Santa Clara County Court Officials Detail Possible Impact of Strike by Hundreds of Clerks

 Gavel

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

A statement released by Santa Clara County (California) Court Officials details how the courts might be impacted by a planned strike by hundreds of court clerks on Wednesday, August 3, 2016, according to a document available on The San Jose Mercury News website.

The statement titled “LIMITED SERVICES AVAILABLE DUE TO WORK STOPPAGE” reads in part:

Due to a work stoppage, the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara will have limited operations, starting on Wednesday, August 3, 2016.

This activity will affect all court facilities and the duration of time is unknown. As it is not clear the number of employees that will be participating in this stoppage, the Court will be scaling its operations based upon legal mandates and available resources.

Those who have hearings scheduled should plan to come to Court. If a hearing cannot go forward due to staffing shortages, another date will be provided at that time.

The Court cautions those wishing to obtain copies of records or court files that lines will be longer than usual and recommends coming on another day, if possible.

Individuals called for jury duty should continue to utilize existing practices prescribed on their summons to check to see if they are needed.

Mandated and Essential Services include: In Custody Arraignments (Misdemeanor and Felony); Juvenile Detentions (Dependency and Justice); Criminal Trials with Time Not Waived. A more thorough breakdown of essential service is provided on the following pages.

SERVICES BY FACILITY

DTS/Old Court House (Civil/Probate) — Clerk’s Office will have limited services. Matters will be heard as staff is available.

Hall of Justice (Criminal) — Clerk’s Office will have limited services. Matters will be heard as staff is available.

Notre Dame Courthouse (Self Help/Child Support) — Self Help Center will remain closed as is the normal practice on Wednesdays. Clerk’s Office will be closed and customers will be redirected to Family Court located at Park Center Plaza. Matters will be heard as staff is available.

Morgan Hill (Criminal) — Clerk’s Office will be closed but a drop box will be available. Matters will be heard as staff is available.

Palo Alto (Criminal) — Clerk’s Office will be closed but a drop box will be available. Matters will be heard as staff is available.

Park Center Plaza (Family) — Clerk’s Office will have limited services. Matters will be heard as staff is available.

Santa Clara (Traffic) — Clerk’s Office will have limited services. Hearings will be taken up as staff is available.

Sunnyvale Courthouse (Family) — Clerk’s Office will be closed and customers will be redirected to Family Court located at Park Center Plaza. Matters will be heard as staff is available.

Terraine/Guadalupe (Drug & Mental Health/Juvenile Dependency) — Clerk’s Office will have limited services. Matters will be heard as staff is available.

The complete statement from Santa Clara County Court Officials, which includes more details about Mandated and Essential Services, is at http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_30198603/document-santa-clara-court-officials-spell-out-possible.

The San Jose Mercury News  reports the Superior Court Professional Employees Association (SCPEA) that declared they were going on strike represents 333 clerical workers and 50 janitors, legal researchers, and family court mediators.

A SCPEA letter available on the San Jose Mercury News website stated that “8-years without a raise, more work with less staff and support, unsafe work conditions, and short changing the public with reduced hours and closed courthouses” is causing the strike.

Santa Clara County Court Strike Could Cause Delays in Background Checks

The Santa Clara County Court strike could cause delays in background checks since no case files will be pulled by Santa Clara county clerks during the strike and screening firms will be unable to obtain criminal case information needed for background checks.

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