SF Superior Court to furlough staff, cut clerk hours

The San Francisco Superior Court announced Monday that it will furlough staff and cut office hours for clerk offices in order to close a $5.3 million budget deficit for the current fiscal year that began on July 1.

Presiding Judge Teri L. Jackson said in a statement that despite a nine percent decrease in state funding for The Court, courtrooms and courthouses will remain open on days with limited staff, but adjustments to calendars will occur because of the limited staffing.

Staff furloughs will be on a rotational schedule without pay one Friday per mouth between August 4, 2017 to June 29, 2018, said Jackson in statement:

“This contribution is a solution that will help us to avoid staff layoffs.”

Every Friday starting Sept. 1, all clerks’ offices will open between 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m, which includes The Criminal, Traffic, Civil, Unified Family Court and Juvenile Delinquency clerks’ offices.

Drop boxes outside of the clerks’ offices will be available from 1:00 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Court officials said  budget deficit for the current fiscal year is a result of a judicial branch formula adopted in 2013 called the Workload-Based Allocation and Funding Methodology. The formula’s goal was to achieve a more transparent and equal share of trial court funding.

The mandatory staff furloughs will save the San Francisco Superior Court $1.5 million. All four labor organizations agreed to the furloughs, according to court officials.

Officials said they have also identified other cost-saving measures including a hiring freeze.

The San Francisco Superior Court faced the largest reduction in funding out of 58 trial courts, said court officials.