Officials at the Los Angeles County Superior Court, where more than 150 employees were laid off Friday, expect to make more drastic cuts in the next fiscal year.
Officials, already reeling from $30 million in cuts, predicted that shrinking state funding would force them to slash tens of millions of dollars more.
"It is an undermining of the justice system," Los Angeles County Presiding Judge Lee Smalley Edmon said at a news conference Friday.
FOR THE RECORD:
Superior Court layoffs: In the June 16 LATExtra section, an article about layoffs in the Los Angeles County Superior Court system gave an incorrect name for a court employee found dead on a loading dock after apparently suffering a heart attack. His name is Greg Nemo, not Ray Nemo.
In addition to the layoffs, dozens of employees will become part-time workers and have their pay slashed by 40%. Others will be bumped to lower-paying full-time jobs. The court has also shuttered courtrooms, pared back the use of court reporters and wiped out a juvenile court program.
Edmon predicted that the cuts would gum up the nation's largest trial court system, potentially stretching out civil cases for years.
"Could we be heading to five years to trial? I think we could," she said.
Friday began with a report that a court employee had been found dead on a loading dock, the victim of a heart attack. Edmon said she was notified of the death of Ray Nemo, a court facilitator who had been laid off previously but brought back to work and was not scheduled to be laid off again.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.