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Statement by 2013 BASF President Christopher  C. Kearney Regarding Court Funding

June 20, 2013 – San Francisco The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) and its membership appreciate the support shown by the legislature for additional court funding for trial courts whose budgets have been slashed approximately 30 percent over the past five years.   It is heartening that 67 legislators signed a letter on June 1 asking the governor to approve $100 million in additional funding for the courts.  Though only $63 million made it into the final budget, it is a first step in the right direction. 

However, the situation remains untenable in San Francisco and across the state.  In San Francisco, only one of two courtrooms handling dependency matters remains open, and the self-help center and related services have suffered drastic cuts, as has almost every area of our court's operations.   While all users of court are impacted, many of these cuts hit low income, unrepresented, litigants the hardest.  Moreover, timely access to the courts is critical with respect to domestic violence, custody, housing, and other basic human needs, as well as the timely resolution of civil disputes and criminal matters. 

On behalf of our membership, and the people of San Francisco and businesses we serve, we will continue to advocate for the funding necessary to ensure that access to justice is available to everyone, especially those who need it the most.