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Courts Overcrowding

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 10, 1988
Los Angeles County supervisors adopted a master plan Tuesday to build 246 more courtrooms over the next six years in an effort to meet the county's judicial needs through the next decade. The $508-million proposal, which would be paid for out of existing courthouse construction funds, was approved on a 3-1 vote as a major step toward expanding courtroom space for both Municipal and Superior courts.
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NEWS
November 23, 1988 | PHILIP HAGER, Times Staff Writer
While Justice John A. Arguelles' announcement Monday that he will resign from the state Supreme Court came as a surprise, legal authorities said Tuesday that the court's heavy workload and other pressures may help to lead more justices to step down. "I would not be surprised to see other recent appointees of the court retire before the 1990 election," said Gerald F. Uelmen, law dean at Santa Clara University and author of a recent study of the court's massive backlog.
NEWS
August 1, 1989 | LORI SILVER, Times Staff Writer
The House voted Monday to allow immigrants to sidestep backlogged courts and be sworn in as citizens at an Immigration and Naturalization Service office. Under current law, only courts can perform the citizenship ceremony. Because of crowded court schedules, immigrants in some cities have had to wait months or even more than a year, according to a recent study by the National Assn. of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, a nonpartisan research organization.
NEWS
December 18, 1989 | From Times staff and wire reports
Rep. George W. Crockett Jr. (D-Mich.) has called for the decriminalization of drugs, becoming the first member of Congress to do so publicly and drawing sharp criticism from drug czar William J. Bennett. "Decriminalization is the only solution," Crockett said in an interview published in the Detroit News. "Our courts are burdened down with these drug cases and there is nothing they can do about it," he said.
NEWS
March 29, 1989
A growing backlog of cases has created "a failure of justice" in local courts, the Orange County Bar Assn. said in suing the state to provide funding for more trial and appellate judges. The Bar said failure by the state to establish needed judgeships and fill existing vacancies has created trial delays averaging three years and a backlog of thousands of cases. An aide to Gov.
NEWS
October 2, 1989 | ERIC LICHTBLAU, Times Staff Writer
The 60-day deadline for putting on trial three men accused of selling cocaine was just hours away, and Phillip Cox, presiding judge of the Orange County Superior Court, faced a dilemma: Find--seemingly out of thin air--a judge, jury, and courtroom for the trial or let the men walk away free under state law guaranteeing defendants a speedy trial.
NEWS
September 18, 1989 | PHILIP HAGER, Times Staff Writer
Chief Justice Malcolm M. Lucas, leading pleas by leaders of the legal profession for action on the drug problem, called Sunday for more courts and judges to handle a soaring increase in drug-related cases that threatens to clog the California judicial system. Lucas, appearing at the annual meeting of the State Bar of California, called President Bush's drug program "laudable," but noted that efforts to arrest more drug dealers inevitably would lead to greater reliance on the courts.
NEWS
March 6, 1987
A second Los Angeles Municipal Court arraignment courtroom will be added to help ease severe overcrowding in holding cells at the Criminal Courts Building, Presiding Municipal Judge George W. Trammell announced. Trammell said the second court, which will handle felony arraignments, will begin service on a regular basis no later than May 1.
NEWS
March 4, 1987 | PHILIP HAGER, Times Staff Writer
The state Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a special session in July in an effort to reduce its substantial backlog of cases, Chief Justice Malcolm M. Lucas announced Tuesday. In a brief statement, Lucas said that although the cases to be heard then have not yet been designated, the special calendar will consist primarily of re-arguments in cases left unresolved after the departure of the three justices defeated in last November's election.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 24, 1987 | TED ROHRLICH, Times Staff Writer
In a move that could result in early releases for many inmates, the American Civil Liberties Union asked a federal judge Friday to require that Los Angeles County limit jail overcrowding. County officials said they expect the judge to grant the request, because he is merely being asked to enforce orders that he issued previously in a longstanding ACLU lawsuit. Sheriff Sherman Block said that about 1,000 convicted misdemeanants will probably have to be released up to three days ahead of schedule.
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