling of civil cases at Santa Monica Superior Court, officials said.

Funds will go toward completing two additional courtrooms in a new Superior Court building near Los Angeles International Airport, said Judge Candace Cooper, supervising judge for the Los Angeles Superior Court's west district.

Felony cases will be moved from the Santa Monica courthouse to the new facility when it is finished in about a year, Cooper said.

The Santa Monica courthouse, she said, has poor perimeter security and an aging lockup that has been the scene of escapes, including one in which a prisoner climbed into the crawl space above his cell and hid for several days.

Once Superior Court felonies are moved out, judges in Santa Monica who share space will be able to have their own courtrooms, and the court can adopt a more efficient calendaring system for civil cases, Cooper said.

Some of the newly allocated funds will be spent to turn the third-floor cafeteria into a jury assembly room.

"This is really a very badly needed fix," Cooper said.

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