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Court Closures Pose Safety Risk for Domestic Violence Victims

April 27, 2013

Camille Hayes

While the rest of the country celebrates the arrival of spring with baseball season openers, picnics and cherry blossom festivals, for Sacramento political types the warmer days and budding foliage herald a different annual rite: budget season in California. All this month and into May, legislative budget subcommittees are meeting to determine what the state can afford to fund, and which services will need to be scaled back or eliminated.

The reduction of court services statewide is an area of budget austerity that has caused a lot of concern. When local court branches reduce their hours and services, or in some cases close entirely, residents experience inconveniences both minor (longer lines) and major (trial delays). But for California’s domestic violence victims, the reduction of court services is more than a mere inconvenience. The ability to promptly file a protective order or a temporary restraining order can mean the difference between sleeping safely at night and being in serious danger. Story continues at the Sacramento Bee.

I’m a writer for the Sacramento Bee, contributing a monthly column on politics and women’s issues. I post links to my columns here on the blog.

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